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UN: 110,000 fled Ukraine for Russia this year

  • People carry their belongings as they walk to cross the border into Russia at the Ukrainian-Russian border checkpoint in Izvaryne, Luhansk region, eastern Ukraine June 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

GENEVA: The U.N. refugee agency says that 110,000 Ukrainians have fled for Russia this year and another 54,000 are internally displaced as Ukraine fights separatist rebels in the east.

U.N. refugee agency spokeswoman Melissa Fleming says, based on information from Russian authorities and U.N. sources, that 9,500 of those fleeing to Russia have sought refugee status but many others are afraid to make a formal request for fear of reprisals if they eventually return to Ukraine.

Fleming told reporters Friday in Geneva that the number of those internally displaced in Ukraine represents a huge increase over the previous week, coinciding with the deteriorating security situation in the east.

She says that 12,000 of those displaced within Ukraine are from Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in March, and the rest are from eastern Ukraine.

 
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