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UN: More than 874,000 Ukrainian refugees have fled since Russia invaded

An estimate from the UN refugee agency that was released on Tuesday said that about 874,000 Ukrainian refugees have already fled to neighboring countries since Russia launched its attack on the country last week.

The refugee agency warned of the possibility that the war could create “Europe’s largest refugee crisis this century.” 

“I am seriously concerned about the likely and serious escalation in the number of arrivals…We may have just seen the beginning,” said the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi to the UN Security Council on Monday.

“I have worked in refugee crises for almost 40 years and I have rarely seen such an incredibly fast rising exodus of people,” Grandi added.

So far, most refugees have crossed into Poland, but others have headed into Hungary, Moldova, Romania, and Slovakia; Grandi did say, though, that many have fled to Russia, too.

Last week, United Nations aid agencies warned that fuel, cash, and medical supplies were becoming scares through Ukraine, which could lead 5 million people at most to flee the country, according to Reuters.

“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 UN refugee agency reported.

“People are under stress…and when people are scared they become egoist and forget about everything,” said Natalia Pivniuk, a Ukrainian woman from Lviv. She added that people were pushing to get on a train to flee. It was “very scary, and dangerous physically and dangerous mentally,” she said.

The United Nations and its other partners on Tuesday launched an emergency appeal for $1.7 billion in aid for their humanitarian response.

ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: GLOBALCITIZEN.ORG

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