More than one million people have fled Ukraine since Russia invaded the country last week, according to U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.
“In just seven days we have witnessed the exodus of one million refugees from Ukraine to neighboring countries,” Grandi wrote on Twitter on March 2.
“For many millions more, inside Ukraine, it’s time for guns to fall silent, so that life-saving humanitarian assistance can be provided.”
Refugees have been fleeing west from the warzones in Ukraine at a rate of more than 100,000 per day since Russia began its invasion. Roughly half have ended up in Poland. Most of the rest have crossed into Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Moldova.
The Polish government is offering Ukrainian asylum-seekers free travel on some intercity metro trains, transfer services, basic medical care, and shelter.
While Moscow claims its forces are not firing on civilian targets, videos posted on social media show shattered residential buildings and rocket attacks on civilian infrastructure.
Roughly 44 million people lived in Ukraine prior to Russia’s invasion.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said the war in Ukraine is shaping up to be “one of the biggest humanitarian emergencies in Europe for years to come.”
The vast majority of Ukrainians fleeing are women and children because men aged 18 to 60 are restricted from leaving the country until further notice.
In response to the escalating crisis, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres released $20 million in emergency funding for Ukraine last week.
The U.N. Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner estimated that as of Sunday 102 Ukrainian civilians have been killed, including seven children. Authorities in Ukraine estimated the civilian death toll at 352 killed, including 14 children. Russia maintains that its forces are not targeting civilian areas.
The figures on the number of military casualties vary greatly depending on the source. For the first time since the invasion, which Moscow calls a “special military operation,” Russia released a casualty count on Wednesday. A spokesman for the defense ministry said 498 Russian soldiers have been killed since the conflict began. The same day, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said more than 9,000 Russian soldiers had been killed.
Source: The Epochtimes