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Russia to protect its citizens in Donetsk, Lugansk if they are in danger — Duma speaker

Russia doesn’t want war, Vyacheslav Volodin said

MOSCOW, February 19. /TASS/. Russia is ready to protect Russian citizens in the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics if their lives are in danger, State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said on Telegram on Saturday.

"Russia doesn’t want war. Our President Vladimir Putin repeatedly said this earlier and is saying this these days," Volodin said. "If danger arises to the lives of Russians and compatriots living in the DPR and LPR, our country will defend them."

The Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics on Friday announced evacuations of their population to Russia as the situation in Donbass took a turn for the worse.

Rostov Region Governor Vasily Golubev asked for federal help. Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered that refugees arriving in the region be paid 10,000 rubles each, and Russia’s top emergency situations and sanitary officials are on the way to the region.