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Nearly 4.2 Million Ukrainian Refugees Flee War

Nearly 4.2 million Ukrainians have fled their country since Russia’s invasion began on February 24, with almost 40,000 pouring into neighbouring countries in the past 24 hours, UN numbers show.

The United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, said Sunday that 4,176,401 Ukrainians had fled in just over five weeks, up 38,559 from the figure given a day earlier.

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.

The UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM) said that in addition to Ukrainian refugees, nearly 205,500 non-Ukrainians living, studying or working in the country have also left.

Nearly 6.48 million people were meanwhile estimated to be internally displaced within Ukraine as of mid-March, according IOM.

That puts the total number of people displaced by the conflict at well over 10 million, or around a quarter of Ukraine’s total population.

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.

Children have been disproportionately affected.

The UN children’s agency UNICEF said in late March that more than half of the country’s estimated 7.5 million children had been displaced — 2.5 million internally and two million abroad.

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 — 2,429,265 so far — have crossed into Poland, according to the UN tally.

Polish border guards put the number even higher, saying Sunday that 2,461,000 people had entered from Ukraine since February 24.

The small border city of Przemysl alone has seen some 800,000 refugees arrive, according to its mayor, with up to 55,000 people arriving each day at the peak — nearly equivalent to the city’s total population.

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

– Romania –

A total of 635,816 Ukrainians have 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.

– Moldova –

The Moldovan border is the closest to the major port city of Odessa, which was hit by air strikes Sunday morning. Some 392,933 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, sandwiched between Ukraine and Romania, have moved on.

But around 93,000 have stayed, with the UN Development Programme saying that some 80 percent are being housed by private individuals.

– Hungary –

A total of 385,783 Ukrainians have entered Hungary.

– Russia –

Some 350,632 refugees had sought shelter in Russia as of last Tuesday.

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 298,183 people have crossed Ukraine’s shortest border into Slovakia.

– Belarus –

Another 12,746 refugees had made it north to Russia’s close ally Belarus as of last Thursday.

afp

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