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The mass displacement marks the “largest humanitarian crisis Europe has seen since World War [II],” said IOM , which is asking for $350 million to support humanitarian efforts in the war-torn country.
The International Rescue Committee (IRC) called it the “fastest exodus of refugees this century” in a Saturday tweet.
“In the cities and streets of Ukraine today, innocent civilians are bearing witness to our Age of Impunity. The fact that 1 million refugees have already been forced to flee is a grim testament to barbaric military tactics taking aim at homes and hospitals,” David Miliband, president and CEO at IRC, said in a Wednesday statement. “The IRC is calling on the Russian government to immediately cease all violations of the laws of war to spare additional harm to civilians and avoid further displacement.”
An estimated 827,600 of those 1.25 Ukrainian refugees fled to neighboring Poland, according to the country’s border protection agency.
Between Feb. 24 and midnight on Friday, the U.N. recorded 1,085 civilian casualties in Ukraine, including 351 killed and 707 injured. Among those killed were 71 men, 41 women, eight boys, and four girls, as well as 217 adults and 10 children whose sex could not immediately be determined, according to the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
The agency added, however, that it “believes that the real figures are considerably higher.”
Ukrainians crowd under a destroyed bridge as they try to flee crossing the Irpin river in the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, March 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti) (Associated Press)
Most of the casualties recorded were from explosive weapons, “including shelling from heavy artillery and multi-launch rocket systems, and missile and air strikes,” the OCHCR said.
In the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine, there were 471 casualties recorded. In Kyiv, Cherkasy, Chernihiv, Kharkiv, Kherson, Kyiv, Odesa, Sumy, Zaporizhzhia and Zhytomyr, 587 casualties were recorded.
An estimated 1.2 million Ukrainians fled the country between 2013 and 2014, when the country’s total population was about 44 million, during the last Ukraine-Russia crisis that led to the annexation of Crimea, according to the United States Peace Institute.