Ukraine conflict refugees top 2.3 million

Ukraine conflict refugees top 2.3 million
Over 2.3 million refugees have fled Ukraine since Russia's invasion that began in late February, according to the latest UN figures.
3 min read
The Ukraine conflict has produced over two million refugees [Getty]

More than 2.3 million refugees have now fled Ukraine since Russia's invasion on February 24, according to United Nations figures issued Thursday.

UNHCR, the UN's refugee agency, recorded 2,316,002 refugees on its dedicated website -- 160,731 more than the previous count on Wednesday.

"UNHCR needs about $500 million for its emergency work in Ukraine and neighbouring countries," the agency's chief Filippo Grandi tweeted Thursday.

"So far we have received over $300 million, of which almost $200 million from individuals, companies and foundations.

"This is unprecedented: a sign of extraordinary solidarity with the people of Ukraine."

The UN's International Organization for Migration said as of Wednesday, 109,000 third-country nationals were among those fleeing Ukraine, including people from Ecuador, Ghana, Lebanon and Tunisia.

Authorities and the UN expect the flow to intensify as the Russian army advances deeper into Ukraine, particularly as it approaches the capital, Kyiv.

Before Russia invaded, more than 37 million people lived in Ukrainian territory under the control of the central government.

Besides those who have left, an unknown number have been displaced from their homes within the country.

Here is a breakdown of where refugees from Ukraine are, according to the UN Refugee Agency:


Six in 10 of those who have fled Ukraine are now in Poland, with the UNHCR saying 1,412,503 refugees are now in the country.

Poland has championed the cause of Ukrainian refugees. The government has set up reception centres and charities have mobilised in a massive aid effort, helped by the estimated 1.5 million Ukrainians already living in the EU member state.

Polish border guards said Thursday that 140,000 people had crossed the border in the opposite direction since the invasion.

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They largely fall into three categories: Ukrainian men working in Poland who returned to join the army; migrant workers returning to take care of relatives still in Ukraine; and recently-arrived refugees who have gone back for family reasons.

Elsewhere in Europe

Some 258,844 people who have fled Ukraine have now moved beyond neighbouring states to other European countries, according to the UNHCR.


Some 214,160 refugees are now in Hungary -- nine percent of the total who have fled Ukraine.

The country has five border crossings with Ukraine and several border towns, including Zahony, have turned public buildings into relief centres, where Hungarian civilians are offering food or assistance.


Across Ukraine's shortest border, some 165,199 refugees are now in Slovakia.


The UNHCR says the number of refugees since the invasion who are now across Ukraine's longest border is 97,098.

An additional 96,000 people moved to Russia from the separatist eastern Donetsk and Lugansk regions between February 18 and 23, in the days before the Russian invasion, according to the UN refugee agency.


Some 84,671 refugees from Ukraine are now in Romania. Two camps have been set up, one in Sighetu Marmatiei and the other in Siret.


Some 82,762 refugees were now in Moldova, according to figures updated to the end of Sunday, though many thousands more have passed through the non-EU state on their way to other countries.

By the end of Sunday, Moldova had welcomed 259,000 refugees coming from Ukraine, including 230,000 Ukrainians.

"Over 147,000 Ukrainian refugees have since then proceeded to Romania," UNHCR said.


Some 765 refugees had made it to Belarus, according to UNCHR.