More than 1.7 million Ukrainians have fled Russia’s invasion into Central Europe, the UN refugee agency reported on Monday.
Since the war began on Feb. 24, Poland, which has the largest Ukrainian minority in Central Europe, has received over 1 million Ukrainian refugees.
In late Sunday, the Polish border guard service tweeted: “A million human tragedies, a million people displaced by war.”
The UNHCR reports that 1,735,068 civilians have traveled into Central Europe, predominantly women and children.
If Russia’s bombardment of Ukraine continues, up to 5 million Ukrainians may flee to Europe, according to EU senior diplomat Josep Borrell. Russia’s “special operation” in Ukraine
Some Ukrainians have already crossed Central Europe. Student Katerina Debera expressed desire for a regular life in Belgium.
“I just want peace and freedom.” “I hope it’s feasible here,” the Lviv native said.
Central Europeans, who resented Moscow’s post-war supremacy, continued to back their eastern neighbors.
Around 150 Ukrainian youngsters from orphanages in the Kyiv region arrived by train at Przemysl train station, Poland’s busiest border crossing with Ukraine.
They gathered at the train’s windows and looked out: some smiled, some blew kisses or waved to the yellow fluorescent jacketed volunteers on the platform. One clowned around to amuse them.
A children’s charity has prepared a converted school sports hall for their arrival.
“We have food for them, and there will be many tiny children, so we will need to change nappies,” said Przemek Macholak, 25, deputy head of crisis response at Polish NGO Happy Kids.
In the hall, where mothers and children slept on cots in the main hall and donations of clothes, food, and drinks lined the passageways outside, the man remarked, “They’ll get back on the buses and head to Poland.”
Once in Poland, Happy Kids stated it was attempting not to separate the children.
“We just got 700 kids,” Macholak remarked. “Finding a home for anyone is difficult, but finding a place for 700 kids is impossible.”
The Polish government approved an 8 billion zloty ($1.7 billion) fund for Ukrainian refugees.
According to Minister Lukasz Schreiber, this money would go towards essential needs including food and shelter, as well as access to jobs, social benefits, and education.
So far, non-governmental organizations, volunteers, and municipalities have led the humanitarian effort.
Volunteers in reflective jackets greeted Ukrainian moms leaving the Siret border crossing with bags, prams, or toddlers as the wind blew and snow fell.
One woman walked away from tears.
Czech TV stated that Czechs had donated 1.5 billion crowns ($62.8 million) to Ukraine, the greatest amount ever gathered for humanitarian aid in the country.