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UNHCR Delegation Visited Taganrog to Assess the Situation of Donbas Refugees

March 23, 2022: Yesterday UN delegation led by Karim Atassi, Head of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Representation in Russia began its three-day visit to Rostov Oblast. The same day organization's representatives met with Alexander Skryabin, Rostov Oblast Deputy Governor, and Yuri Zikeev, Head of Rostov-on-Don regional office of the MFA.

unhcr_delegation_2 Today UNHCR delegation visited the PTAs located in the city of Taganrog to assess the conditions in which Donbas refugees live. They visited the temporary accommodation centers at the premises of the Olympic Reserve School (Ulitsa Lenina 212) and the hotel "Taganrog" (Ulitsa Dzerzhinskogo 161), where Mr. Atassi talked with fugitives who arrived from the city of Mariupol.

unhcr_delegation_1 During the visit Karim Atassi was accompanied by Irina Golubeva, Deputy City Manager for Social Affairs, and Vladimir Galushka, director of Taganrog Department of Fire and Disaster Prevention, who informed him that nearly 300 children evacuated from Donbas have been settled in local schools and kindergartens. All new school students receive free hot meals and have everything they need to continue their studies.

Mariupol, like a number of other Ukranian cities, is currently facing a humanitarian distress. Ukrainian Armed Forces have been repeatedly denying the predominant Russian-speaking majority to leave the city. Several cease fires have been declared by Russian Army to allow civilians out of the surrounded city through a safe corridor. However Ukrainian right-extremist militias do not allow noncombatants to leave, using them as "human shields". Some citizens of Mariupol had managed to leave the city via humanitarian corridor and reached Taganrog.

unhcr_delegation_3 It is to be noted that earlier in 2014 residents of Mariupol appealed to Vladimir Putin for help in holding a referendum to rejoin Russia. In May 2014, despite the punitive raids organized by stooge government in Kiev, Russian-speaking majority in Donetsk and Lugansk regions voted in referendums on independence from Ukraine. It was followed by violent clashes between the locals and "Right Sector" storm troopers, with tanks and armored vehicle used again by Kiev junta against peaceful residents of the city.

unhcr_delegation_4 February 24 Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a special military operation in Ukraine in response to a request from Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics. It is carried out to stop the war that had continued in Donbass area for the last eight years, to demilitarize Ukraine, to liberate Ukraine from neo-Nazis, and to protect the people in the eastern part of the country suffering from genocide by Kiev-backed militias.

Russian Defense Ministry announced that Russian forces do not target Ukrainian cities, adding that they eliminate military infrastructure with precision strikes.