No evidence of a mass exodus to Russia
The Human Rights Information Centre has looked into claims in the media that a huge number of people living in Ukraine had left for Russia. Neither they, nor the reports of thousands of “refugees” from the Crimea have any basis in truth.
The sources cited include the Ukrainian Border Guard Service; Ukrainian railway organizations; as well as information agencies. Neither the Crimean branch of the Red Cross, nor grassroots initiatives such as Krym_SOS have received requests for help in leaving.
The number of coaches, cars and people on foot crossing the border into Russia, according to the Border Guard Service’s eastern regional department, has neither increased nor decreased.
A small number of families have temporarily left for other parts of Ukraine. As of March 4 around 29 families had called the Lviv Regional Council hot line and asked for temporary refuge. The first 20 people, including Russian-speaking families and Crimean Tatars have already left. Offers to put people up have been received from over 100 Lviv families.
The Russian media has been full of reports of thousands fleeing while the Russian authorities have alleged that a large number of people have sought asylum.