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UN says Ukraine refugee tally passes 1.7 million, half of them children

People carry evacuated dogs after crossing the Ukrainian borders into Poland, at the Medyka border crossing in Poland, on March 7, 2022 (Louisa GOULIAMAKI / AFP)
People carry evacuated dogs after crossing the Ukrainian borders into Poland, at the Medyka border crossing in Poland, on March 7, 2022 (Louisa GOULIAMAKI / AFP)

UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, records 1,735,068 refugees on its dedicated website, just over 200,000 more than the previous count on Sunday.

UNICEF, the UN children’s agency, believes around half of them are youngsters.

Authorities and the UN expect the flow to intensify as the Russian army advances deeper into Ukraine, particularly as it approaches the capital, Kyiv.

More than 37 million people lived in Ukraine before last week’s invasion.

“The military offensive in Ukraine has caused destruction of civilian infrastructure and civilian casualties and has forced people to flee their homes seeking safety, protection and assistance,” UNHCR says.

The agency projects that as the conflict unfolds, “an estimated four million people may flee Ukraine,” noting that many people were also displaced from their homes within the country.

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