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in which countries are the 5 million refugees?

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Day after day, the Ukrainian population tries to escape the bombardments and the troops of Moscow. According to a count published Wednesday, April 20, the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) of the United Nations, some 5,034,000 Ukrainians fled Ukraine devastated by clashes with Russian soldiers.

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To this figure must be added the 218,000 non-Ukrainians counted by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) forced to find shelter in neighboring countries. Before the war, Ukraine had about 37 million inhabitants.

Poland, first destination for refugees

The largest contingent of refugees has so far settled in Poland, hoping to cross the border in the other direction once the war is over. While the UNHCR counts more than 2.8 million Ukrainians arriving in the country, the Polish government says it has provided shelter to 2.3 million refugees.

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The difference is explained by the number of refugees who did not settle in Poland but continued on their way to other countries. Besides Poland, nearly 757,000 refugees crossed the border with Romania, 471,000 went to Hungary, 427,000 to Moldova, 342,000 to Slovakia and 24,000 to Belarus, which supports Russia in its invasion .

90% women and children

Among the refugees who did not stop in these states bordering Ukraine, at least 23,500 went to Ireland, 12,000 to the United Kingdom and 320,000 to Germany. In France, the Ministry of the Interior indicated on April 14 to have identified 45,700 peoples “at the entry of the national territory by the border police between February 24 and April 14, 2022, including 98% of Ukrainian nationals”.

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According to the UNHCR, more than 757,000 Ukrainians are also in Russia. While some have found refuge there of their own free will, accusations of forced deportations and confiscation of passports – practices prohibited by international law – weigh on the Russian authorities. Nearly 105,000 people were also said to have been moved from areas held by pro-Russian separatists to Russia in the days before the invasion.

The UN body specifies that 90% of refugees are women and children. Men aged 18 to 60 do not have the right to leave the country because they are likely to take up arms and join the army or territorial defence. In addition to the 5 million refugees, the United Nations has identified 7.1 million internally displaced people in Ukraine.

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