More than two million refugees have fled Ukraine since Russia invaded the country, according to data from the United Nations refugee agency released Monday.
“At this rate, the situation looks set to become Europe’s largest refugee crisis this century, and UNHCR is mobilizing resources to respond as quickly and effectively as possible,” the agency said on March 1. (RELATED: ‘Decisive, Overwhelming Force’: How China Will Learn From Russia’s Invasion)
“The picture is grim and could get worse still,” UN emergency relief coordinator Martin Griffiths told the Security Council last week, Axios reported.
Most refugees have crossed into Poland as their means of escape, while others have gone to Hungary, Moldova, Slovakia and other European countries, Axios reported.
“People are under stress … and when people are scared they become egoist and forget about everything,” Ukraine resident Natalia Pivniuk told the Associated Press during the first week of the invasion. She described attempts to board trains, calling it “very scary, and dangerous physically and dangerous mentally.”
Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 25, saying its forces were pursuing the “denazification” of the Ukrainian government. In a list of demands released before peace talks on Monday, Russia said Ukraine must cease all military action, alter its constitution to enshrine its neutrality from Western pacts and NATO, recognize Crimea as part of Russia and recognize the two separatist regions of Donetsk and Lugansk as independent.
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