Around one million people have been displaced within Ukraine since the Russian invasion began on February 24, the United Nations high commissioner for refugees said on Tuesday, AFP reported.
The refugee body’s representative to Ukraine, Karolina Lindholm Billing, said in Stockholm that there has been lot of focus on those fleeing from the war-torn country to neighbouring nations.
“But it is important to remember that the largest number of people affected are located within Ukraine,” Billing added.
She said that the agency does not have reliable figures but estimates that at least one million people have had to flee or are “currently on a train, a bus or in a car trying to get to safety”.
Billing stressed on the need to house displaced people, saying “there is really an immeasurable humanitarian need”, AFP reported.
The number of displaced people is in addition to those who have fled from Ukraine to bordering countries, which according to latest data is at least 6,60,000.
Shabia Mantoo, the agency’s spokesperson, said that at this rate the situation looks set to become “Europe’s largest refugee crisis this century”.
The agency said that most refugees have fled to Poland, Hungary, Moldova, Romania, Slovakia as well as other European countries. A “sizeable number” have also moved to the Russian Federation, said the agency.
The United Nations agency commended the solidarity and hospitality extended by the countries but underlined that that there must be no discrimination against any person or group.
It also urged governments to continue to welcome those fleeing, which includes many from India, Nigeria and other African countries who were working or studying in Ukraine when the war broke out.
The agency said it was aware of the “challenges” that “third country nationals” seeking to enter Poland faced.
“We are in touch with the authorities to ensure that all those in need of international protection have access to procedures,” it said.
Several Indian students fleeing Ukraine have alleged on social media that they were assaulted by Ukrainian authorities at the Poland border.