Staunton, October 20 – Many in both Ukraine and the Russian Federation have suggested in recent days that a new and large-scale Russian military attack in Ukraine may be imminent, but perhaps the clearest evidence for that has been provided by an unexpected source: Ella Panfilova, the Russian human rights ombudsman.
In an interview published October 21 in Rossiiskaya Gazeta, she warns that Russians should be prepared for a “second wave” of refugees from various parts of Ukraine in the near future. She suggests that the reason for this is the approaching winter, but new violence would be even more likely to provoke such flight.
Panfilova said that many Russians think that the refugee issue is disappearing given that many of the 800,000 who came to Russia in the summer have now returned to their homes in Ukraine. But far from all have, and she suggests they are about to be joined by more and not just from the Donbas where violence has been ongoing.