Update: Ukrainian Humanitarian Crisis Worsens
As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine drags into a fourth week, the number of refugees and displaced persons has increased. Unsurprisingly, the numbers of killed and injured have also increased.
##How many Ukrainian refugees are there now?
Ukraine boasts a population of more than 43 million. As of early March, about two weeks into the invasion, about 2 million people had fled, mostly into Poland. In just two additional weeks, the number has grown to nearly 3.9 million, according to the BBC. Additionally, about 10 million people have been displaced. This means that more than one third of Ukraine's population has been driven from their homes by the invasion.
These numbers are of course thought to be conservative estimates and are expected to increase.
According to a report by Foreign Policy News, the number of Ukrainian refugees will probably rise to 10 million, the largest number of refugees fleeing a single country since World War II.
##Where are the refugees going?
The overwhelming majority of Ukrainian refugees are still going to Poland. About 2.1 refugees have sought refuge there to date. Smaller numbers are fleeing to Hungary (318,000), Moldova (368,000), Romania (543,000), and Slovakia (254,000). About 252,000 refugees have gone to Russia itself and about 4,000 have gone to Belarus, which is allied with Russia.
According to the United Nations (UN), approximately 500 Ukrainians have entered the United States since the Russian invasion began. Critics charge that the United States could accept more refugees from the conflict. At a recent meeting of Democratic allies, U.S. President Joe Biden said, "We're going to welcome Ukrainian refugees with open arms if, in fact, they come all the way here." However, President Biden maintained that Europe should be the primary refuge for Ukrainians for now.
##What is being done for Ukrainian refugees?
The UN (which is cooperating with many aid organizations to assist and support refugees and those remaining in Ukraine) has stated that humanitarian assistance is presently being delivered "wherever necessary and possible." This includes cash for common necessaries like food and rent; in-kind supplies such as food, hygiene products, and makeshift housing items; folding beds for those in makeshift shelters; and reception/transit points for displaced people.
While there are numerous ways to donate money and goods to help Ukrainians affected by the invasion, the best way individuals can help is cash donations made directly to high-level, international refugee agencies and programs. These include Unicef, UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), Save the Children, CARE, International Red Cross, and Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontieres.
##How many casualties have resulted from the invasion of Ukraine?
Reports and estimates vary and are being constantly updated. The estimated civilian death toll of the Ukrainian conflict is currently hovering just under 1,000. This includes women, men, and an estimated 115 children. Another 1,500 Ukrainian civilians may have been injured so far, a figure that may include up to 150 children. Experts warn the true number is likely much higher. The Russian government and armed forces have denied that civilian deaths are accumulating, much as they have claimed during other conflicts, such as the one in Syria. President Biden has named Russian President Vladimir Putin a war criminal.
On 13 March, Ukraine announced at least 1,300 of its soldiers had been killed to that point in the invasion.
About 150,000 members of the Russian armed forces are said to be involved in the invasion. After only three weeks of fighting, casualties among the Russian army were reported to be approximately 7,000 killed. Estimates of the Russian army's wounded range from 14,000 to 21,000. Experts say these numbers will only increase, along with a warning that any reports from Russia about its own casualties have likely been understated or otherwise inaccurate.