DMITRIADOVKA (Rostov Region), June 19 (RIA Novosti) – No humanitarian corridors have been set up for those wanting to leave combat zones in eastern Ukraine, and people are being forced into Russia, Kremlin Chief of Staff Sergei Ivanov said Thursday.
“I don’t want to talk about politics, but there are still no humanitarian [corridors] being provided. People are running, whoever can, and the roads are being shot at. In my opinion, they just want to push them into Russia,” Ivanov said during a meeting with volunteers and human rights activists helping Ukrainian refugees in the southern Russian village of Dmitriadovka.
Over the past few days, the Ukrainian army has increased the intensity of mortar attacks in the east, pounding residential districts and places with high population densities as part of their “anti-terrorist” operation to crack down on protesters.
The boarder of Russia’s Rostov Region with Ukraine – notably with restive Luhansk and Donetsk territories – has been swarmed by thousands of Ukrainian refugees fleeing hostilities in the country.
According to the Russian migration authority’s estimates, there are currently up to 19,000 Ukrainian refugees living in Russia, many staying with friends and relatives.
After his inauguration, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko announced the country’s intention to create a humanitarian corridor to evacuate civilians from the combat zone in the country’s southeast. As of Tuesday, there has been no follow-through on this promise, according to a local leader in the self-proclaimed republic of Donetsk.