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Refugees from east Ukraine have difficulties finding housing in other regions of country

December 10, 2014, 0:52 UTC+3 UNITED NATIONS

According to the latest data, the number of internally displaced persons in Ukraine exceeds 500,000 people

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UNITED NATIONS, December 9. /TASS/. Internally displaced persons from the embattled eastern regions of Ukraine have difficulties finding housing and jobs in other parts of Ukraine, while their children face unfriendly attitudes at school, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) said in a report Tuesday.

According to the latest data, the number of internally displaced persons in Ukraine exceeds 500,000 people. Another 554,000 people have fled to neighboring countries, including 545,000 to Russia.

Due to increased intensity of hostilities in eastern Ukraine, the coming of winter and termination by Kiev authorities of wage and social allowance payments in regions controlled by militias, the humanitarian situation is deteriorating, the UN OCHA said.

It complained that reports on serious violations of the ceasefire regime come daily from some areas in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.

According to the United Nations, more than 4,000 people have been killed and hundreds of thousands have fled Ukraine’s southeast as a result of clashes between Ukrainian troops and local militias in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions during Kiev’s military operation, conducted since mid-April, to regain control over the breakaway territories, which call themselves the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s republics.

The parties to the Ukrainian conflict agreed on a ceasefire at talks mediated by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on September 5 in Belarusian capital Minsk two days after Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed his plan to settle the situation in the east of Ukraine.

The ceasefire took effect the same day but has reportedly occasionally been violated.

The Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine comprising representatives of Ukraine, Russia and the OSCE adopted a memorandum on September 19 in Minsk, which outlined the parameters for the implementation of commitments on the ceasefire in Ukraine laid down in the Minsk Protocol of September 5.

The nine-point document in particular stipulates a ban on the use of all armaments and withdrawal of weapons with the calibers of over 100 millimeters to a distance of 15 kilometers from the contact line from each side. The OSCE was tasked with controlling the implementation of memorandum provisions.

The "day of silence" in eastern Ukraine began at 09:00 a.m. local time (0700 GMT) on Tuesday.

Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko announced plans to introduce a moratorium on combat operations between Ukrainian military units and southeastern militias on December 4. The proposal was welcomed by leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s republics.

In mid-November, Poroshenko signed a decree that puts into force the decision of the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council of November 4 “On urgent measures to stabilize the social and economic situation in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.”

The decree in particular envisions that the Verkhovna Rada (parliament) will consider the bill on invalidation of the law “On a special procedure of local self-rule in separate districts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions” adopted in September.

The document also contains a number of other instructions to various Ukrainian ministries and departments, which relate to the operation of the social and economic structures of Donbass.

In line with the presidential decree of November 15, the Ukrainian government is in particular supposed to “stop on certain territories” of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions the operation of Ukrainian state enterprises, institutions and organizations, as well as organize evacuation of workers and withdrawal of property and documentation.

The authorities of the Donetsk and Lugansk republics have called Poroshenko’s decree “an act of genocide and ruin of the people.”.

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