Five million people have fled Ukraine since the war began

Five million people have fled Ukraine since the war began
Ukrainian refugees in Belgium. Credit: Belga

Almost five million people have fled Ukraine since the Russian invasion began on 24 February, according to figures from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Friday.

The UNHCR counted exactly 4,796,245 refugees as of Friday. The figures were 59,774 more than those published on the previous day.

According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), about 215,000 non-Ukrainians have also fled the country. This is the largest refugee crisis in Europe since World War II.

More than 2.7 million Ukrainian refugees – nearly six out of 10 since the war began – have fled to Poland. And more than 725,000 have reached Romania.

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According to UNHCR, nearly 645,000 Ukrainians fled in February, and 3.4 million fled in March. More than 760,000 have left since early April.

Women and children account for 90 percent of the refugees, while most men between the ages of 18 and 60 have been drafted or voluntarily joined the army and therefore stayed, according to Belga news agency.

Almost two-thirds of Ukrainian children have been forced to leave their homes, including those still in the country. The approximately 215,000 third-country nationals who have fled Ukraine – people who are not citizens of either Ukraine or the country they entered – are mostly students and migrant workers.

In addition to refugees, the IOM estimates that there are 7.1 million internally displaced people in Ukraine. Before the invasion, Ukraine had 37 million inhabitants in the territories controlled by Kiev.

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