Heartbreaking footage as refugee children arrive in Poland after fleeing Russian invasion – Reuters

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More than half a million Ukrainians have already fled their homes in the six-day conflict and headed to neighboring countries, a figure that is rising by tens of thousands every day

Ukrainian refugees at the Polish-Ukrainian border

Heartbreaking footage shows the plight of tens of thousands of people who have left their homes and countries to escape Moscow’s forces and the ongoing invasion.

Refugees are pouring into Poland as Ukrainians desperately flee from the Russian army as the invasion continues into its sixth day.

While men in good military shape between the ages of 18 and 60 are told to stay and fight, women and children have been pictured at the end of their journey to safety as they flee artillery strikes , missile attacks and Russian troops.

Refugees slept on the ground, wrapped in jackets and blankets, or huddled around fires in frozen fields where they spent the night after making their way west into Poland.

Ukrainians were sleeping and sheltering in frozen fields, huddled for warmth near Medyka, the main border checkpoint between Ukraine and Poland.

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Ukrainian children wave to the camera after crossing the Ukrainian-Polish border at Medyka
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Picture:

Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)


Poland has taken in more than half of all refugees, and Medyka is the main point where they arrive at the border where tens, if not hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians have already transited.

Heartbreaking footage shows refugees lying on the ground or holding each other at dawn as they all hope to cross the border safely.

Others show children sitting in a bus after arriving in Poland.







A Ukrainian family trying to cross the border into Slovakia
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Picture:

Tom Maddick SWNS)


As many have already arrived in neighboring countries such as Poland, it was only yesterday that huge crowds filled Kiev’s central train station, where a man was pictured saying goodbye to his daughter.

Many used these trains to travel west, and some were forced to travel by car, or even on foot to the border.

While Poland has been the main destination for the majority of refugees, it is not the only one, with more images showing the heartbreaking snaps of loved ones reunited in Tunisia.







Refugees gather near the Polish border after fleeing their homes
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Picture:

REUTERS)


At Tunis-Carthage airport in the country, the refugees were greeted by family and friends.

So far, according to the UN Refugee Agency, 520,000 refugees have fled from Ukraine to neighboring countries, and this number continues to rise.

UN refugee chief Filippo Grandi said the UN plans to take in up to four million refugees in the coming weeks if the conflict does not end.







A baby is carried across the Ukrainian-Slovakian border to Vysne Nemecke
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Picture:

Tom Maddick SWNS)


The unprovoked invasion of neighboring Ukraine by Russian forces under the command of President Vladimir Putin has caused bloodshed and chaos.

With Putin’s troops bombing towns across Ukraine and the national army vowing to fight to the death to defend their land, observers fear the death toll could be huge.

On Sunday February 27, the Ukrainian Minister of Health reported that at least 352 Ukrainian civilians have been killed since the start of the Russian invasion and more than 1,000 wounded.

On March 1, Ukraine claimed to have killed 5,710 Russian soldiers since the start of the invasion.

These claims have not yet been independently verified, but a United Nations human rights monitoring team has confirmed over 500 civilian casualties in Ukraine.

At least 136 people have been killed, including 13 children, according to a UN report on Tuesday.

Bachelet, addressing the opening session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, previously said: “Most of these civilians were killed by explosive weapons with a wide area of ​​impact, including bombings heavy artillery and multiple rocket launchers, and air strikes. the actual numbers are, I fear, considerably higher.”

It comes as Ukraine’s president on Tuesday accused Russia of “state terrorism” after the indiscriminate shelling of Kharkiv.

He said: “We know that we don’t even scratch the surface to meet the needs of Ukrainians.”

Moldova was one of the first countries to accept refugees and has set up migrant support centers near the border to help those arriving.

On Sunday evening, the UN said Hungary had taken in 71,158 people, Romania had taken in 43,184 Ukrainians, 41,525 refugees had arrived in Moldova and 17,648 had come to Slovakia.







A student (centre) evacuated from Ukraine is hugged by a relative upon his arrival at Tunis-Carthage airport on March 1
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Picture:

AFP via Getty Images)


The four neighboring nations had received a huge chunk of fleeing migrants, but Poland has so far received the most from afar.

The UN said that so far Poland had taken in more than 280,000 refugees, including more than half of those who had fled, and the Polish government said another 50,000 were arriving every day.

Similarly, Slovakia said it was now accepting more than 10,000 refugees a day.







Refugees huddle around a fire to keep warm as they try to flee Ukraine
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Picture:

REUTERS)


It comes as today Boris Johnson announced the UK would expand its efforts to help Ukrainian refugees after being criticized for not doing enough.

On Sunday, ministers announced that close family members of people already settled in the UK could join them from Ukraine. But only close family members were eligible, which ministers said could amount to up to around 100,000 people.







Refugees brave the cold in a frozen field after fleeing Ukraine due to the Russian invasion at the Medyka border checkpoint
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Picture:

REUTERS)


On top of that, a Tory MP claimed those fleeing war could use the seasonal ‘fruit picker’ visa to travel to the UK.

However, today the Prime Minister hastily backtracked by offering more help. He said: “We will make it easier for Ukrainians already living in the UK to bring their relatives to our country.

“And although the numbers are hard to calculate, they could be over 200,000.”







A man says goodbye to his daughter before she boards an evacuation train at Kyiv’s central station on February 28
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Picture:

AFP via Getty Images)


He added: “We are extending the family scheme so that actually a very considerable number are eligible…you could be talking about a few hundred thousand, maybe more.

“Additionally, we are going to have a humanitarian program and then a program whereby British businesses and citizens can sponsor individual Ukrainians to come to the UK.”

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “So the expansion in terms of family members will cover adult parents, grandparents, children over 18 and siblings.







A Polish soldier holds a young girl as a group of people crosses the border between Ukraine and Poland
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Picture:

Adam Gray/SWNS)


“This is in addition to what has been planned for this weekend.

“And then there will be the sponsorship plan that the Prime Minister talked about [which doesn’t relate to people settled in the UK]”.

Halyna Wright, 39, and her son Kyrylo are two of more than half a million who have fled their homes in the past six days.

They traveled from Odessa, across the country fleeing to Poland and had to cover the last length of their journey by walking 12 miles on foot.







People arrive in an old Lada car after fleeing Ukraine due to Russian invasion at the border checkpoint in Medyka, Poland
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Picture:

REUTERS)


She said: “It was very tough and it’s still winter – there was snow,” she said of the walk to the border.

“There were mothers with children, one, two years old – some even less than a year old… it was just terrible.

“As we were walking, we saw people leaving their luggage so many times…they were so tired, they didn’t have the energy, so they left it.”

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