… by Press TV
– First published June 4, 2014 –
Russian authorities have declared a state of emergency in Rostov Province along the border with Ukraine, due to an influx of refugees from Ukraine’s troubled eastern regions.
Rostov’s Governor Vasily Golubev made the decision on Wednesday after a growing number of refugees arrived from Ukraine.
According to local officials, some 7,000 people, mostly women and children, have crossed the border to take shelter in Russia in the past 24 hours.
Officials said 15 regions in the Rostov Province have been stretched to the limit due to the large number of Ukrainian refugees.
This is while hundreds of other refugees have taken shelter in Crimea, which has recently rejoined the Russian Federation.
The influx of refugees comes as civilians have been targeted during Kiev’s military operations in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Lugansk.
On Tuesday, Russia submitted a draft resolution to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), calling for an immediate ceasefire and a humanitarian corridor in Ukraine.
Russian Ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Vitaly Churkin has said the humanitarian situation in Ukraine needs to be addressed urgently. Churkin pointed to the “heavy and indiscriminate shelling of residential areas” using both artillery and aviation, saying the operations are killing civilians every day.
The government in Kiev has been staging military operations since mid-April in the eastern and southern regions in a bid to root out pro-Russia protests there. On June 2 alone, at least 10 people, including several civilians, were killed during operations in the city of Lugansk.
The country’s two eastern regions of Donetsk and Lugansk declared independence on May 12 following local referendums in which the regions’ residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence from Kiev.
The referendums followed a similar vote in Crimea in March that led to the reunification of the peninsula with the Russian Federation.
Editing: Erica P. Wissinger