UN: 110,000 have fled Ukraine for Russia

Approximately 110,000 Ukrainians have fled for Russia this year, the U.N. Refugee Agency said Friday.

Another 54,400 people have fled their homes in Ukraine because of fighting sparked by pro-Russian separatists but stayed in the country.

Over the last week, the number of internally displaced people in Ukraine increased by more than 16,400, the U.N. said, despite a weeklong ceasefire.


"The rise in numbers of the past week coincides with a recent deterioration of the situation in eastern Ukraine. Displaced people cite worsening law and order, fear of abductions, human rights violations and the disruption of state services," said agency spokeswoman Melissa Fleming. 

Since the beginning of 2014, Ukrainians have requested asylum in the Czech Republic, Belarus, Poland and Romania, Fleming added. 

The U.N. agency said Ukrainians are facing issues of social services, employment and long-term shelter. The agency said it has already begun distributing humanitarian aid to people displaced in Ukraine’s eastern region.

Obama administration officials, meanwhile, have been discussing the possibility of imposing additional sanctions against Russia if it doesn’t use its influence to help deescalate the violence in Ukraine. 

Leaders of the European Union decided Friday not to impose additional sanctions against Russia, and gave the Russian government and pro-Russian separatists until Monday to take steps to improve the crisis.