Breaking News
Get 40% Off 0
Is NVDA a 🟢 buy or 🔴 sell? Unlock Now

Thousands flee Ukraine into EU, men told to stay and fight

Published Feb 25, 2022 05:07AM ET Updated Feb 25, 2022 03:24PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
5/5 © Reuters. People and children walk at the border crossing between Poland and Ukraine, after Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized a military operation in eastern Ukraine, in Medyka, Poland, February 24, 2022. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel 2/5

By Alan Charlish and Fedja Grulovic

MEDYKA, Poland/SIGHETU MARMATIEI, Romania (Reuters) -Tens of thousands of Ukrainians, mostly women and children, crossed into Poland, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia on Friday as Russian missiles pounded the capital Kyiv and men of fighting age were told to remain.

Many waited for hours in freezing conditions to leave Ukraine after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched the invasion, with lines of cars snaking for several kilometres towards some border crossings.

In Poland, which has the region's largest Ukrainian community of about 1 million people, authorities said wait times to cross the border ranged from 6 to 12 hours in some places.

At Medyka in the south of Poland, some 85 km (50 miles) from Lviv in western Ukraine, roads were packed with cars, police directing traffic, and people hugging loved ones after they arrived on the Polish side. An internet map site showed a third of the way congested with heavy traffic at one point on Friday.

"It is only women and children (coming through) because for men it is forbidden. We leave all our fathers, men, husbands at home and it feels like shit," said Ludmila, 30. When asked if she was worried about her husband, Ludmila broke down in tears.

Ukrainian rules restrict men aged 18-60, who could be conscripted, from crossing the borders.

Marta Buach, 30, from Lviv, said her husband was not allowed to cross with her at Medyka. "In Lviv it is ok but in other cities it is really a catastrophe. Kyiv was shelled, other small cities were shelled, we were hearing bombing everywhere," she said.

U.N. aid agencies say the war could drive up to 5 million people to flee abroad, with up to 3 million heading to Poland alone. They said fuel, cash and medical supplies were running low in parts of Ukraine.

At least 100,000 people are already uprooted in Ukraine after fleeing their homes since Russia launched its attacks, the U.N. refugee agency said.

European Union interior ministers will discuss the fallout of the crisis on Sunday. Germany has already said the bloc will accept anyone escaping the violence.

"We need to do everything to accept without delay the people who are now fleeing the bombs, the tanks," Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock told reporters as she arrived for a separate meeting with her EU counterparts in Brussels.

Border authorities said 35,000 people had entered Poland from Ukraine since Thursday, while in Romania, roughly 19,000 Ukrainians had arrived in two days.

Poland's deputy interior minister Paweł Szefernaker said Ukrainian bus drivers were unable to drive across the border as conscription-age men were being held back.

Michał Mielniczuk, a spokesman for the southern Polish region of Podkarpackie, said temporary accommodation was being offered to people arriving.

"The vast majority continue on to other places throughout Poland after receiving a warm meal," he told the PAP news agency.

BLOOD DONATIONS, MEALS

On the border with northern Romania, women were crying as they bid goodbye to male loved ones, setting off to cross into Sighetu Marmatiei, a remote town on the banks of the Tisa river, a Reuters witness said.

Long queues had formed as cars waited to board a ferry over the Danube river into Isaccea, a town between Moldova and the Black Sea, local media in Romania showed.

Slovak authorities urged people to donate blood and set up hospitals with 5,380 beds assigned for the army or NATO use.

Across central Europe, on NATO's eastern flank, volunteers were putting up messages on social media to organise housing and transport for people arriving from the borders.

Activists were setting up food and hot drink distribution points and vets were offering to take care of pets.

Authorities in Poland and Romania lifted pandemic quarantine rules for those arriving from outside the EU and, from Friday, Ukrainians could get COVID-19 vaccinations in Poland.

Hungary said it would open a humanitarian corridor for citizens from third-party countries like Iran or India fleeing Ukraine, letting them in without visas and taking them to the nearest airport at Debrecen.

Bulgaria started issuing passports to its citizens in Kyiv who needed travel documents and had sent four buses to the Ukrainian capital to evacuate people. Some 250,000 ethnic Bulgarians live in Ukraine.

Thousands flee Ukraine into EU, men told to stay and fight
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.
  • Any comment you publish, together with your investing.com profile, will be public on investing.com and may be indexed and available through third party search engines, such as Google.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email