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How many refugees have fled Ukraine and where are they going?

by News all Today
How many refugees have fled Ukraine and where are they going?

Image source, Getty Images

More than two million people have now fled Ukraine because of the Russian invasion, according to the United Nations (UN).

Which countries are Ukraine’s refugees fleeing to?

Refugees are crossing to neighbouring countries to the west, such as Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary and Moldova.

Much smaller numbers have gone to Russia and Belarus.

  • Poland has taken in 1,204,000 refugees
  • Hungary 191,000
  • Slovakia 141,000
  • Moldova 83,000
  • Romania 82,000
  • Russia 99,300
  • Belarus 453

More than 210,000 people have moved on from these countries to others in Europe, the UN says.

How are refugees leaving Ukraine?

Trains heading towards Ukraine’s border have been packed, and there have been long queues of traffic on roads leading out of the country.

Image source, AFP via Getty Images

Image caption,

Some people have walked for days to reach the borders, such as this Indian man who was studying in Ukraine

UN spokeswoman Joung-ah Ghedini-Williams, who is in Warsaw, told the BBC it was mostly women and children making the crossing into Poland, with some facing waits of 24 hours. In some cases children were travelling with distant relatives or family members who returned to Ukraine after dropping them off, she said.

Refugees are told they do not need documents, but should preferably have their internal or foreign passports, birth certificates of children travelling with them and medical documentation.

To get refugee status, they need to be Ukrainian citizens or people legally living in Ukraine, such as foreign students.

There have been reports of people from African countries being prevented from leaving Ukraine.

What help are countries offering refugees?

In countries bordering Ukraine, refugees can stay in reception centres if they do not have friends or relatives to stay with. They are given food and medical care.

Reporting from the Polish border town of Przemysl, the BBC’s Mishal Husain said there were signs offering help with healthcare and onward transport, with local hospitals delivering babies and treating sick and dehydrated children.

Poland’s government has said it will need more money than the EU is currently offering in order to host the number of people arriving there, which is now more than one million.

Image source, EPA

Image caption,

Reception centres have been set up in Poland like this one at Poznan University

The Romanian government is expected to fund the housing costs of 70,000 people for 30 days. Along with Hungary, it is offering cash allowances for food and clothing. Children are being given places in local schools.

Moldova has by far the largest concentration of refugees per capita, with almost 4,000 per 100,000 residents. Its president has appealed for international help in dealing with the numbers arriving.

Image source, EPA

Image caption,

Hundreds of refugees are living in this athletics centre in Moldova

The Czech Republic will allow refugees to apply for a special type of visa in order to remain, and is using the Congress Centre in Prague as an assistance centre.

Elsewhere, Greece and Germany are sending tents, blankets and masks to Slovakia, while France is sending medicine and other medical equipment to Poland.

The EU is preparing to grant Ukrainians who flee the war a blanket right to stay and work throughout the 27 nations for up to three years.

They would also receive social welfare and access to housing, medical treatment and schooling for children.

This also applies to foreign nationals who hold permanent residence in Ukraine, students and short-term work permit holders, as well as the family members of those eligible.

Foreign nationals with short-term residence permits, who are able to safely return to their country of origin, are not included but can enter the EU to return to their country of origin.

However, there may be differences in how the system is adopted across European countries.

How is the UK helping Ukrainian refugees?

After the government faced criticism for not doing enough, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has said the UK needs to “upscale” its efforts.

The Home Office says the UK has granted visas to 300 Ukrainian refugees under its new scheme so far, and that 17,700 applications to re-join relatives have been started.

But nearly 600 refugees are stuck in Calais, with many saying they were turned away for lack of paperwork.


UK visas for Ukrainians

Via new Ukrainian Family Scheme, since 4 March

  • 300Visas isued

  • 17,700Applications started

  • 8,900Applications submitted

  • 4,300Appointments made

Source: UK Home Office

The two UK schemes announced so far require Ukrainians to either have family in the UK, or a designated UK sponsor.

How many Ukrainians are internally displaced?

The UN’s High Commission for Refugees believes more than one million people who have fled the war could be displaced within their own country. It says it’s impossible to know exactly because the situation is “fluid and changing by the hour”, but estimates that 12 million people inside Ukraine will need assistance.

Hundreds of thousands of displaced people have flowed into the western Ukrainian city of Lviv since the invasion began, putting a huge strain on the city’s resources.

It has reached the limit of its capacity to help refugees, its mayor said on Monday.

The UN says it is offering humanitarian assistance inside Ukraine “wherever necessary and possible”. This includes:

  • sending a convoy into Ukraine from Poland, carrying thousands of blankets and mattresses
  • providing folding beds to people in bomb shelters
  • working with local groups to provide food and shelter for people affected, and repairs to damaged buildings
  • setting up reception points for internally-displaced people

The EU believes the number of refugees in total could climb to seven million.

original source: How many refugees have fled Ukraine and where are they going?

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