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Russian invasion has forced 10M Ukrainians to leave their home

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(Bloomberg Opinion) — Russia’s increasingly brutal attacks on Ukraine have forced 10 million people — nearly a quarter of the country’s population — from their homes, according to the United Nations, with a growing number expected to of them goes to Western Europe.

Mykhailo Podolyak, chief of staff to Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky, estimated the number of displaced people at up to 12 million. While the majority have remained in Ukraine, around 3.4 million – mainly women, children and the elderly – have sought refuge in other countries, including more than 2 million people in Poland, according to UN data.

With the Russian invasion of Ukraine approaching a month old, attacks on civilian targets show no signs of abating, raising the risk that more people will try to flee. The besieged city of Mariupol in the south of the country has come under heavy bombardment, and Ukraine has accused Russian forces of blocking humanitarian aid.

As the war progresses, more people are likely to leave temporary shelters near the border. Most of the 500,000 people who crossed into Romania have left, and only about 80,000 of them remain in the country.

Germany is now preparing for the arrival of up to 1 million refugees, nearly triple its previous expectation of 340,000 people, the picture newspaper said in a report. As of Monday, more than 225,000 Ukrainian refugees had arrived in Germany, according to the Interior Ministry. On Monday, a ministry spokesman decided to confirm the figure.

If the number of people approaches 1 million in Germany, it would remind the refugee crisis of 2015, caused by a civil war in Syria, in which Russia provided military support to the government. But there will be decisive differences.

Public support for Ukraine became widespread in Europe, fueled by compassion due to the attacks and geographical and cultural proximity. Countries like Hungary and Poland, which reject mainly Muslim refugees from Syria, have opened their doors to their Ukrainian neighbors.

The reaction makes it difficult for Russian President Vladimir Putin to use the refugees as a weapon. Following the political upheaval caused by the Syrian crisis, the Kremlin’s allies have toyed with the issue.

Last year, Germany accused Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko of using migrants to retaliate against European Union sanctions by directing people from Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Iran and Afghanistan to his border with Poland and then to Germany. .

Instead of fearing the influx of Ukrainian refugees, there is concern for their welfare and protection. Hundreds of volunteers help coordinate food and accommodation for the thousands of people who arrive daily from Ukraine to cities such as Berlin, Budapest, Warsaw and Bucharest.

At what used to be Berlin-Tegel airport, up to 3,000 people from Ukraine can stay for up to three nights and a registration center will be confirmed to process asylum applications for 10,000 people a day. Once registered, they are distributed throughout Germany to spread the load.

The EU is considering creating a talent pool to help connect employees with Ukrainian job seekers, European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson said in Tallinn, Estonia on Monday.

Europe’s biggest economy also includes police presence at train stations to protect Ukrainians from sexual assault or false offers of housing, according to German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser.

“No one should abuse the suffering of people who fled from Putin’s bombing,” he said on Twitter. “Anyone who tries to take advantage of the plight of refugees should know that we will react to the fullest extent of the law.”

original note:

Russia’s war drives 10 million Ukrainians from their homes (1)

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