UN says over 3.5 million people have now left Ukraine since Russian invasion

A refugee woman holds a baby while waiting on a bus for Ukrainian police to check papers and belongings in Brovary, Ukraine, March 20, 2022 (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
A refugee woman holds a baby while waiting on a bus for Ukrainian police to check papers and belongings in Brovary, Ukraine, March 20, 2022 (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

GENEVA — The UN refugee agency says more than 3.5 million people have fled Ukraine since Russia’s invasion, passing another milestone in an exodus that has led to Europe’s worst refugee crisis since World War II.

UNHCR reports that 3.53 million people have left Ukraine, with Poland taking in the lion’s share — more than 2.1 million — followed by Romania with more than 540,000 and Moldova with more than 367,000.

Shortly after the invasion on Feb. 24, UNHCR predicted that some 4 million refugees might leave Ukraine, though it has been reassessing that prediction. The outflows have been slowing in recent days after peaking at more than 200,000 each on two straight days in early March.

The International Organization for Migration estimates that nearly 6.5 million people are internally displaced within Ukraine, suggesting that some if not most of them might flee abroad if the war continues.

Most Popular