According to UN officials, approximately 14 million Ukrainians have been displaced from their homes, including more than six million who have fled the country, and nearly 3,500 civilians have been killed since Russia launched its invasion.
The fighting has displaced nearly one-third of Ukraine’s prewar population of 44 million people. Because wartime legislation prevents most men of fighting age from leaving the country, the majority of those seeking refuge outside of Ukraine are women, children, or the elderly.
The United Nations estimates that 13 million people are effectively trapped in Ukraine due to increased security risks, destroyed roads and infrastructure, and a lack of resources or the means to seek refuge elsewhere.
Concerning the 3,496 civilian deaths, the United Nations stated that it believes the true figure is much higher because the ongoing battles have delayed reporting. It singled out Mariupol in the Donetsk region, Izyum in the Kharkiv region, and Popasna in the Luhansk region.
According to U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, the Human Rights Commissioner’s Monitoring Mission in Ukraine last week visited 14 towns and villages in the Kyiv and Chernihiv regions that were controlled by Russian armed forces until the end of March. According to her, mission members heard firsthand accounts of relatives, neighbors, and friends being killed, injured, detained, and disappeared.
“The scale of unlawful killings, including indications of summary executions in areas to the north of Kyiv, is shocking,” Ms. Bachelet said on Thursday at a special session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva to discuss the conflict in Ukraine. “Many of the allegations in Ukraine of violations of international human rights and humanitarian law may amount to war crimes.”
The United Nations expects 8.3 million people to flee the country as refugees as a result of the war. According to the agency, roughly half of them are expected to remain in the countries that first granted them asylum, with the remainder moving elsewhere.
Poland, which shares a 330-mile border with Ukraine, has taken in 3.2 million refugees so far, accounting for more than half of the total number of refugees. Over 880,000 people have arrived in Romania.
According to the United Nations, approximately 2.4 million refugees have now left their first destination. According to the agency, over 1.59 million people have entered Ukraine since the conflict began. This figure includes people who crossed the border multiple times.
On Thursday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen stated that Russia is currently the “most direct threat to the world order.” She lashed out at Russia’s “barbaric war against Ukraine” after meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
Ms. von der Leyen also chastised China for refusing to distance itself from Moscow or condemn its invasion of Ukraine. Before Beijing threw political weight behind Moscow’s hostility this year, EU-China relations were already strained. Many European leaders, who once saw China as a counterbalance to the United States and Russia, now see it as a rival and potential threat.
Ms. von der Leyen described Russia’s “worrying pact with China and their call for ‘new’—and very much arbitrary—international relations” as a source of deep concern for Western-style democracies such as the EU and Japan. She claims that Moscow and Beijing’s alignment endangers “the future of a rules-based world order.”
She and Mr. Kishida agreed at their summit on a range of trade, digital policy, and international development measures that they hope will strengthen ties among allies opposed to Moscow and Beijing’s policies.
Meanwhile, Finland’s president and prime minister said on Thursday that they supported the country’s application for NATO membership, putting the Nordic country on track to join the alliance in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary-General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, stated that Finland would be “warmly welcomed into NATO” with a quick accession process. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky praised Finland for being “ready to apply for NATO membership.”