MOSCOW, August 18 (RIA Novosti) - The Special Monitoring Mission, working in Ukraine under the auspices of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), has reported numerous refugees, willing to flee the country through the Novoazovsk border check-point, the organization said in a statement on Monday.
According to the report, posted on the OSCE website, in the city of Popasna in the Luhansk region, the SMM met IDPs who said that “estimated that 60 to 70% of the buildings in the nearby town of Pervomaisk, had been hit by shelling.” Many residents of the town are believed to be trapped there.
“The town continues to be without water, gas and electricity, including the hospital and maternity clinic,” the statement said.
On August 16, the OSCE monitors met with representatives of the Novoazovsk Border Crossing-Point, “where it observed a one-kilometre long queue of various vehicles, reportedly with IDPs fleeing the country, and other long freight trucks.”
According to the report, representatives of the Ukrainian city Kryvyi Rih notified the SMM of about 2,000 internally displaced people they had received over the past three weeks from the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
Amid ongoing fighting between independence supporters and Ukrainian troops many citizens were forced to leave eastern Ukraine in search for shelters. Some settled in the country’s regions not affected by combat actions, others crossed into neighboring Russia. According to the UN refugee agency estimates released on August 5, more than 730,000 people have fled Ukraine for Russia since January.