How Many Refugees Have Left Ukraine, and Where Have They Gone?- According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, a vast majority of Ukrainian refugees fleeing war have fled to neighboring eastern European states to the West, while some are headed even further afield to Western Europe.
547,982 have fled to Poland, while 139,686 have left for Hungary. A further 97,827 have left for Moldova, 72,200 to Slovakia, 51,261 to Romania, and 357 to Belarus.
Some 47,800 have also fled to Russia, while 1,3000 refugees arrived by train to Berlin, the capital city of Germany, by Tuesday evening. These numbers have all increased since, and continue to increase daily as more Ukrainian cities are targeted by Russian forces.
Most refugees are leaving the country by train, with passengers granted free tickets to travel through Ukraine and in neighboring countries, too. Many have been unable to access trains leaving Ukrainian cities, however, forcing many to walk, drive, or find alternative transportation.
Neighboring Countries Provide Refugee Assistance
With Poland taking the bulk of Ukrainian refugees, citizens of the country have opened their homes to refugees. Websites and social media have provided ways for refugees to connect with Polish citizens willing to allow families to stay in their homes to rest and recuperate before moving on to the next leg of their journey. Refugees are also staying in reception centers, where they are given free food and medical attention.
A medical train has also been commissioned to help wounded Ukrainians arriving at the border. Polish Chief of Staff Michał Dworaczyk said that the medical train will contain five hospital railcars as well as four cargo cars, in which supplies will be carried as the train picks up wounded Ukrainians from Mostyska – a Western Ukrainian town – and transports them to Warsaw, Poland. The train can carry as many as 160 people and arrives with 25 doctors, nurses, and paramedics.
In Hungary and Romania, Ukrainian refugees are given cash allowances to pay for food and clothing, and children are also being given places in local schools – indicating that their stay is likely more long-term than it is short-term. The Czech Republic is also allowing refugees to apply for a special visa that will allow them to remain in the country.
The United Kingdom has indicated willingness to help, too. Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson said this week that a scheme that allows close relatives of Ukrainian people settled in the United Kingdom will be extended, allowing adult parents, grandparents, siblings, and children over the age of 18 to settle in the United Kingdom. UK companies will also be able to sponsor Ukrainians looking to enter the country. It could result in as many as 200,000 Ukrainians settling in the UK.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and report on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.