The UN refugee agency says the crisis in Ukraine has forced more than 824,000 people from their homes as tensions continue in the country’s troubled eastern regions.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) released the figure on Friday, saying around 95 percent of those displaced come from the war-torn eastern regions.
Among those who have fled, at least 430,000 were living within Ukraine as of yesterday, up 170,000 people since the start of September.
In addition, another 387,000 have fled to neighboring Russia, while 6,600 have applied for asylum in the European Union (EU) as well as 581 in Belarus.
According to the UNHCR, the ongoing fighting in the eastern regions between government troops and pro-Russian forces, “and the resulting breakdown of basic services, continue to drive more people from their homes.”
The UNHCR also warned of the looming winter, saying “it was racing to help some of the most vulnerable displaced people cope with expected harsh winter conditions.”
The UN refugee agency said the areas which are in greatest need of help were around Donetsk, Kharkiv, and Kiev as well as in the central region of Dnipropetrovsk and the southern region of Zaporizhia regions.
This comes as sporadic clashes continue on an almost daily basis despite the signing of a ceasefire pact by the two sides in September.
Ukraine’s mainly Russian-speaking regions in the east have been the scene of deadly clashes between pro-Russia protesters and the Ukrainian army since the government in Kiev launched military operations in mid-April in a bid to crush the protests.
According to the latest figures by the United Nations, over 3,700 people have been killed and at least 9,000 others injured in the conflict in eastern Ukraine during the past six months.