The Slatest

U.N.: Almost One in Four Ukrainians Forced From Their Homes Since Invasion

Ukrainian refugees cross the Ukrainian-Romanian border in Siret, northern Romania, on March 19, 2022.
Ukrainian refugees cross the Ukrainian-Romanian border in Siret, northern Romania, on March 19, 2022. ARMEND NIMANI/Getty Images

Almost one out of every four people who were living in Ukraine before Russia invaded have been displaced from their homes, according to United Nations estimates. Almost 6.5 million people have been displaced within Ukraine, according to estimates from the International Organization for Migration while almost 3.3 million have already fled the country of around 44 million people, according to UNHCR, the U.N. refugee agency.

The numbers are only likely to increase considering 2.2 million people are actively considering leaving their current place of residence due to the invasion. But more than 12 million people are estimated to be stranded in affected areas or unable to leave. When added all together it means around half of the country’s total population has already been displaced or is stuck in areas affected by fighting. These latest figures come after the UNHCR had already said earlier this month the Russian invasion has led to Europe’s fastest-growing refugee crisis since World War II.

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There are no reliable figures on civilian casualties following the invasion. The United Nations said Friday that at least 816 Ukrainian civilians, including 59 children, had died since the invasion began, although the organization admits the number is likely a huge underestimate. President Volodymyr Zelensky has accused Russia of targeting civilians trying to flee conflict areas through humanitarian corridors. He also accused Russian forces of committing war crimes by blocking humanitarian aid to cities under siege. “This is a war crime,” Zelensky said. “Every Russian figure who gives such orders and every Russian soldier who carries out such orders will be identified. And will receive a compulsory one-way ticket to The Hague, to the city where the International Criminal Court is located.”

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