According to figures from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Friday, more than five million people have fled Ukraine since the Russian invasion began on February 24. About 215,000 non-Ukrainians have also fled the country. This is the biggest refugee crisis in Europe since World War II.
More than five million people have fled Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion on February 24, according to figures from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Friday. The UNHCR counted exactly 4,796,245 refugees on Friday. According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), around 215,000 non-Ukrainians have also fled the country. This is the biggest refugee crisis in Europe since World War II.
Six out of ten refugees fled to Poland
Friday’s figures were up 59,774 from those released Thursday. More than 2.7 million Ukrainian refugees – almost six in ten since the start of the war – have fled to Poland. More than 725,000 reached Romania. According to UNHCR figures, nearly 645,000 Ukrainians fled in February, nearly 3.4 million in March and more than 760,000 since early April.
Women and children make up 90% of the refugees, with men between the ages of 18 and 60 being called up and therefore unable to leave. Almost two-thirds of Ukrainian children have been forced to leave their homes, including those who are still in the country.
Most students and migrant workers
The approximately 215,000 third-country nationals who have fled Ukraine – people who are citizens neither of Ukraine nor of the country they entered – are mostly students and migrant workers. In addition to the refugees, the IOM estimates that 7.1 million people are displaced within Ukraine itself.
Before the invasion, Ukraine had 37 million inhabitants in the territories controlled by kyiv – which therefore does not include the Crimea (south) annexed in 2014 by Russia, nor the areas of the East under the control of the separatists prorussians since the same year.