ON THE UKRAINIAN-MOLDOVAN BORDER — The war in Ukraine has set off the fastest mass migration in Europe in at least three decades, prompting comparisons with the Balkan wars of the 1990s and providing echoes of the vast population displacement that followed World War II.
At least 660,000 people, most of them women and children, fled Ukraine for neighboring countries to the west in the first five days of Russia’s invasion, according to the United Nations refugee agency, which collated statistics recorded by national immigration authorities. And that figure does not include those displaced within Ukraine, or who fled or were ordered to evacuate to Russia.
In less than a week, the flight of Ukrainians is at least 10 times as high as the one-week record of people entering Europe during the 2015 migration crisis, and nearly double the number of refugees recorded by the United Nations during the first 11 days of the Kosovo war in 1999.
The historic westward movement of people has caused lines of up to 24 hours at border checkpoints along Ukraine’s borders with Poland, Moldova, Hungary, Slovakia and Romania, and prompted a vast humanitarian response by both governments and civilians. Refugees have been sheltered in repurposed schools as well as private apartments, makeshift camps, conference centers, upscale wineries and even the home of a Moldovan lawmaker.
Source: Al Jazeera