Expatica news

More than 4.3 million Ukrainians flee war: UN

More than 4.3 million Ukrainians have now fled their country since the Russian invasion, the United Nations said Thursday.

UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, said 4,319,494 Ukrainians had fled across the border since the war began on February 24 — a figure up 40,705 since Wednesday.

The agency says it is Europe’s largest refugee crisis since World War II.

The UN’s International Organization for Migration estimates that 7.1 million internally displaced people had fled their homes but were still in Ukraine.

The IOM says that in addition to Ukrainian refugees, more than 210,000 non-Ukrainians living, studying or working in the country have also left.

This means that in total, more than a quarter of the population have been forced to flee their homes.

Before the Russian invasion, Ukraine had a population of 37 million in the regions under government control, excluding Russia-annexed Crimea and the pro-Russian separatist regions in the east.

Women and children account for 90 percent of those who have left Ukraine, with men aged 18 to 60 eligible for military call-up and unable to leave.

“Five weeks ago children in Ukraine had homes and bedrooms. Now the war means in an effort to be safe from bombings, one in two have had to flee those homes,” UNICEF spokesman James Elder said.

Here is a breakdown of how many Ukrainian refugees have fled to neighbouring countries, according to UNHCR:

– Poland –

Nearly six out of 10 Ukrainian refugees — 2,514,504 so far — have crossed into Poland, according to the UN.

Many people who go to Ukraine’s immediate western neighbours travel on to other states in Europe’s Schengen open-borders zone.

Polish border guards say that since the war began, 502,000 people have left Poland for Ukraine.

Before the crisis, Poland was already home to around 1.5 million Ukrainians, chiefly migrant workers.

– Romania –

A total of 662,751 Ukrainians entered the EU member state, including a large number who crossed over from Moldova, wedged between Romania and Ukraine.

The vast majority are thought to have gone on to other countries.

– Hungary –

A total of 404,021 Ukrainians have entered Hungary.

– Moldova –

The Moldovan border is the closest to the major port city of Odessa. Some 401,704 Ukrainians have crossed into the non-EU state, one of the poorest in Europe.

Most of those who have entered the former Soviet republic of 2.6 million people have moved on.

– Russia –

Another 350,632 refugees had sought shelter in Russia as of March 29.

In addition, 113,000 people crossed into Russia from the separatist-held pro-Russian regions of Donetsk and Lugansk in eastern Ukraine between February 21 and 23.

– Slovakia –

A total of 304,983 people crossed Ukraine’s shortest border into Slovakia.

– Belarus –

Another 18,060 refugees had made it north to Russia’s close ally Belarus.