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A Polish border guard assists refugees from Ukraine as they arrive to Poland at the Korczowa border crossing, Poland, Saturday. AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski
Refugees

Nearly 120,000 Ukrainians have fled Russian invasion, says UN

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees said up to four million could flee if the situation deteriorates further.

THE UN REFUGEE has said nearly 120,000 people have so far fled Ukraine into neighbouring countries amid the Russian invasion.

The number was going up fast as Ukrainians grabbed their belongings and rushed to escape from a deadly Russian onslaught, including an attempt to take the capital Kyiv.

“Almost 116,000 have crossed international borders as of right now. This may go up, it’s changing every minute,” said Shabia Mantoo, spokeswoman of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. “It’s very fluid and changing by the hour.”

The agency expects up to four million Ukrainians could flee if the situation deteriorates further.

Mantoo said most were heading to neighbouring Poland, Moldova, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia, and even some into Belarus — from where some Russian forces entered Ukraine.

She did not have details on numbers by country, but by far the largest numbers were arriving in Poland, where two million Ukrainians have already settled to work in recent years, driven away by Russia’s first incursions into Ukraine in 2014 and seeking opportunities in the booming economy of the European Union neighbour.

Poland’s government said on Saturday morning that more than 100,000 Ukrainians had crossed the border in the past 48 hours.

At the Medyka border crossing, a line of vehicles waiting to enter Poland stretched nine miles into Ukraine, according to people crossing the border, Polish broadcaster TVN24 reported.

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