The current refugee balance means that Ukraine – becoming 44 million people – has already left about two percent of the total population. UNHCR previously said that fighting could drive up to four million people.
“In just seven days, we are witnessing the exodus of one million refugees from Ukraine to neighboring countries,” said Filippo Grandi, the high commissioner for refugees. UNHCR told the AP, based on its data from the authorities of the target countries, that the limit of one million refugees had been broken at midnight.
The country with the largest number of refugees (5.6 million) is currently Syria, where a civil war broke out in 2011. But even at the fastest pace of people leaving Syria in early 2013, it took about three months for a million refugees to leave the Middle East.
UNHCR spokeswoman Shabia Manto said on Wednesday that “at this pace” Ukraine could have “the biggest refugee crisis of this century.”
The US will grant Ukrainians temporary protected status
The United States will grant temporary protection to Ukrainians already in the United States. The Ministry of Internal Security announced this, which is thus responding to the invasion of Russian troops into the Eastern European country. The move will allow Ukrainians to stay and work legally in the United States for 18 months, according to Reuters, which said the decision would affect tens of thousands of people.
“Russia’s deliberate and unprovoked attack on Ukraine has resulted in an ongoing war and senseless violence. He thus forced the Ukrainians to seek refuge in other countries, “said US Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas. “At this extraordinary time, we will continue to offer support and protection to Ukrainian nationals in the United States.”
The temporary protected status applies to foreigners who would face extreme difficulties if they had to return to their homeland devastated by armed conflict or natural disaster, CNN said on its website. Protection only applies to people who are already in the United States.
The European Union will introduce a temporary protection regime for refugees
The states of the European Union agreed on Thursday on the temporary introduction of emergency protection for refugees from Ukraine. Czech Minister Vít Rakušan (STAN) told reporters after a meeting of EU interior ministers. For Ukrainians fleeing the war caused by the Russian invasion, EU states will provide access to work, education or social support for at least a year.
“Temporary protection as a pan-European instrument makes sense that it applies throughout Europe. This is an advantage over our national visas, which we now issue in the Czech Republic, but otherwise the concept is very similar, “said the Austrian after the Brussels ministerial meeting. According to him, the European protection system, like the Czech visa, will be valid for Ukrainians for a year with the possibility of extension.
The representatives of the EU governments agreed on it, even though, for example, Hungary showed during the day that it considered the current asylum rules to be sufficient. According to the Austrian, however, in the end all countries nodded at the compromise option. “Some details of temporary protection can be modified by domestic law, which finally appeared in the final version,” the Czech minister explained the reason, which convinced even the more skeptical Budapest.
Hungary is the country with the second largest number of refugees after Poland, with more than 133,000 people coming to the country since the beginning of the conflict, according to Wednesday.
The Union will use the extraordinary rules to make the situation easier for Ukrainians and the asylum authorities of the member states for the first time in its history.
Foreigners are also fleeing the country
Specifically, approximately 575,100 refugees have arrived in Poland since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The Polish border guard informed about it on Thursday. During Wednesday alone, about 95,000 people crossed the Ukrainian-Polish border.
It is mainly women with children who try to get to Poland. Men between the ages of 18 and 60 are banned from leaving Ukraine due to general mobilization. Foreigners are also fleeing the country, especially foreign students from Africa and other parts of the world. For example, Moroccans are also fleeing Ukraine via Slovakia, for which the Slovak authorities, in cooperation with the Moroccan embassy, are preparing repatriation flights.
The European Commission has promised at least half a billion euros (12.8 billion crowns) for humanitarian aid.
They are also monitoring the covid situation in Slovakia
Over twelve thousand people have crossed the Slovak border with Ukraine in the last day, and since the Russian army’s attack on Ukraine until Thursday morning, a total of 79,059 people have entered Slovakia from Ukraine, police said. According to her, the authorities on the Slovak side of border crossings check on people on an ongoing basis.
In recent days, a significant number of refugees from Slovakia have continued to visit relatives in other countries, including the Czech Republic. Accommodation facilities for Ukrainians were set aside by Slovak institutions, and Slovak residents also offered accommodation for refugees in their properties.
Studio ČT24 – Situation on the Slovak-Ukrainian border on March 3
On Thursday, the Chief Hygienist of Slovakia, Ján Mikas, arrived at the Slovak-Ukrainian border near the village of Vyšné Nemecké. His main task there is to monitor the epidemiological situation. “I am pleasantly surprised that all the ingredients are doing their best. Of course, some things will still be fine-tuned. We have to keep in mind that this is probably just an introduction and that these people are getting tired. In the future, people in a more serious condition may also come, “he said.
The head of the Košice district office, Martin Seman, was one of the first on the Slovak-Ukrainian border and helped build a tent city there. He told Czech television that the first to arrive were single mothers with children, for whom relatives were still waiting in Slovakia. “We started mobilizing quickly, but we didn’t have time. We had to act now, we couldn’t wait for some permission from the government. Within about 48 hours we started building a tent town. Later, people who did not have secured transport began to arrive, we had to provide buses. And we have to prepare for an even bigger rush, “he described the first days at the border.
From Friday, it will also be possible to transport humanitarian aid to Ukraine from Slovakia via the Ubľa / Malyj Bereznyj border crossing, but only by vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes. This was announced by the Slovak financial administration, which earlier this week, at the request of the Ukrainian side, allowed the transport of the said aid only through the Vyšné Nemecké / Uzhhorod crossing. It is still necessary to submit a form with a list of goods at the border, for example according to the published model. From Tuesday to this morning alone, 282 vehicles with about 677 tons of humanitarian aid went to Ukraine via Vyšné Nemecké.
Germany is preparing for an onslaught of immigrants
So far, more than 5,000 Ukrainians have taken refuge in Germany before the war, the Interior Ministry said. However, the government and the individual Länder are preparing for larger numbers and volunteers are also offering accommodation.
The Unterkunft Ukraine initiative, which provides accommodation to Ukrainians, offers over 185,000 private beds by Thursday evening, which more than 83,000 people have decided to provide. Volunteers who offer accommodation make their premises available for at least two weeks. Offices are also prepared by the authorities, not only in asylum centers.
German railways Deutsche Bahn (DB) on Thursday launched a shuttle service between Berlin and Frankfurt an der Oder, which borders Poland. This service, which runs the route six times a day, is a reinforcement of the existing international long-distance trains running from Poland to Berlin via Frankfurt am Main.
On the German side, Ukrainians can travel from the borders to Dresden, Berlin, Nuremberg and Munich free of charge upon presentation of their passport or other document. The railway company has introduced a special ticket Helpukraine (assistance to Ukraine), on which Ukrainians can travel free of charge to other parts of Germany. They will receive the ticket free of charge at the box office.
Romania’s majority of refugees are moving further west
139,000 people have come to Romania from Ukraine since the beginning of the war, the border police said on Thursday. However, for most refugees, Romania is not the final destination, they continue to Western countries. Of the 139,000 refugees, more than 87,000 have already left the country.
The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, praised the solidarity of Romanians who help people from Ukraine at the border or at stations and airports in large numbers. In Bucharest, it announced that the EU would set up a central humanitarian aid center in Ukraine. “It will be an important center that will centralize aid and send it to Ukraine,” said Romanian President Klaus Iohannis after talks with the head of the Commission.
He pleaded for Moldova, the poorest European country, which is also exposed to the influx of refugees from Ukraine, to receive support. Moldova was visited on Thursday by EU top diplomat Josep Borrell, who expressed EU support for the country. According to him, Moldova currently hosts about 20,000 refugees from Ukraine, but many of them are heading further. According to Borrell, 120,000 people have already passed through the country.
The Commission did not say where the central center would be located and when it would become operational. She has previously promised 500 million euros (12.8 billion crowns) in humanitarian aid to Ukraine.
UN: Some non-Ukrainian refugees face discrimination
The UN is concerned about reports of the rejection of foreigners, who, like Ukrainians, are fleeing Russian attacks, the director general of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) António Vitorino said on Thursday in Geneva. According to him, there are verified and credible reports of “discrimination, violence and xenophobia” against refugees of non-Ukrainian nationality.
“Men, women and children from dozens of countries, including foreign workers and students living in Ukraine, face acute challenges as they try to leave conflict-affected areas, cross borders into neighboring countries and seek life-saving assistance,” Vitorino said. states bordering Ukraine to accept these people as well.
In Egypt, 20,000 Ukrainian tourists are waiting to travel to Europe
As many as 20,000 Ukrainian tourists who were on holiday in Egypt at the time of the Russian invasion of Ukraine are waiting to return to Europe, Reuters reported, referring to the Ukrainian embassy. Most of them are located in the Red Sea resorts of Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh, a smaller number await further south in Marsa Alam.
The Ukrainian embassy is now working with Egyptian authorities and travel agencies to secure the return of others to countries neighboring Ukraine. “Many of them are on the phone, they are willing to return and ask for their return so that they can fight the Russian soldiers,” said Yevhen Zupeyev, the deputy of the Ukrainian ambassador to Egypt. He specified that the mentioned Ukrainians are provided with departures to third countries.
According to Zupayev, the Egyptian authorities will allow Ukrainians to stay for free in three-star hotels for as long as they need. “We expect European countries to give us the green light to accept them – our allies are looking for airports that can accept Ukrainians from Egypt,” Zupeyev said.