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A child from Ukraine sleeps in a tent.

A child from Ukraine sleeps in a tent, part of a humanitarian centre for refugees at the Moldovan-Ukrainian border, in Palalanca, Moldova, on Friday, Feb. 25, 2022. Thousands of Ukrainians are fleeing from war by crossing their borders to the west in search of safety. They left their country as Russia pounded their capital and other cities with airstrikes for a second day on Friday. Cars were backed up for several kilometers (miles) at some border crossings as authorities in Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Moldova mobilized to receive them, offering them shelter, food and legal help.

Aurel Obreja, Associated Press

Could Russia-Ukraine conflict trigger a refugee crisis in Europe?

Countries, like Poland, have opened their doors to Ukrainian refugees. The number of people displaced is growing steadily

SHARE Could Russia-Ukraine conflict trigger a refugee crisis in Europe?
SHARE Could Russia-Ukraine conflict trigger a refugee crisis in Europe?

An estimated 100,000 Ukrainians have already been displaced because of the Russian invasion, and that number is only growing.

According to Time magazine, aid organizations have been preparing for this mass displacement for weeks. In fact, Ukrainian Minister of Defense Oleksii Reznikov predicted in December that between three to five million people may flee the country because of the invasion.

  • “There is a significant movement of the population, but it is also hard to say whether people are moving permanently or for the short-term,” said Irina Saghoyan, the eastern Europe director for Save the Children, working in Ukraine since 2014, per Vox.

Central Europe has proved to be an ally for Ukraine during this time, with countries like Poland, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, The Czech Republic and Moldova welcoming Ukrainian refugees, providing them with shelter, food and legal help.

  • According to CBC, Poland has been prepared to help wounded Ukrainian soldiers as well.
  • “We will do everything to ensure that every person who enters the territory of Poland has access to health care, including hospitalization,” the ministry said.

The European Union will absorb most of this displacement but some of Ukraine’s neighboring countries may not have the capacity to cater to these many refugees.

  • “The amount of resources being dedicated to this may not be sufficient to the full scope and scale of the crisis,” said Daniel Balson, the advocacy director for Europe and Central Asia for Amnesty International.