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Ukraine: Ten million people have fled their homes in Ukraine according to the UN

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The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said on Sunday that 10 million people had fled their homes in Ukraine. Céline Schmitt, spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, estimates the number of refugees in countries bordering Ukraine at 3.4 million.

Ten million people, more than a quarter of Ukraine’s population, have now fled their homes due to Russia’s “devastating” war, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said on Sunday.

“The war in Ukraine is so devastating that 10 million people have fled, either internally displaced or refugees abroad,” Filippo Grandi said on Twitter.

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“Among the responsibilities of those who wage war, everywhere in the world, is the suffering inflicted on civilians who are forced to flee their homes,” he added.

Refugees head mainly to border countries

Asked at the microphone of Europe 1, Céline Schmitt, spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), estimates the number of Ukrainian refugees in neighboring countries at 3.4 million. According to the spokesperson, Poland has exceeded the figure of 2 million Ukrainian refugees. Other countries bordering Ukraine are massively hosting refugees, such as Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Moldova.

“A number of refugees continue on the road to go to countries where they have acquaintances and family. We do not yet have exact figures of the countries in which the refugees arrive. These figures will be known when the people also will take steps, for example to obtain temporary protection” she explains.

Céline Schmitt estimates that nearly 6.5 million Ukrainians are internally displaced in their own country. “They are heading towards areas where they are looking for security, so towards the center and west of the country,” she analyzes.

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90% women and children

According to UNHCR, around 90% of those who fled are women and children. Men between the ages of 18 and 60 can be called up and cannot leave. Unicef, the UN children’s agency, said more than 1.5 million children are among those who have fled abroad, and warned that the risks of trafficking and exploitation of human beings they face are “real and growing”.

Before the conflict, Ukraine had a population of 37 million in areas under government control, excluding the Russian annexed Crimea and the pro-Russian breakaway areas in the east.

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