Many of Ukraine’s internally displaced refugees — young families from the country’s rebellious east and Crimea forced to flee their homes, their jobs, their lives — gathered outside the parliament building in Kyiv pleading for some sort of help from the government.
Refugee Piotr Bereza, from Kramatorsk, said refugees were receiving no governmental support: “My wife had a baby yesterday…we want the state to look after the needs of refugees, people from Crimea and the Donetsk region. There are a lot of refugees from the east, from Luhansk and Donetsk regions. There is no state assistance, just help from charities and volunteers.”
While some people go west to Kyiv, others are heading east into Russia, including one refugee fleeing from Ukraine’s volatile Luhansk region on a bus: “My son and my husband stayed behind at my parents,” she explained. When asked if she was worried, she replied, “Yes, I am worried. Of course I am worried.”
According to the Ukrainian government, some checkpoints at the Russian border have been closed because of nightly attacks by separatists.
Russia says there is a humanitarian crisis on its border, while Ukraine denies there’s a flood of fleeing refugees.