A large number of Ukrainians seeking refuge in Russia is proof of a humanitarian disaster in southeastern Ukraine, Federal Migration Service head Konstantin Romodanovsky said in answer to a question from Interfax.
"It is a catastrophe, of course. Homes have been ruined there. People vote with their feet, leaving their home country and entering Russia, where they get the status of temporary refugees - not because this is something Russia wants, but simply because there is no place they can live in," Romodanovsky said on May 25 after talks with representatives of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Organization for Migration.
"People run away from their homeland and come to us seeking to find a roof above their heads," he said.
"Some 500-600 of those who are here turn to us for refuge each day," Romodanovsky said earlier as he was speaking about Ukrainian refugees.
Valentina Kazakova, head of the Federal Migration Service's Department for Citizenship, told Interfax on May 14 that about a million residents of southeastern Ukraine are in Russia and that 330,000 have been granted temporary refuge already.
In all, 352,000 residents of southeastern Ukraine have applied to the Federal Migration Service for refugee status or temporary refuge. Kazakova announced that another 195,000 Ukrainians who have fled the conflict zone have turned to Russia for temporary residence permits, 40,000 for permanent residence cards and 88,000 for citizenship.
"Another 105,000 have applied for being entered on the state program for assisting the voluntary resettlement of compatriots from foreign countries," Kazakova said.
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