More than 2% of the official population has left the country since the beginning of the Russian attack
More than a 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,” he added. Filippo Grandi, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), wrote on Twitter.
Grown up asked “weapons to shut up” in Ukraine so that humanitarian aid can be provided to people inside the country.
In just seven days, we have witnessed the exodus of one million refugees from Ukraine to neighboring countries. For many millions more inside Ukraine, it is time for the guns to be silenced, so that life-saving humanitarian aid can be delivered.
—Filippo Grandi (@FilippoGrandi) March 2, 2022
“Our data indicates that we have passed the 1 million mark” at midnight in central Europe, Joung-ah Ghedini-Williams, the UNHCR spokeswoman, wrote in an email to AP. The figure is based on data collected by authorities in countries neighboring Ukraine, she said.
This means that more than 2% of Ukraine’s population, estimated at around 44 million, fled the country in less than seven days.
The Russian military said it had organized a humanitarian corridor out of Kiev so people could leave Ukraine’s capital and largest city unhindered.
Earlier this week, the UNHCR said more than half of the refugees were heading for Poland, with a huge queue of vehicles gathering at the border. Some people said they had to wait up to 60 hours to cross.
Hungary, Moldova, Romania, Slovakia were also cited as destinations for those trying to get out of Ukraine.
“A significant number” have also moved to Russia, according to the UN agency. Moscow said last week 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 on the need to demilitarize the government in Kiev and bring those responsible for “genocide” in Donetsk and Lugansk to justice. According to Moscow, its forces do not target civilians and only fire on Ukrainian military personnel and installations.
Kiev claimed that the Russian incursion was unprovoked and insisted that a full-scale war had been waged against it.
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