Number of Ukraine refugees surpasses worst-case U.N. estimate

According to the United Nations, more than 4 million people have fled Ukraine after Russian troops invaded.

Number of Ukraine refugees surpasses worst-case U.N. estimate

Shelling continued in areas where Moscow had promised to end its military operations.

Nikolay Nazarov (23), a refugee from Russia, said "I don't know if we are able to believe the Russians" as he crossed the border of Ukraine into Poland with his father in a wheelchair.

Nazarov stated that he expected "more escalation in the country's eastern region, including the city where he and his father fled to" despite Russia's statement on Tuesday about how its forces would ease the attack near Kyiv.

He said, "That's why we can't go back to Kharkiv." "We fear a new stage of war within eastern Ukraine."

Like other refugees interviewed by The Associated Press Nazarov echoed Volodymyr Zelenskyy's opinion. Zelenskyy stated in his nightly video address that Russia's claim of reducing military activity near Kyiv or Chernihiv (a northern city under siege) was not credible given the facts.

Zelenskyy stated that "we can call those signals at the negotiations positively," in his address to Ukrainians. "But these signals don't stop the Russian shells exploding," Zelenskyy said to the Ukrainian people.

Diana Konstantynova (45-year-old south Ukrainian accountant) does not believe Russia's promises to reduce its aggressions are a sign she can return home.

Konstantynova said, "I don't believe in a truce." Konstantynova fled Romania with her 8 year-old son one month ago. They will return only when the bombs stop exploding inside my city and "when all Russian troops leave our territory."

Elena Litvinova, a 33 year-old accountant from Mykolaiv is skeptical of Russia's promises. She will only return home with her two children when "our president declares that the war has ended."

"During negotiations, the city administration, children's educational institution where my children studied were demolished," she stated at a refugee centre in Brasov, Romania, where they plan to stay until the war ends. "It's still very frightening, every day we receive messages from home that there are shooting and bombing."

Olha Kovalyova arrived in Poland along with her children. She said that she did not trust Moscow after it failed to keep its promises in the 2014 and 2015 agreements. These agreements were meant to end fighting between Russia-backed separatists in the eastern Donbas and Ukrainian forces.

Kovalyova stated that the Minsk Agreement isn't working. "How can we call them peace talks if they continue to bomb our cities during and after the talks?" "There is no trust with Russia, but I also hope for peace, calm, and unfortunately, this is the reality."

UNHCR, the U.N. refugee agency said Wednesday that over 4 million people had fled Ukraine since Russia invaded on February 24th. This was Europe's worst refugee crisis since World War II. This number is higher than the worst-case scenarios that were made prior to the conflict.

According to UNHCR, half of refugees from Ukraine are children. UNICEF is the U.N children's agency.

Alex Mundt, senior UNHCR emergency coordinator in Poland said, "I believe it's tragic milestone." It means that 4 million people were displaced from their homes in less than a month.

Over 2.3 million Ukrainian refugees fled to Poland. However, some of them have moved on to other countries. Some have returned to Ukraine to assist in the defense of the Russians, or to care for their loved ones.

Based on the counts of the governments in those countries, UNHCR stated that more than 608,000 refugees entered Romania and 387,000 went to Moldova. In the past five weeks, 364,000 people entered Hungary.

In a Wednesday statement, Catherine Russell, UNICEF Executive Director, stated that "the situation in Ukraine is spiraling." "As more children leave their homes, it is important to remember that each child needs support, protection, and education."

Filippo Grandi, U.N. High Commissioner For Refugees, entered Ukraine Wednesday. He said that he would be visiting Lviv in western Ukraine to discuss ways of increasing support for "people affected and displaced" by the senseless war.

Lviv is a popular destination for Ukrainians looking for a safe place where they can stay, or to travel to the bordering European countries. UNHCR teams have worked with their partners to provide protection, emergency shelter and cash assistance for refugees.

UNHCR predicted that approximately 4 million people would flee Ukraine from the beginning and it is constantly reassessing its forecasts.

According to aid workers, the number of people fleeing has decreased in recent days because many residents waited for information about the course of the invasion. According to the U.N., the war has also displaced 6.5 millions people in the country.

The International Organization for Migration tracks more than just refugees and all those on the move. It reported earlier this month that over 12 million people were stranded in Ukraine due to security threats, destruction of roads and lack of information about safe places and lodging.

IOM figures show that more than 22,000,000 people have been forced or prevented from moving.

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