More than 1.2 million people have fled Ukraine after Russia attacked on February 24, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). More than half of them (53.7%) fled to Poland, while others sought shelter in Hungary, Moldova, Slovakia, and Romania, among other places.
“The rate of this exodus is quite phenomenal,” UNHCR spokeswoman Joung-ah Ghedini-Williams said on Friday. She added that “there are many more on the move.”
“Also there are possibly equal numbers inside the country that are internally displaced,” Ghendini-Williams said.
Russia insists that it was forced to attack its neighbor in order to defend the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR), which broke away from Ukraine shortly after the 2014 coup in Kiev. Moscow also said it was seeking the “demilitarization and denazification” of the country. Meanwhile, Ukraine said the attack was entirely unprovoked and appealed to the international community for help.
Read more: UN reveals ‘phenomenal’ Ukraine refugee numbers (all part of the plan)