Tue, 30 May 2023

Ukrainian refugees face mass evictions - media

27 Jun 2022, 19:55 GMT+10

Municipal shelters in the Netherlands are bracing for an influx during the summer holidays

Hundreds of Ukrainian refugees currently hosted by Dutch families are facing eviction during the summer holidays, local media says. Those providing them shelter do not want to go on vacation and leave their guests alone in their homes unattended, the ANP news agency reported on Sunday.

Municipalities across the Netherlands are bracing for an influx of Ukrainian refugees currently staying in private residences, the agency said.

"The cat goes to the guest house and the Ukrainians go to the shelter. Yes, that is the harsh reality," one person interviewed for the report explained.

Hundreds of refugees from Ukraine were housed with families in the spring, when millions rushed to Europe after Russia launched its military operation in the country. Now "the honeymoon period is over," and many hosts no longer want their guests, the report said.

"People say: I'm going on vacation and I don't want the Ukrainians to be alone in my house. Sometimes the Ukrainians are really just dropped off at the shelter," a spokesperson for the Brabant-Zuidoost safety region - a public body tasked with interregional coordination of emergency response in the Netherlands - was cited as saying.

The situation is much the same in other parts of the Netherlands, the report said. Municipalities are preparing additional shelter space for the Ukrainians, hoping to limit the need to resettle the refugees elsewhere in the country.

Ukrainian refugees were welcomed in many parts of Europe, but a number of host nations have since either cut or canceled the benefits and subsidies they initially offered. The arrival of summer has resulted in evictions in coastal countries like Bulgaria, where hotels that were used as temporary shelters had to be vacated for tourists during the summer.

Russia attacked Ukraine in late February, following Kiev's failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow's eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German- and French-brokered protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.

The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.

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