Ukrainian refugees flood west as border countries scramble to organize aid

Immediately after the first bullet was fired in Ukraine, which Russia’s President Vladimirputin called a “special military operation” on February 24, Ukrainians headed from the front line to the border countries of Poland, Hungary, Moldova, Slovakia and Romania. I started running away. ..

The majority of Ukrainians evacuated are women and children due to the enforcement of martial law, and Ukrainian men between the ages of 18 and 60 are restricted from leaving the country until further notice.

Over 500,000 Ukrainians Already escaped Countries after February 24, according to the United Nations (UN) report.

In response to the growing crisis, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres last week provided Ukraine with $ 20 million in emergency funding.

In addition, Filippo Grandi of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said he would work with Ukrainian border countries and called for these countries to keep their borders open.

“We are ready to support everyone’s efforts to handle all situations of displacement,” Grundy added.

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Ukraine’s Crisis Asset Map shows the number of people who have fled Ukraine to neighboring countries

Not standing vaguely

The Polish Prime Minister’s Office also launched a special government website on Monday aimed at streamlining the aid and resources provided to Ukrainians exiled in the conflict with Russia.

The Polish government offers Ukrainian asylum seekers several intercity subway trains, transfer services, basic medical care, and free travel in shelters.

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Refugees from Ukraine will arrive at a temporary shelter near Korczowa in Poland on February 28, 2022. (Sean Gallup / Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Hungarians have begun community-led aid responses to the refugee crisis.

Since February 26, the Budapest Bike Mafia and Age of Hope Foundation have been working together to send donations of food, medicine, clothing, sanitary goods, blankets and more to the border between Zahony in Hungary and Ukraine in Chizabeck. Is one of the organizations of. On February 27, a line of refugees up to 12 miles was reported at Tiszabecs on the Hungarian-Ukraine border.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has called the war in Ukraine “the biggest humanitarian emergency in Europe in the next few years.”

The Red Cross Centers in Croatia, Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia and Slovakia have mobilized teams to assist people arriving from Ukraine. Temporary housing is set up at the border crossing, and food, water, bedding, clothing, mobile phone SIM cards, and sanitary goods are distributed on both sides of the frontier. The shelter also provides medical and psychological support.

“It’s painful to see so many individual tragedy unfolding at our doorstep. The conflict is endless and we don’t know when people can safely return home,” said the IFRC Europe region. Director Birgitte Bischoff Ebbesen said. Said.

Leave Kyiv

Scientist Natalia Sidanić, IT program manager Maxim Sidanić, and their 12-year-old daughter Margo learned about the war on a phone call from Natalia’s parents in Kyiv on the morning of February 24th. ..

“We were completely confused. It was unbelievable in our worst nightmare. Unfortunately, the nightmare has come true. We live in this nightmare for six days. I’ve been, “Natalia Sidanić told The Epoch Times.

The family had to decide whether to stay in Kyiv to find a way to protect their property or to flee to save their lives.

“Fortune is great, but life is our greatest possession, so we decided to leave our hometown,” she said.

When the family left Kyiv on February 24, no one they met did not believe that war was happening to them. Until lunch that day, everything looked the same, even though Russian tanks were rolling to Ukraine the night before. In the afternoon, things changed rapidly, leaving Russia and congested roads leading west and south from the city.

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Map of Russian attacks in Ukraine (Reuters)

The Sidanich family drove 745 miles west to the hotel in Vorohta in the Ivano-Frankivsk region of western Ukraine.

“The most important thing is that I’m safe now and with my parents,” 12-year-old Margo Sidanich told The Epoch Times.

Natalia’s parents stayed in Kyiv for another two nights, hiding in the basement of the building. After that, they also decided to run away.

Many of Natalia’s friends stayed behind, including families with young children. Maksym Sidanich’s parents are still in the suburbs of Kyiv. His 60-year-old mother remained in place for what Maxim called the “Ukrainian Principles”. She agrees to call every three hours after a day of memory loss when her family was unable to contact her for 11 hours.

“Our assumption was that this would end in a few days, but Ukraine has established its position. Even here in the west, everyone is armed. They are armed at night. We will patrol the area, “said Maksym Sidanich.

“I don’t want to thank my enemies, but they have brought Ukraine together like never before,” said Natalia Sidanić. “We will not give up.”

The family is waiting to hear the news of the Ukrainian army’s first victory and peace talks. When Russian troops head to western Ukraine, Maxim Sidanić said he would join the local militia to protect his family.

“There is no other choice. We never leave the country,” he said.

People are flowing into the areas where families are staying from all parts of Ukraine. Some people will stay. Others pause on their way to the border. Sidanich has seen a bus full of children sent west by parents who do not want their children to spend their days in the basement or bunker.

“Unfortunately, we don’t see any cars from the eastern part of the country. They can’t achieve that already here,” he said. “The bridge is closed.”

According to Natalia, everyday items are already out of stock in both Kyiv and the West. She couldn’t find shampoo or toothpaste. But families elsewhere are facing more severe realities. Natalia’s friend, a family of eight living in Kharkov, lives in a basement without heat, water and electricity with a sick one-year-old child.

“Every time I dial them, my heart skips beats. Every time I’m worried that there’s no answer that I can only hear silence.”

Ivan Pentchoukov and Anton Pryma contributed to this report.

Autumn Spredemann


Autumn is a South American-based reporter who focuses primarily on Latin American issues in the Epoch Times.