It’s an “exodus”, says UNHCR: more than one million people have already fled Ukraine after just one week of war. This scale we have not yet had in this century.
Million refugees from Ukraine are already in Central Europe
In less than a week since Russia invaded Ukraine, more than a million people have already fled the country. That’s according to data from UNHCR, the UN refugee agency. “Our figures show that at midnight we had crossed the 1 million refugee mark from Ukraine in Central Europe,” – UNHCR spokesperson Joung-ah Ghedini-Williams wrote in an email.
UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi called for a ceasefire on Twitter: “For the many remaining millions of people in Ukraine, it is time for the guns to be silenced so that life-saving humanitarian assistance can be provided.”
Grandi wrote about an exodus (mass emigration) that is unprecedented in this century. More than two percent of Ukraine’s population has already fled.
According to the World Bank, the country’s total population is about 44 million. The UNHCR estimates the number of refugees so far at about four million, but stresses that this number could still increase.
The biggest refugee crisis of this century?
With more than 5.6 million refugees, Syria is the country with the largest migrant flow so far. But even there, it took a million people at least three months to leave the country during the great crisis of 2013.
UNHCR spokeswoman Shabia Mantoo said Wednesday that with such a surge in migration, refugees from Ukraine could spark the biggest refugee crisis of this century.
More than 5,000 people have arrived in Germany
Officially, just over 5,000 refugees from Ukraine have arrived in Germany. However, the actual number may be higher because there are no controls at internal borders, Interior Minister Nancy Faeser explained on Wednesday.