Ukraine Refugees Near 7 Million in 100 Days

Just over a hundred days into Russia's invasion of Ukraine, close to 7 million Ukrainians have fled the country.

The U.N. refugee agency UNHCR estimates that about 6.98 million people have left the country since Russian troops rolled into Ukaine on February 24.

But some 2.1 million people have returned to Ukraine as fighting has subsided in some areas, according to the agency's figures.

The UNHCR estimates there are 4.7 million refugees from Ukraine recorded across Europe as the continent's worst armed conflict in decades continues.

Ukrainian refugees poured into neighboring counties, with some 3.7 million estimated to have crossed the border into Poland, before moving on to other parts of Europe and the world.

According to UNHCR's estimates, Poland currently has 1.14 million refugees while more than a million are recorded to be in Russia.

Some 780,000 refugees are now in Germany, while 361,560 have traveled to the Czech Republic and another 125,907 are in Italy. About 37,400 are in the United Kingdom.

Meanwhile, the U.N.'s International Organization for Migration's latest report estimates that as of May 23, there were more than 7.1 million internally displaced people in Ukraine—down from 8 million earlier in May.

"The situation is very fluid, and the outlook for the innocent victims of this brutal and senseless war is fragile," Karolina Lindholm Billing, UNHCR's representative in Ukraine, said during a press briefing on Friday.

"People are still fleeing fighting, others remain in the places they fled to in the last 100 days; some are already returning to rebuild their homes. I also met some people who had returned, then decided it was unsafe and had to flee again."

Billing said the agency was continuing to focus on providing shelter, counselling and essential items to those fleeing their homes as well as delivering aid through humanitarian convoys to those sheltering in hard-hit areas.

"As we continue trying to reach those cowering in bomb shelters in areas under heavy shelling with emergency assistance, we are also scaling up support to help the displaced in the medium to longer-term; to lay the ground for recovery and durable solutions," Billing said.

"Protection support must be at the centre of our response, as the risks and needs are mounting. Everyone is traumatized.

"Psychosocial counselling is essential for recovery. The needs are huge. Some have fled without their ID or civil documents and need help to receive new ones to access rights and services. Risks of exploitation, abuse and harmful coping strategies are also increasing, as destitution rises."

About 45 Ukrainians refugees demonstrate
About 45 Ukrainians refugees demonstrate in the 'Place du Luxembourg' on June 4, 2022 in Brussels, Belgium. Thierry Monasse/Getty Images