UN gives update on number of refugees from Ukraine
The UN said on Tuesday that the number of people fleeing the armed conflict in Ukraine has passed 2 million. “Today the outflow of refugees from Ukraine reaches two million people,” UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi tweeted. He previous described the situation as “the fastest-growing refugee crisis in Europe since World War II.”
More than 1.2 million Ukrainians fled to Poland, while others moved to other European countries, including Hungary (191,348), Slovakia (140,745), Moldova (82,762), and Romania (82,062), according to the UN Refugee Agency. Nearly 100,000 people left for Russia, while more than 450 moved to Belarus.
Ukrainians have been fleeing to the West after Russia attacked the country on February 24. The Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR), which broke away from Ukraine shortly after the 2014 coup in Kiev, started to evacuate their citizens to Russia a week prior to the offensive.
After several failed attempts, Ukraine and Russia agreed on safe passages from embattled Ukrainian cities on Tuesday. Russia claimed that it attacked in order to defend the DPR and LPR during a flare-up with Ukraine, as both sides blamed each other for ceasefire violations. Moscow also said it wants Kiev to declare itself a neutral country, renouncing any prospect of joining NATO.
Ukraine said that the Russian campaign was entirely unprovoked and denied claims that it was planning to retake the rebellious republics by force.