Newsweek, March 2022
They come by bus, train, car and foot, 100,000 to 200,000 or more every day, enduring often freezing temperatures and waits of up to 60 hours to cross the border. Ukrainians fleeing the chaos and carnage of the Russian invasion are flooding into neighboring Poland, Hungary, Romania, Moldova and Slovakia, some looking to stay and others on their way to more distant destinations, in numbers not seen in decades. In the nearly two weeks since the Russian invasion began, more than 2 million residents of Ukraine have left their homes looking for safe haven outside its borders, and the United Nations estimates their numbers will likely top 4 million in coming weeks and months.
“At this rate, the situation looks set to become Europe’s largest refugee crisis this century,” says U.N. refugee agency spokesperson Shabia Mantoo. U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi concurs, telling a recent emergency session of the U.N. Security Council: “I have worked in refugee crises for almost 40 years and I have rarely seen such an incredibly fast-rising exodus of people—the largest, surely, within Europe, since the Balkan wars.”