16 July 2014, 04:51

Over 800 orphans, disabled children living in combat zones in Ukraine's southeast

Over 800 orphans, disabled children living in combat zones in Ukraine's southeast

More than 800 disabled children and orphans are currently living in Lugansk and Donetsk regions in the area where special military operation is conducted, said on Tuesday Ukraine's presidential envoy on the peaceful settlement of the situation in the east, Irina Gerashchenko. "Today, according to the presidential administration, there are 600 orphans in Donetsk region," said in a statement.

According to Gerashchenko, 246 children are in residential care homes and they require constant treatment. Previously volunteers reported that approximately 500 orphans need to be relocated from Donetsk and Lugansk regions of Ukraine. Russian Presidential Commissioner for Children's Rights Pavel Astakhov previously urged the president of Ukraine Petr Poroshenko to allow Ukrainian orphans to move from war zone in eastern Ukraine to Russia.

Astakhov called to "protect the most vulnerable people, orphans," and if unable to do so "to allow them to go to Russia." As was noted in Astakhov's statement, due to the fighting in the southeast, by confirmed data, 11 children were killed, the youngest of whom was only five months old. Also orphanage "Topolyok" was destroyed, boarding school in Kramatorsk damaged, while hospital children's ward in Slavyansk and kindergarten were bombed.

According to the commissioner, within two months Russia received more than 180,000 refugees from Ukraine, among them more than 22 thousand children. Since mid April, Kiev authorities are carrying out special military operation in the east of Ukraine, which is directed against the people of the region who are dissatisfied with the February coup in Kiev. Moscow urged Kiev to stop this special operation immediately as it has already led to numerous victims, RIA Novosti agency reports.

'Kiev has broken our lives' - Ukrainian refugees to foreign media

A CNN journalist has visited a Ukrainian refugee camp. He noted that the people were so frightened by what the Ukrainian army has done that they never intend to return to their homeland. Refugees are convinced: the Kiev authorities are to blame for all their sufferings.

Ukrainian refugees' fear of their homeland is so great that many have decided to become Russian citizens, according to the CNN news item.

The American TV channel's correspondent, Phil Black, visited a temporary accommodation camp and learned from Ukrainians why they left their homeland and why they believed there will be no return for them. Refugees told him they did not intend to go back, because they no longer saw a future, either for themselves or their children, in Ukraine.

According to official data, since Kiev's military operation began to gain momentum, government troops began to take back large areas from the Lugansk and Donetsk militia. This had a profound effect on the number of refugees crossing the border from Ukraine into Russia.

The journalist talked to newly arrived refugees. Elena, her daughter Anna and their dog were among them. Elena said that they had fled from battles, explosions, airplanes and tanks that frightened her daughter. She plans to stay in the refugee camp for a few days. Conditions there are simple, the reporter notes, but people are grateful even for that. They say it is quiet and safe for their children.

A temporary accommodation point is where they can think over the dramatic events that have changed their lives forever. Everybody there blames the Ukrainian government. One refugee showed a shell fragment, which was, according to her, fired by the Ukrainian military and which she found in her yard. Women cried while expressing the belief that Ukrainian authorities simply don't value their lives at all.

"What for? Why do we suffer?" one of them wonders.

The correspondent met people who were leaving the camp. Their fear of their own homeland is so great that they decided to accept refuge and offers of work in a remote Arctic region, the journalist notes. "I will probably never return to Ukraine, because my children have no future there. They've broken our lives," refugee Natalia said.

According to official data, nearly half a million Ukrainians have found refuge in Russia, the journalist concludes.

More than 30,000 refugees from southeastern Ukraine accommodated in Rostov region

More than 30,000 refugees from southeastern part of Ukraine have been accommodated in the Rostov region, a representative of the regional operative staff said.

"As of 7 am Moscow time on Monday, 30,370 displaced persons, among them 10,630 children, were staying in the Rostov region. Some refugees have been moved from a refugee camp in Donetsk to a similar camp in Novoshakhtinsk for their security and protection from Ukrainian shells which hit the Russian territory," he said.

The Donetsk refugee camp will be moved inside the Rostov region area on Monday, around 20 kilometers away from Ukraine-Russia border, for the security of Ukrainian refugees, the spokesman added.

The Rostov region continues to take in refugees from southeastern Ukraine and some refugees have been transported to other parts of Russia, Interfax reports.

Six of Russia's regions declare state of emergency

The governments of six of Russia's regions have declared a state of emergency because of the number of refugees, coming into Russia, Vladimir Artamonov, Deputy Head of the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations, said.

"The governments of the Vologda, the Rostov and Astrakhan areas, of the Stavropol Krai, the Republic of Kalmykia, Crimea and Sevastopol have declared a state of emergency," Artamonov said. The Belgorod and the Voronezh areas may also face a state of emergency.

"According to the data provided by the Russian Federal Migration Service, an estimated 480,000 of Ukraine's citizens reside in Russia. Since January 1, 2.5 million Ukrainians arrived to Russia, 2 million of them have returned back to Ukraine, while an estimated 480,000 still reside in Russia," Artamonov said.

The number of Ukrainian refugees, who live in temporary asylums in Russia, has reached 20,000 people; the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations has built up 310 temporary asylums, where 20,392 Ukrainian refugees, including 8,322 children live, Aleksandr Drobyshev, representative of the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations, said. Another eight removable temporary asylums are ready to take in 3,600 people.

Read also:

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