UN: more than 1.5 million have fled Ukraine

UN: more than 1.5 million have fled Ukraine

More than 1.3 million Ukrainians have crossed borders since the Russian invasion started on the 24 February in what the United Nations is now calling Europe’s fastest-moving refugee crisis since the end of the second world war.

Figures released today by the United Nation’s Refugee Agency (UNHCR) show that to date 1.37 million people have fled Ukraine into neighbouring European countries after the military offensive ordered by the Russian president, Vladimir Putin.

“This is the fastest-moving refugee crisis we have seen in Europe since the end of the second world war,” UNHCR head Filippo Grandi said.

According to data from UNHCR, the speed of the exodus is already bigger than the migration crisis of 2015, when 1.3 million asylum seekers from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Africa, fleeing poverty and wars, entered Europe.

Christine Pirovolakis, senior external relations officer for UNHCR in the UK, said: “Looking at the trends and latest data, it is highly possible that the number of people fleeing Ukraine may reach 1.5 million by tonight, the latest tomorrow.”

Most Ukrainians (53%) are heading west into Poland, which has so far welcomed about 756,303 people, followed by Hungary, with 157,004.

As the situation continues to unfold, an estimated 4 million people may flee Ukraine to escape the escalating violence.

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