As the Russian invasion into Ukraine continues, thousands of Ukrainians are fleeing from their homes. European countries prepared for a repeat of what happened in 2014, when a Russian invasion of Crimea forced thousands to leave their homes.
According to the United Nations, more than 350,000 Ukrainian refugees have fled the country a number that is expected to rise in the coming weeks. The refugees were primarily elderly Ukrainians, women, and children. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky prohibited men 18 to 60 from leaving the country.
Half of those who have fled are seeking refuge in Poland, while many others have gone to Hungary, Moldova, and Romania. The UN Refugee Agency said there were wait times of up to 40 hours for people entering Poland from Ukraine. Poland and other countries have dropped their requirements of people providing a negative COVID-19 test in order to enter.
Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Moldova all share borders with Ukraine. Ukrainians will likely continue fleeing to these countries, either staying there or eventually moving further west.
Reuters reported that decreasing amounts of cash, fuel, and medical supplies could force as many as five million people to leave Ukraine.
Polish officials were asked to provide details on what facilities they could make available in their towns. Plans include placing refugees in spaces such as hostels, dormitories, and sports facilities.
“This will be an all-hands-on-deck moment for the entirety of Europe,” said Jacob Kurtzer, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
In addition to the refugee crisis, Russia will likely try to use the migrants into Europe to sow division among EU countries. U.S. Senator Chris Murphy said, “I have no doubt he could seize the refugee flows coming out of Ukraine the same way he’s seized the refugee flows coming out of the Middle East. It’s another way to try to split Europeans from each other.”
If you would like to donate to people in need due to this crisis both in and out of Ukraine, here is a list of verified charities working to help Ukrainians.
Please consider donating to Liberty Lexington’s Stand with Ukraine Fundraiser. All contributions will be given to non-profit organizations providing relief on the ground in Ukraine. Please use the link below to learn more and contribute. https://uncommongood.io/fundraisers/standwithukraine