MOSCOW, June 19 (RIA Novosti) – Currently almost 19,000 refugees from Ukraine are living in Russia, according to official data, spokesman for the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations Alexander Drobyshevsky said Thursday.
“According to the data as of 6:00 a.m. MSK (02:00 GMT), the number of registered refugees from Ukraine was more than 18,900 people. [The refugees] are located in the Southern, Central and Northwestern federal districts, as well as in Sevastopol and Crimea,” said Drobyshevsky. Over half of the refugees, about 10,000 people, are staying with their relatives and friends. “At the temporary accommodation centers there are 8,800 people, including more than 4,500 children,” Drobyshevsky added.
According to the Emergency Situations Ministry’s spokesman, in just the past 24 hours, 97 people have applied for refugee status at the local Federal Migration Service offices and are staying with their relatives. Drobyshevsky noted that the people who have left their homes because of the special military operation in the southeast of Ukraine need psychological assistance. “In the last 24 hours alone, assistance has been provided to more than 370 refugees, 97 needed medical attention,” according to the spokesman. “Food and information is being provided, and medical and psychological assistance has been organized for displaced persons at the temporary accommodation centers,” said Drobyshevsky.
In June, Kiev’s military operation caused a drastic increase in the number of refugees fleeing to Russia. After the end of the military operation in Ukraine, many refugees will have nowhere to go back to, and Russia needs to be ready to accommodate them long-term, First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Nationalities Committee Mikhail Starshinov said.
Last week, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko ordered the country’s Security Service to organize humanitarian corridors for those who wished to leave the restive areas. Checks are to be carried out to prevent independence supporters from escaping the area, the president added.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said he hoped Poroshenko would deliver on his promise. Moscow has been calling for an immediate stop to the military operation in the southeast of Ukraine, which has already led to dozens of fatalities and injuries.