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Over 1 mln Ukrainians flee to Russia since February 2014 — migration official

In total, Russia’s government has allocated more than $200 million for the social welfare of Ukrainian citizens in 2014-2015

GENEVA, October 7. /TASS/. More than 1 million Ukrainians were forced to flee to Russia to "save their life and human dignity" since the crisis deteriorated in Ukraine in February 2014, a deputy head of Russia’s Federal Migration Service said in Geneva on Wednesday.

"In total, Russia’s government has allocated more than $200 million for the social welfare [in Russia] of Ukrainian citizens in 2014-2015," Nikolay Smorodin told the 66th session of the Executive Committee of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

As of late September, around 400,000 Ukrainians have asked for temporary asylum in Russia, some 125,000 Ukrainians have said they wish to obtain Russia’s citizenship and another 260,000 Ukrainians have applied for temporary residence permit, he said.

The official said Russia has "all the necessary resources for hosting Ukrainian citizens who are saving themselves from the interior armed conflict," and special focus is on education, healthcare, employment, food supplies and accommodation.

Besides, since August 2014, Russian humanitarian convoys have delivered 48,000 tons of foodstuffs, medicines and essentials for the citizens of Ukraine’s south-east.

Moscow welcomes "the weighted and unbiased approach of the UNHCR towards the Ukrainian situation," Smorodin said, noting the particular steps of drawing attention to the Ukrainian refugees issue and impartial coverage of the crisis in Donbas.

"We believe that only the continued effort towards peaceful settlement in Ukraine’s south-east may create stable conditions for the refugees’ return home. The basis for this is the full implementation of the Minsk agreements," he said.