- More than 4 million Ukrainians have fled their homes since Russian forces invaded nearly five weeks ago.
- Earlier this month, the United Nations estimated that there could be 4 million refugees by July.
- The current refugee crisis has already passed the “worst-case scenario”, the UN recently declared.
More than 4 million people have fled Ukraine since Russian forces invaded the Eastern European country nearly five weeks ago, according to the latest figures from the UN Refugee Agency.
Half of those fleeing Ukraine are children, the UN says, as it continues to press for a humanitarian ceasefire.
The mass exodus of refugees abandoning their war-ravaged homes has already exceeded the estimate of a March 1 UN report that indicated there could be up to 4 million refugees by July, i.e. in almost three months.
At the time, the UN said the crises could trigger an “overwhelming” situation. And just last week, the UN’s International Organization for Migration said the refugee crisis had already passed a “worst-case scenario”.
On Tuesday, the International Organization for Migration noted A further 6.5 million people are internally displaced in Ukraine, bringing the total number of people forced from their homes to more than 10.5 million.
The majority of refugees crossing Ukraine’s borders have gone to Poland, while others have arrived in Romania, Moldova, Hungary and Slovakia, the Refugee Agency said on Wednesday.
The Biden administration last week announced a plan to resettle up to 100,000 Ukrainians and others fleeing Russia’s attack, and said the United States would provide more than $1 billion in aid humanitarian assistance to people affected by war.
Meanwhile, Russian forces continued to shell Ukrainian cities. the UN noted on Wednesday it recorded more than 3,000 civilian casualties, including 1,189 dead.
The UN said the true death toll is “significantly higher” as it has been difficult to gather information in areas where heavy fighting is taking place.
After a new round of peace talks on Tuesday, the Russian Defense Ministry said it would scale back assaults near the capital kyiv after saying it would focus on the eastern Donbass region.
But the United States has expressed deep skepticism about such claims.
Pentagon press secretary John Kirby told a Tuesday briefing that any Russian troop movement was likely a repositioning, rather than an actual withdrawal, and warned of major infractions in other parts from Ukraine.
“Russia has failed in its goal of capturing kyiv, it has failed in its goal of subjugating Ukraine, but it can still inflict massive brutality on the country, including kyiv,” Kirby said.