1.7 million Ukrainians seek asylum in Russia since beginning of conflict in Donbass

About 1.7 million Ukrainian citizens have applied to Russia since 2014 for obtaining Russian citizenship, refugee status, temporary asylum. This was stated on Thursday by Russia's permanent representative to the OSCE, Alexander Lukashevich.

"Since April 1, 2014, about 1 million 700 thousand Ukrainian citizens have applied to the relevant bodies of Russia for obtaining legal status - Russian citizenship, refugee status, temporary asylum, temporary residence permit, etc. Even more Ukrainians regularly travel to Russia for earnings. Authorities come up with propaganda labels like "an aggressor country," but people vote with their feet," Lukashevich said at a meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna.

The Russian diplomat recalled in this connection with the fact that the conflict in Donbass began with the punitive operation of Kiev against its own population, which brought untold suffering to the inhabitants of the region.

"Many were forced to flee, including to Russia," the Permanent Representative said.

According to him, attempts to expose Russia as a side of the intra-Ukrainian conflict are an integral part of the policy of sabotaging the Minsk agreements, prolonging the conflict, preserving a hotbed of tension on the borders of the European Union and Russia, and creating competitive advantages for extra-regional powers.

"All this is done at the expense of the peoples of Ukraine," he added.

DONi News Agency