Ukraine refugees: Where are Ukrainian refugees going, Ukrainian refugees in the UK, and how to help Ukraine refugees
There are already indications that many more people will follow, as more damage is done to civilian infrastructure and people are forced from their homes.
The majority of refugees are heading to neighbouring countries, triggering an international refugee response plan, bringing together the UN, NGOs, and other relevant partners.
Here’s what we know about the refugees from Ukraine so far.
Where are Ukrainian refugees going?
Poland has taken in the most Ukrainian refugees so far, with 547,982 people entering the country through the Poland-Ukraine border.
Next is Hungary, with 133,009 refugees, then the Republic of Moldova with 97,827.
Slovakia has taken in a further 79,059 refugees, and Romania 51,261.
The UNHCR also reports that around 47,800 refugees have gone to Russia and 374 to Belarus.
Are there Ukrainian refugees in the UK?
Through a variety of ways, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the UK could take in 200,000 or more Ukrainian refugees.
The latest changes to the UK’s plans came on March 1st, following widespread criticism that the country was not doing as much as other European countries.
UK Home Secretary Priti Patel addressed the House of Commons on March 1st with regard to the UK’s response to Ukrainian refugees.
“We are united across this House in the horror at what is happening and the whole country stands with the heroic people of Ukraine,” she said.
“We have already made significant and unprecedented changes to the immigration system,” Ms Patel continued.
“We have helped hundreds of British nationals and their family members resident in Ukraine to leave the country, with Home Office staff working around the clock to assist them.
“Family members of British nationals resident in Ukraine who need a UK visa can apply through the temporary location in Lviv, or through Visa Application Centres in Poland, Moldova, Romania, and Hungary. We have created additional capacity in all locations at pace, in anticipation of the invasion of Ukraine. This includes a pop-up Visa Application Centre in Rzeszow in Poland, which has provided total capacity currently of well over 3,000 appointments per week."
Ms Patel also confirmed that the usual language requirements and salary thresholds to come to the UK have been waived.
“This means that British nationals and any person settled in the UK can bring over immediate Ukrainian family members. Through this policy alone, an additional 100,000 Ukrainians could be eligible to come to the UK and access work and public services,” she explained.
This current policy only covers immediate family members, meaning children and spouses.
The Home Secretary announced the establishment of “an expansive Ukrainian Family Scheme” that would “[extend] eligibility to parents, grandparents, adult offspring, siblings, and their immediate family members”.
Ms Patel described the package as “a very generous” and “expansive and unprecedented package”, yet Labour's Shadow Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper, said she was "concerned about the way Home Office has handled this" although she welcomed the most recent additions.
How to help Ukraine refugees
Schemes are in place for both money and supplies across the UK.
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