More than 1.7 million Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion have so far crossed into Central Europe, the United Nations refugee agency said, as thousands more streamed across borders.
Poland – which has the largest Ukrainian community in Central Europe – has received more than a million Ukrainian refugees since the conflict began on February 24.
“This is about a million human tragedies, a million people banished from their homes by war,” the Polish border guard service tweeted late on Sunday.
A total of 1,735,068 civilians — mostly women and children, as the men have stayed in Ukraine to fight — have so far crossed the border into Central Europe, according to the UNHCR.
The European Union (EU) could see up to five million Ukrainian refugees if Russia’s bombardment of Ukraine continues, the EU’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, has said. Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a “special operation.”
Central Europeans, whose memories of Moscow’s dominance after World War II are vivid, continued to show support for their eastern neighbors.
In Przemysl, the closest Polish city to its busiest border crossing with Ukraine, a children’s charity was preparing a converted school sports hall to house some 150 Ukrainian children from orphanages in the Kiev region.
“We have food for them, there will be a lot of children who are very young, so we will have to change their diapers,” said Przemek Macholak, 25, deputy director of crisis response at Happy Kids, a Polish non-governmental organization.
“Then they will go on the buses again, they will go to Poland, another 20-hour trip,” he said in the room, where mothers and children rested on cots in the main room and donations of clothing, food and drinks lined up. in the outside hallways.
Happy Kids, which has assisted in the evacuation of some 2,000 orphans so far, said it was trying not to separate the children once they arrived in Poland.
“Just two days ago we had a transport of 700 children,” said Macholak. “It is not easy to find a place for anyone, but it is even more difficult to find a place for 700 children in the same place.”
The Polish government plans to create a fund of 8 billion zlotys ($1.75 billion) to help refugees from Ukraine, a government official said.
In Romania, at the Siret border crossing with Ukraine, volunteers in reflective vests welcomed Ukrainian mothers carrying backpacks, pushing baby carriages or holding small children as they exited the checkpoint, as the wind blew and the night fell. snow.
Meanwhile, the Czechs have so far donated 1.5 billion kronor ($62.8 million) to help Ukraine, the largest amount ever raised for humanitarian aid in the country, Czech television reported.
Ricardo is a renowned author and journalist, known for his exceptional writing on top-news stories. He currently works as a writer at the 247 News Agency, where he is known for his ability to deliver breaking news and insightful analysis on the most pressing issues of the day.