One million refugees have fled Ukraine – UN
More than one million refugees have fled Ukraine in less than a week after the Russian invasion of the country, the UN announced on Thursday.
“In just seven days we have witnessed the exodus of one million refugees from Ukraine to neighboring countries,” Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), wrote on Twitter.
Grandi called for “guns to fall silent” in Ukraine in order for humanitarian aid to be provided for the people inside the country.
In just seven days we have witnessed the exodus of one million refugees from Ukraine to neighbouring countries.For many millions more, inside Ukraine, it’s time for guns to fall silent, so that life-saving humanitarian assistance can be provided.— Filippo Grandi (@FilippoGrandi) March 2, 2022
“Our data indicates we passed the 1M mark” as of midnight in Central Europe, Joung-ah Ghedini-Williams, the UNHCR spokeswoman, wrote in an email to AP. The figure was based on data collected by authorities in the countries neighboring Ukraine, she said.
It means that more than 2% of the Ukrainian population, which is estimated at around 44 million, has fled the country in less than seven days.
The Russian military has said it organized a humanitarian corridor out of Kiev so that people can leave Ukraine’s capital and largest city unhindered.
Earlier this week, the UNHCR said more than a half of the refugees have been heading to Poland, with a massive queue of vehicles gathering at the border. Some people said they had to wait for up to 60 hours to cross.
Hungary, Moldova, Romania, Slovakia have also been mentioned among the destinations for those trying to get out of Ukraine.
“A sizable number” have also moved to Russia, according to the UN agency. Moscow said last week that it had accepted more than 100,000 people from the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Lugansk in eastern Ukraine.
Russia launched what it called a “special operation” in Ukraine last Thursday, insisting that it was required to demilitarize the Kiev government and bring those responsible for “genocide” in Donetsk and Lugansk to justice. According to Moscow, its forces aren’t targeting civilians, and only firing at Ukrainian military personnel and facilities.
Kiev claimed that the Russian incursion was unprovoked and insisted that a full-scale war has been waged against it.