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2 March 2022

Which countries are Ukrainian refugees fleeing to?

Over half of those fleeing the war have arrived in Poland, followed by Hungary and Moldova.

By Polly Bindman

At least 870,000 refugees have fled from Ukraine to neighbouring countries, according to the UN, as Russia’s invasion intensifies.

The latest UN estimates from 28 February show that just over half of those fleeing have arrived in Poland, followed by 116,000 in Hungary and 79,000 in Moldova. Tens of thousands of others have gone to other nearby countries. 

The EU has said it will welcome refugees from Ukraine with “open arms”, waiving the usual rules to let Ukrainian citizens and residents enter without official documents. Those fleeing, most of whom are thought to be, are still advised to carry passports, medical files and childrens’ birth certificates, the BBC said

EU and French officials are drawing up plans to grant Ukrainians fleeing the war the right to stay and work in the bloc for up to three years. The journey to safety from Ukraine has been perilous for many, with reports of people waiting up to 60 hours in freezing temperatures to cross over to Poland. Many have been unable to board trains leaving Ukraine.

Not all refugees have been welcomed equally: the UN admitted that some non-European refugees have faced discrimination at Ukrainian borders. There were reports that people from Africa, the Caribbean, the Middle East and South Asia had experienced harassment and racism at the hands of Ukrainian and Polish border officials. 

In response to criticism that the UK is doing less to help refugees than other countries, Boris Johnson has announced that Britain could take in 200,000 or more, although the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, has ruled out visa-free travel for all Ukrainians.

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