ROSTOV-ON-DON, August 4 (RIA Novosti) – More than 400 Ukrainian military personnel requested refugee status from Russian border guards on Monday and Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) has opened a corridor for the soldiers, a spokesman for the border control agency told RIA Novosti.
“Overnight 438 Ukrainian military personnel turned to Russian border guards with a request for refugee [status],” the head of the FSB’s border control in the southern Russian region of Rostov, Vasily Malaeyev, said.
Border control authorities have opened a humanitarian corridor and have allowed refugees into Russia. Among the 438 personnel, 164 are employees of Ukraine’s State Border Service.
Fierce battles in Ukraine’s southeastern regions have not abated since mid-April when Kiev officials announced the beginning of a special operation against local independence supporters. As a result, many Ukrainian servicemen left their military posts to cross into Russia.
On Sunday, 12 soldiers from the Ukrainian Armed Forces made it into Russia and applied for an asylum at Gukovo checkpoint in Russia’s Rostov Region, saying they had run out of food and ammunition.
Last month, another 40 Ukrainian troops abandoned their military units and asked independence supporters to allow them to come to Russia in order not to fight against their own people.