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"I wish this war would stop": Ukrainian refugees reach 2.28M

The grim reality of Russia's war on Ukraine is becoming a grim new reality to millions of Ukrainians.

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"I wish this war would stop": Ukrainian refugees reach 2.28M

It leaves the thousands of people who travel each day to safety in the European Union with no idea of when or if they will ever return home.

According to the U.N. refugee Agency, more than 2.8 million Ukrainians fled Ukraine after Russia invaded. The vast majority sought refuge in Poland, which has received over 1.7 million refugees in the past 19 days.

Some of the fleeing people, mostly children and women, have exhausted in Przemysl near the Polish border. They simply wish that violence and war would cease.

Alexandra Beltuygova (33), fled Dnipro between the two embattled metropolises Mariupol and Kyiv, crying "all day from the pain of being apart with loved ones", she said.

"I know that they may not be seen. She said, "I wish this war would stop."

Lesia Ostrovska, 28, looked after her 1-year-old son at a refugee centre in Suceava, northern Romania. Her daughter, 8 years old, was playing nearby with other children who had been displaced by war.

Ostrovska, a western Ukrainian from Chernivtsi, said, "I left my husband and my father, as well as my mother and grandmother." "It's difficult with children, in the bus... We hope that war is over soon so we can return home."

The fighting continues in Ukraine and has left many of its most populous cities in rubble. Recently, however, the number of people crossing into the EU has been slowly declining.

According to police, only 9000 people crossed the border to Ukraine from Hungary on Sunday. This is a significant difference to the 235,000 who have arrived in Hungary so far.

On Sunday, less than 9,000 people crossed the border in Slovakia, home to more than 200,000 refugees. This is down from 12,000 crossing it four days ago. Around 82,000 refugees were accepted in Poland, a drop from the earlier peak of 129,000. Border police reported that 14,475 Ukrainians entered Romania on Sunday, a decrease of 13% from the previous day.

Gabriela Leu, UNHCR spokesperson in Romania, stated that it was hard to pinpoint the cause of the slowdown in exodus from Ukraine. However, she said, "I can see this being temporary."

Leu stated that "the situation is very fragile" and "very fluid". It's possible for people to move more slowly, but that's speculation. "But the bottom line, the numbers are still growing."

Even though the pace of people leaving Ukraine has slowed down, fleeing violence in Ukraine continued to arrive in large numbers at the western border countries.

Przemysl residents recalled witnessing military attacks against civilians. This is something Russia continues to deny.

"I saw fighting and destroyed houses. When I was driving to Kyiv, I saw many tanks. I am aware that the house next to us was destroyed this morning," stated Inessa Armashova (40), a resident in Kyiv. "Many people fled. Many cannot flee, especially elderly or sick children.

Russian forces continue to push Kyiv towards Russia's borders, a day after Russia launched airstrikes near the Polish border. This raised fears among the West that Russia was moving closer to NATO and the EU.

At least 35 people were killed in those strikes that involved missiles from Russia hitting a military training facility Sunday, less than 25 km (15 miles) from Ukraine’s border with NATO member Poland. It was the westmost target in Russia's invasion.

The blasts woke up residents of Wielkie Oki, a Polish village, 2 km (more than a mile) away from the border.

"My son went to the balcony. Franciek Sawicki (77), who heard the missile attack, said that the neighbors had already been awakened and that the dogs of the village began to bark. We could see the glow in the forest. It was loud and loud, and I heard a loud explosion. It was an attack at the border.

The attack on Poland was close by, threatening the safety of western Ukraine, which had largely escaped Russian attacks. This raised the possibility of NATO joining the fight.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the Ukrainian president, called it "black day" and urged NATO leaders to create a no fly zone over the country. This is a request that the West claims could lead to a nuclear confrontation between Russia and Ukraine.

Anjela, a 55-year-old Ukrainian refugee from Poltava, stated that after arriving in Poland, only a NATO intervention would end the violence in Ukraine.

"I don’t know when my husband will return home," she said. She said that she didn't know when her children would return home. It all depends on you, I beg you. We will accomplish everything else ourselves if we close the sky."


 

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