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Russia and Ukraine try to protect homeless from freezing weather

Russia and Ukraine are taking precautions to shield the homeless from the cold snap, opening more facilities and keeping them in hospitals.

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Russia and Ukraine have taken precautions to protect the homeless from the freezing cold. (CESAR MANSO/AFP/Getty Images)

Russia and Ukraine are both taking precautions on Friday to protect the homeless people after more than 100 have frozen to death on the streets during Europe’s cold snap, the Associated Press reported.

As the death toll hit 169 on Friday, the Russian Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu ordered the creation of facilities to provide food and medical assistance throughout the country for the homeless, the AP reported.

Read more at GlobalPost: PHOTOS: Europe's deadly cold snap

In Ukraine alone, 101 people were reported dead, and 1,248 people were hospitalized with frostbite, Bloomberg reported. Authorities have closed schools and colleges while setting up nearly 3,000 heating and food shelters, the BBC reported. Hospitals have also been instructed not to release homeless patients, even after they’ve been treated. Temperatures have been as low as -26 Fahrenheit.

Since the cold snap hit on Jan. 27, 64 people were found frozen on the streets, 11 have died in hospitals and 26 in their homes in Ukraine, the AP reported.

The Eastern European death toll altogether reached 250, Bloomberg reported. A Siberian freeze has taken over the region, with heavy snowfalls, gale-force winds and freezing temperatures.

Read more at GlobalPost: European gas crisis looms as Russia tightens supply for cold snap

"It's difficult or even impossible to ship food and medical supplies to households in remote mountainous villages," said Goran Nikolic, head of the emergency situations division at the Interior Ministry of Serbia, Bloomberg reported. A state of emergency has been declared on 16 towns in Serbia since it snowed on Jan. 10.

The weeklong freezing weather has been one of Eastern Europe’s worst in decades, causing power outages, frozen water pipes and closure of schools, airports and bus routes, the AP reported.

Read more at GlobalPost: Will Ukraine tilt east or west?

 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/120203/russia-and-ukraine-try-protect-homeless-freezing-weather