The United Nations has announced that more than 3.9 million Ukrainians have now fled after Russia invaded the country with the Red Cross saying refugees were arriving exhausted and feeling “hopeless”.
According to the UN’s International Organization for Migration, close to 200,000 non-Ukrainians living, studying and working in the country have fled and as of March 16, about 6.48 million persons were estimated to be internally displaced within Ukraine.
“Refugees from Ukraine are now four million, five weeks after the start of the Russian attack,” UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi said on Twitter.
“I have just arrived in Ukraine. In Lviv I will discuss with the authorities, the UN and other partners ways to increase our support to people affected and displaced by this senseless war.”
The number of refugees has surpassed UNHCR’s initial estimate that the war could create up to four million.
The agency says the speed and scale of the displacement is unprecedented in Europe since World War II.
Women and children account for 90 percent of those who have fled. Ukrainian men aged 18 to 60 are eligible for military call-up and cannot leave.
The UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM) said that in addition to Ukrainian refugees, close to 200,000 non-Ukrainians living, studying and working in the country have also left.