According to UNHCR statistics, as of 23 June 2014, the overall number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Ukraine amounted to 46 100 persons. However, both the UNHCR and the Ukrainian authorities admit that the real figure is much higher, as many internally displaced persons do not seek any kind of recognition of their status or request official assistance.
Those displaced within Ukraine include over 11 500 ethnic Tartars and other residents of the Crimea who fled the peninsula following its annexation by Russia in March 2014, fearing harassment and persecution.
Other IDPs include people fleeing the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, where the humanitarian situation has dramatically deteriorated since the so called illegal “referendum” organised by the pro-Russian separatists on 11 May 2014. This deterioration has come due to the significant increase in criminal activity of the local armed groups, resulting in serious human rights abuses including abductions, detentions, acts of ill-treatment, torture and killings. Furthermore, the area is affected by regular and intense fighting as the Ukrainian army tries to restore control over the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
The number of affected people is continuing to rise, posing a threat to the country’s capacity of accommodating IDPs in other parts of Ukraine, as well as to the humanitarian situation in the country as a whole.
Besides internally displaced people, a high number of Ukrainian refugees have crossed the Russian border. According to the Russian Migration Services, over 5 000 people have applied for asylum in the adjacent regions, but the real number of refugees is estimated to be approximately 140 000.
The Parliamentary Assembly should examine the humanitarian situation in Ukraine, identify measures which would contribute to its improvement and call on those concerned to implement them.