The UN Refugee Agency on Wednesday updated its numbers of Ukrainian refugees, saying that since the invasion began on Feb.24 over 4 million people have fled the country. The report comes as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken this week issued another urgent call for Moscow to halt the invasion immediately and withdraw all forces.
Now in its second month, the UN agency said that the war has caused "a massive humanitarian crisis that is growing by the second" given the grim milestone of four million having fled.
Within Ukraine, the UN tallied at least 6.5 million internally displaced persons (IDPs), while it also deemed another 13 million "stranded" who are simply unable to escape their cities and towns amid the fighting.
"The war has caused one of the fastest large-scale displacements of children since World War II," UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell said in a fresh statement. "This is a grim milestone that could have lasting consequences for generations to come."
She added that "Children’s safety, wellbeing and access to essential services are all under threat from non-stop violence." The UN is meanwhile in talks with Kiev authorities to attempt to better facilitate the safe exit of civilians from embattled regions.
Number of refugees from Ukraine crossing Central and Eastern European borders after Russia's invasion of Ukraine from February 24 to March 29, 2022, by selected country (in 1,000s)
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Neighboring Poland has absorbed by far the most Ukrainian refugees, with US troops said be helping with logistics centers on the Polish side of the border. So far Poland has received more than 2.3 million - though many are going further to other EU countries.
Romania has taken over 608,000 as of this week, and tiny Moldova more than 387,000, with over 360,000 Ukrainians having entered Hungary.