Russia has spent some 1 billion rubles ($27 million) to accommodate Ukrainian refugees on its territory, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said.
“It’s a humanitarian tragedy, we take that into account and are already providing (Russian) regions with additional funds. I have had to make a number of decisions connected with financing the stay of refugees, already to the tune of up to 1 billion rubles,” Medvedev said in an interview with the Vedomosti business daily.
The southern Russian Rostov Region on the border with eastern Ukraine has received the greatest number of government subsidies as it has the biggest number of refugees from the eastern Ukrainian Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
In July-August alone, more than 350 million rubles ($9.5 million) was allocated from the federal budget to finance the refugees’ sojourn. Such subsidies are also provided to dozens of other Russian regions.
Situation in south-eastern Ukraine
Fierce clashes between troops loyal to Kiev and local militias in the south-eastern Ukrainian Donetsk and Luhansk regions during Kiev’s military operation to regain control over the breakaway territories, which call themselves the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR), have killed hundreds of civilians, brought massive destruction and forced hundreds of thousands to flee Ukraine’s south-east.
The trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine (Russia, Ukraine and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) and representatives of the self-proclaimed DPR and LPR reached an agreement in Belarusian capital Minsk on September 5 on cessation of fire in Ukraine’s south-east, troops withdrawal, exchange of prisoners and provision of humanitarian aid.
Russia also provides humanitarian assistance to east Ukrainian residents. On August 22, Russia delivered over 2,000 metric tons of humanitarian aid, including food (grain, sugar, baby food), medications, sleeping bags and portable power generators, to eastern Ukrainian regions.