Update on Ukrainian Refugee Crisis

Update on Ukrainian Refugee Crisis

The conflict is now entering its tenth week, and the number of refugees and the number of people killed and injured is rising steadily.

Amanda Luzzader
Amanda Luzzader
Content Writer
Update on Ukrainian Refugee Crisis

On February 22, 2022, under orders from Russian President Vladimir Putin, a detachment of the Russian Army invaded the eastern European country of Ukraine. The invasion occurred after a long period of military posturing, threats, and a troop buildup along the Russia-Ukraine border and in the Russian territory of Belarus.

Since then, Ukrainian residential and business areas have been attacked, bombed, and occupied, resulting in mounting civilian deaths and injuries. Ukrainians have been leaving their country as refugees since the first week of the invasion.

The conflict is now entering its tenth week, and the number of refugees and the number of people killed and injured is rising steadily.

How Many Ukrainian Refugees Now? According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the number of Ukrainians who have exited Ukraine reached 5.3 million in mid-April 2022. Another 5.5 million Ukrainians are thought to be displaced from their homes but are still within the war-torn country. Also according to the UNHCR, the total number of Ukrainian refugees will likely surpass 8 million soon.

Most of the Ukrainian refugees (about 2.9 million) have taken refuge in Poland. Romania has received 793,420 Ukrainian refugees. Russia itself has accepted 627,512. Hungary, Moldova, Slovakia, and Belarus have accepted most of the rest. Much smaller numbers of Ukrainian refugees have gone to other countries within the European Union (EU), the United States, and elsewhere.

Wartime refugees face many hardships and perils. Border areas have been crowded with refugees, and the passage across borders has been chaotic and slow. However, the exodus of Ukrainian refugees so far has been relatively free of atrocity or widespread suffering.

How Many War Casualties Now? The latest estimates say that fewer than 3,000 Ukrainian warfighters have lost their lives to the conflict. Russian officials reported in March that only about 1,300 Russian soldiers had been killed, but most sources say the number of Russian war dead is more likely somewhere around 15,000.

As of the first week of April 2022, the latest estimate of civilian casualties rose to 3,838, which includes 1,611 killed and 2,227 injured. Most of the civilian casualties have resulted from shelling, bombing, and missile strikes. More than 100 children have been killed in the fighting. Many organizations and individuals say that war crimes and atrocities are being committed by the Russian military in Ukraine. War crime cases are notoriously hard to prove and prosecute, especially with uncooperative or belligerent heads of state.

What is Being Done to Aid Ukrainian Refugees? The EU has granted Ukrainian refugees broad privileges to reside and work in any of its 27 member nations for up to three years. Most countries around the world are expediting the refugee application and acceptance process for Ukrainian refugees. This will hopefully prevent or alleviate the pressures and hardships of waiting at borders crossings or in camps.

The United States, under the direction of President Joe Biden, has pledged $1.3 billion to assist Ukrainian refugees. Earlier this year, Biden also said the United States would welcome up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees. In mid-April 2022, however, the Biden Administration released details of the “Unite for Ukraine” program, which enables individual Americans and organizations to financially sponsor Ukrainian refugees.

Biden stated: “This program will be fast, it will be streamlined, and it will ensure the United States honors its commitment to the people of Ukraine, and that they need not go through our southern border.” (Entrance to the United States via the U.S.-Mexico border has been complicated by partisan politics and the vagaries of Title 42, a measure meant to prevent the trans-border spread of disease.)

Sources: https://www.npr.org/2022/04/12/1092251229/russia-invasion-ukraine-elderly-residents-kyiv-stay-behind https://www.bbc.com/news/world-60555472 https://www.reuters.com/world/why-isnt-us-accepting-more-ukrainian-refugees-2022-03-16/ https://www.forbes.com/sites/dereksaul/2022/04/26/russia-ukraine-wars-mounting-death-toll-latest-estimates-suggest-russian-troops-have-been-hit-harder/?sh=1db727fe4549 https://theconversation.com/reliable-death-tolls-from-the-ukraine-war-are-hard-to-come-by-the-result-of-undercounts-and-manipulation-179905 https://www.cnbc.com/2022/04/21/biden-announces-program-to-help-ukrainian-refugees-enter-the-us-.html