Almost 4 million refugees have fled Ukraine: UN

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Nearly 4 million refugees have fled Ukraine since Russia’s began its assault on the country more than a month ago, according to the latest estimate from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Data from the UNHCR released Sunday shows that millions of Ukrainians have moved to nearby countries since Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion, primarily Poland, Romania, Moldova, Hungary and Slovakia.

Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians have also traveled to Russia, some reportedly by force, along with thousands who have migrated to Moscow ally Belarus.

The net number of people who have fled Ukraine was about 672,000 at the end of February, but has shot up to more than 3,866,000 by the end of March.

“In the first week, more than a million refugees from Ukraine crossed borders into neighbouring countries, and many more are on the move both inside and outside the country,” according to the UNHCR. “As the situation continues to unfold, an estimated 4 million people may flee Ukraine.”

By far the most Ukrainians have fled into Poland, which is currently hosting some 2.3 million refugees from the war. The population of Ukrainian refugees in the other host countries stands at hundreds of thousands.

Many more Ukrainians remain stuck in battered and besieged cities, as Ukraine says Russia is refusing to respect humanitarian corridors to allow them to flee safely.

The UNHCR said it is “supporting the host country governments to ensure safe access to territory for refugees and third-country nationals fleeing from Ukraine, in line with international standards.”

“It also focuses on the provision of critical protection services and humanitarian assistance, while displacement dynamics and needs continue to grow exponentially.”

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