More than 4.7 million Ukrainians flee in 50 days: UN

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Apr 14 2022 07:45 PM

Women wave to bid farewell to relatives as they are about to leave by train at Slovyansk central station, in the Donbass region on April 12, 2022, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The Ukrainian leaders of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions in the Donbas have asked civilians to evacuate west in reaction to an anticipated Russian offensive to take the eastern region. Ronaldo Schemidit, AFP
Women wave to bid farewell to relatives as they are about to leave by train at Slovyansk central station, in the Donbass region on April 12, 2022, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The Ukrainian leaders of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions in the Donbas have asked civilians to evacuate west in reaction to an anticipated Russian offensive to take the eastern region. Ronaldo Schemidit, AFP

More than 4.7 million Ukrainians have fled their country in the 50 days since Russia invaded, the United Nations said Thursday, in Europe's fastest-growing refugee crisis since World War II.

The UN refugee agency UNHCR said 4,736,471 Ukrainians had fled since Russia's assault began on February 24 -- a figure up 79,962 on Wednesday's update.

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.

Nearly two-thirds of all Ukrainian children have been forced from their homes, including those still inside the country.

Beyond the refugees, the UN's International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimates 7.1 million people have fled their homes but are still in Ukraine.

"The humanitarian needs of people internally displaced in Ukraine continue to grow," the IOM said.

The agency says in addition to Ukrainian refugees, nearly 215,000 non-Ukrainians living, studying or working in the country have also left.

In total, more than a quarter of the population have been forced to flee their homes.

Before the 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.

Here is a breakdown of how many Ukrainian refugees have fled to neighboring countries, according to UNHCR:

  •  Poland: Nearly six out of 10 Ukrainian refugees -- 2,694,090 so far -- have crossed into Poland, according to the UN. Many people who go to Ukraine's immediate western neighbors travel on to other states in Europe's Schengen open-borders zone.
  •  Romania: A total of 716,797 Ukrainians 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. 
  •  Russia: Another 471,014 refugees have sought shelter in Russia. 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. 
  •  Hungary: A total of 440,387 Ukrainians have entered Hungary.
  •  Moldova: The Moldovan border is the closest to the major port city of Odessa. A total of 417,650 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 have moved on.
  •  Slovakia: A total of 326,244 people crossed Ukraine's shortest border into Slovakia.
  •  Belarus: Another 22,428 refugees have made it north to Russia's close ally Belarus.