More and more Ukrainians on the move as conflict continues

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A memorial in Kyiv. Photo: UNDP Kyiv

An extra 16,000 people in Ukraine have left their homes and fled to other parts of the country just in the past week, says the United Nations Refugee Agency, UNHCR, which estimates that 54,400 people have been displaced within Ukraine. 12,000 of those are from Crimea and the rest from the Eastern region. The agency also says that more and more people are leaving Ukraine and crossing the border into Russia and other countries, although so far only a relatively small number have applied for refugee status.

Melissa Fleming is the spokesperson for UNHCR:

"The jump in numbers that we've seen over the past week coincides with the recent deterioration of the situation in eastern Ukraine. Displaced people cite worsening law and order, they say that they fear abductions and that there are human rights violations, as well as the disruption of some state services. Some also report that they've lost their livelihoods."

Since the start of this year, around 110,000 Ukrainians have arrived in Russia and 750 have requested asylum in Poland, Belarus, the Czech Republic and Romania. Of those in Russia only 9,600 have requested asylum. Most people are trying to find other ways to legally stay in the country, many fearing complications or reprisals in case they return to Ukraine.

Nicki Chadwick, United Nations, Geneva.

Duration: 1'32"

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