GENEVA, June 27 (Xinhua) -- Ukraine saw a rise in forced displacement, with the number of internally displaced people estimated to surpass 50,000, said the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Friday.
Melissa Fleming, UNHCR's spokeswoman, stressed at a press conference that over the past week, the number of internally displaced in the Eastern European country increased by more than 16,400.
Fleming said that the increases were also witnessed in the numbers of Ukrainians in Russia and other countries, noting that since the start of the year, around 110,000 Ukrainians have arrived in Russia, and 750 have requested asylum in Poland, Belarus, Czech Republic and Romania.
The official with the UN refugee agency said that of those in Russia, only 9,600 have requested asylum.
"Most people are seeking other forms of legal stay, often we are told because of concerns about complications or reprisals in case of return to Ukraine," Fleming told reporters.
"The jump in numbers that we have seen over the past week coincides with a recent deterioration of the situation in eastern Ukraine. Displaced people cite worsening law and order, fear of abductions, human rights violations and as well as the disruption of state services," Fleming said.
In Ukraine, the main challenges currently faced by displaced people were access to social services, long-term shelter and employment, and difficulties in transferring residence registration, and most people were provided with temporary shelter and assistance from local authorities, NGOs and with donations of private citizens, Fleming said.
She noted that the agency was incapable of verifying all information on displacement and were relying on local and central authorities, partners and civil society organizations, while it has increased its presence and deployed missions to monitor displacement from the east.
According to her, UNHCR has begun to distribute humanitarian assistance to displaced people in the east, and was also launching a self-reliance program for vulnerable internally displaced people in western and central Ukraine.