Russia Sends Three Planes with Aid to Refugee Camps in Crimea, Rostov Region

MOSCOW, June 20 (RIA Novosti) – Two of three Russian planes carrying humanitarian aid for Ukrainian refugees landed in Crimea and in the Rostov region on the border with Ukraine’s restive Luhansk, according to the Russian Emergency Ministry’s spokesman Alexander Drobyshevsky.

“The planes landed in Rostov-on-Don and Simferopol, each carrying a payload of 38.5 tons,” Drobyshevsky said Friday.

Another Ilyushin Il-76 plane is expected to deliver humanitarian assistance to Simferopol, the capital of the Crimean peninsula on the Black Sea, later today.

Violence in southeastern Ukraine has been on the rise since the beginning of a punitive operation launched by the Kiev authorities in mid-April that has claimed hundreds of lives.

In June, Kiev’s military operation caused a drastic increase in the number of refugees fleeing to Russia. Some 10,000 Ukrainian fugitives arrive in southern Russia’s Rostov Region every day. Over 200 temporary accommodation facilities have been established in southern and central Russia that currently host 9,700 people, including 5,300 children. Some 12,000 people have come to stay with their relatives and friends.

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 earlier.

Over the past weeks, the Ukrainian military has been tightening its grip on the rebellious territories of Luhansk and Donetsk in the country’s east, following President Petro Poroshenko’s pledge to defeat the resistance. The army has increased the intensity of mortar attacks, pounding residential districts and places with high population densities.

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