United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), as of 13 March, evaluates the number of refugees who were forced to leave Ukraine due to the Russian military invasion on February 24 is at least 2.808 million.
According to the UNHCR, more than half of Ukrainian citizens who left the country after the outbreak of hostilities are in Poland. 1,720,227 people crossed its borders, Hungary – 255,291, Slovakia – 204,862, Russia – 131,365, Moldova – 106,994, Romania – 84,671, Belarus – 1226. Today, there are about 8,000 Ukrainians in Greece, and in Cyprus – about 2000. More than 290 thousand refugees went to other European countries.
At the time of publication, probably, this figure has increased significantly and has already exceeded 3 million people (Editor’s note).
In addition to these figures, UNHCR reported that between 18 and 23 February to Russia 96,000 people fled from the Donetsk and Lugansk regions of Ukraine. The agency warns that in case of further aggravation of the situation in Ukraine, the country may be left up to 4 million civilians. According to the Ukrainian authorities, this figure could reach 10 million people.
According to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, from February 24 to March 12, at least 596 civilians became victims of the Russian-Ukrainian military conflict, and another 1,067 were injured.
On the night of February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the start of a special military operation in the Ukrainian Donbas. Following this, the Russian army attacked Ukraine. Ukrainian cities, including Kyiv, were subjected to missile and bomb attacks.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky responded by saying that martial law is being introduced throughout the country. The Ukrainian leader also announced a break in diplomatic relations with Russia.
The Kremlin’s actions were condemned at the UN and in most countries of the world, and harsh sanctions were imposed against Russia.