Over 1,500 UN staff to stay working in Ukraine

Two women walk past a Ukrainian flag painted on a wall in the center of the second largest Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, located some 40 km from the Ukrainian-Russian border on February 21, 2022. (Photo: AFP)

UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- Despite the tension in Ukraine, the United Nations is committed to staying, with about 1,500 staff, some 100 of them in the the country's east, a UN spokesman said on Monday.

"As a result of the evolving situation on the ground, we've allowed for temporary relocation of some nonessential staff and some dependents," said Stephane Dujarric, the chief spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. "At the same time, we have more staff coming in ... to support our operations."

"We are continuing to be committed to staying and delivering in Ukraine, especially in Eastern Ukraine," Dujarric said. "Our operations continue to be fully operational."

Overall, he said, the global body has about 2,696 staff and their dependents in Ukraine, approximately 1,510 staff and some 100 in the Donbass region.

The spokesman further broke down the numbers to say that 149 of the 1,510 are international staff members, and 1,361 are national staff members.

However, the spokesman emphasized that the number of staff fluctuates, "as we are moving more people in and a few, because of personal family reasons... will be leaving temporarily."