Immigraniada Today: Murmansk Officials Are Evicting Ukrainian Refugees to the Streets

murmansk gorodThe Governor of Murmansk oblast, Marian Kovtun, has given orders to liquidate the Centres of Temporary Accomodation (PVR) meant for refugees who have fled from Ukrainian territory. The appropriate decree has been published on the regional government’s website.

The Governor cites the decree from last October of the Government of the Russian Federation, regarding the changes to the laws that accord funds to regional budgets for temporary regular social accommodation for Ukrainian citizens, who arrived on the territory of the RF “in a state of urgency and in mass” and are accommodated in PVRs.

The administration of Murmansk in accordance with Kovtun’s decree has already announced that a forced expulsion of the residents of a dormitory on Ulica Safonova will take place on February 1, writes FlashNord. Currently the dormitory hosts 32 refugees including 7 children from the Donetsk and Lugansk oblasts.

“They don’t want to move out, even regardless of the governmental decree. They are saying that they are unable to find accommodation. They want apartments – not rooms, and believe that the officials are obliged to give them that”, reported to journalists the head of the department for citizen relations of the city administration, Yelena Kalinina.

Let us note that it was this public official who was yelling at a Ukrainian refugee last November in such a fashion, that, in the aftermath, he was taken to the hospital by an ambulance. The recording of this loud conversation was published by one of the local medias.

Kalinina was pointing out that as of the start of military engagements in Ukraine, Murmansk has received around 550 refugees. The overwhelming majority has been successful in finding a job and renting out accommodation. The PVR resident who turned to the representative of Murmansk’s administration explained that there is nothing in the residences for refugees – no beds, no basic things. Moreover, 90% of the residents are criminals and alcoholics.

Let us remind you that as of November 1, Russia has abolished the concessionary status of Ukrainian citizens in the RF. Now, Ukrainians can only be on Russian territory in accordance with general laws – no more than 90 days in every 6 months. For a long-term stay in the RF, they require either permission to work or a different appropriate status. The exception has been made only for residents of Donetsk and Lugansk oblasts, who have arrived in a state of urgency.

Back then, the Federal Migration Service (FMS) declared that as of April 1, 2014 up until early October 2015, more than 1.1 Million citizens of the Ukrainian South-East have entered Russia. Among them more than 6 000 persons applied for refugee status, 395 000 persons applied for temporary accommodation and 250 000 Ukrainians applied for a temporary residence permit. Still, another 150 000 applied to participate in a program for voluntary resettlement of compatriots, 125 000 Ukrainians applied for Russian citizenship, another 60 000 successfully received residence permits.

On November 11, 2015, FMS announced the closure of the Centres of Temporary Accommodation; however, already on the next day the law bill “for the continued provision of assistance in general and social accommodation of Ukrainian citizens in 2016” saw the light of day. It was then reported, that PVRs will continue operating at least until December 31, 2016.

The concessionary migration regime was introduced in 2014 due to the conflict in eastern Ukraine. The advantages from the special terms concerned first and foremost accommodation and labour. In particular, the local authorities of the FMS were directed to extend the Ukrainians’ terms of temporary residence in Russia without any difficulties. All they were required to do was to turn to the local immigration authority with their passport and migration card.

Now, however, the FMS emphasizes that in the case of violation of the law, Ukrainian citizens will be deported from Russia by means of an administrative expulsion, deportation or readmission.


Translated from:

Originally published on 28.01.2016 on the platform Levoradikal.

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