Official: Nearly 40 thousand refugees have returned to Donbas
The head of the State Emergency Service has reported that for the first time people are returning to eastern Ukraine, rather than leaving the area where fighting has been underway. Serhiy Bochkovsky reported that over the last 24 hours 2, 281 people returned, with 1, 863 of these coming back to the Donetsk oblast. Overall 39 thousand, 550 people have so far returned. He attributed the return to the gradual restoration of infrastructure, etc.
Although people are returning from all oblasts, the largest numbers are from Kyiv – 23, 404 people; Kharkiv oblast – 6, 021; Odessa oblast – 2, 720 and the Zaporizha oblast – 1, 475.
Bochkovsky added that people are continuing to leave, however the numbers are diminishing by the day. Whereas earlier thousands were leaving each day, over the last 24 hours 391 people left the area of conflict in Donbas and the Crimea, with 109 children among these, and 94 invalids.
As of Sept 15, he says, there are 268, 520 displaced persons, almost three housand less than on Sept 13.