Thousands of Ukrainians try to leave their country for Romania, Slovakia or Hungary in the face of the invasion launched by Russia. Several countries in the area have already offered to receive refugees.
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The United Nations refugee agency He has warned that the crisis of refugees fleeing Ukraine is worsening after the Russian attacks and has called on neighboring countries to keep their borders open to people seeking safe haven.
Chaos and panic reign on the roads of Kiev and traffic jams have formed of people who want to leave the capital for fear of instability and the possible advance of Russian troops, according to several witnesses told the EFE agency.
“People want to go west, to cities where there are no airports and military installations,” explains Olga, a civil servant, who points out that it is now almost impossible to leave the city due to the accumulation of cars. Many seek refuge in subway stations for fear of bombing while gas stations and supermarkets are also collapsing.
In Romania, the largest agglomerations occur at the Tereblecea-Siret border post, which connects the Ukrainian oblast of Chernivtsi with the province of Suceava in northeastern Romania.
Thousands of Ukrainians, including many women with children, queue Thursday at border crossings to cross on foot into Romanian territory.
Images offered by the Romanian public news agency, Agerpres, show a flood of people carrying suitcases and sports bags, and in which small children or babies are also seen.
Slovakia has decreed this Thursday the opening of its borders for refugees from Ukraine, from whom it will not require a passport, as reported by the Police in a statement made public on social networks.
Entry into the country “will be allowed to all people fleeing the military conflict,” the statement said.
During the morning queues formed for several hours at the points of Ubla and Vysné Nemecké, according to the Zelená Vlna radio station.
“All the border crossings on the border are in operation, with the exception of the Cierna nad Tisou-Cop railway corridor, where the transport of people was stopped,” said that note.
Slovakia awaits the arrival of thousands of Ukrainian refugees, following Russia’s decision this morning to invade the country.
In Hungary, it has been reported in the last hours of agglomerations of Ukrainian citizens at its borders. According to the British newspaper The Guardian, at the Luzhanka border crossing with Hungary, west of Ukraine, hundreds of cars wait to pass. There is also a constant flow of people trying to cross on foot, carrying suitcases and bags full of their belongings.
The police report that they are prepared for a much greater movement of citizens but that currently “the current passenger traffic remains at the usual rate.”
The digital newspaper 444.hu reported that entry into the country is “relatively fast” and that the authorities authorize the passage of all people, whether they have Ukrainian or Hungarian documents.
Both the Government and the authorities have assured that they are prepared to handle a multitude of asylum requests at the borders.
“We will be able to face this challenge quickly and effectively,” said today the prime minister, the ultra-nationalist Viktor Orbán, who in recent days has announced the possibility of hundreds of thousands or even millions of refugees arriving.
The Czech Railway Company has announced that it is making wagons available to the Czech State and Ukraine to be able to evacuate civilians from Ukraine.
The entity can allocate “dozens of convoys of people” as well as “dining cars with seats”, with a total capacity of 6,000 people, the company said.
The Minister of the Interior of the Czech Republic, Vit Rakusan, has assured that in the event that more than 5,000 refugees arrive, it will be necessary to declare a state of emergency.
Some 160,000 Ukrainians live in the Czech Republic, which does not have a border with Ukraine, with a strong presence in sectors such as construction.
The Bulgarian government has shown its willingness to welcome Ukrainians fleeing the Russian attack, and has advanced that it is prepared to accommodate between 2,000 and 4,000 Ukrainians in hotels.
As EFE has learned, the Ministry of the Interior is updating its border management plans in the face of the possibility of a migration crisis.
The Government is also preparing the evacuation of Ukrainians of Bulgarian ethnicity, even if they do not have this nationality.
Thousands of Ukrainian refugees have crossed the border with Moldova after the start of the Russian military operation in Ukraine, Moldovan Interior Minister Anda Revenko reported.
The Moldovan president, Maia Sandu, assured that her country “will take care” of the refugees and noted an increase in the migratory flow at the border posts with Ukraine.
“We will help people who need our help. Right now we are willing to receive tens of thousands of people,” he added.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Thursday called on his NATO and European Union (EU) partners to strengthen NATO’s eastern flank “further and in the shortest time possible”. In addition, Morawiecki has addressed the community of Ukrainian citizens living in Poland and numbering more than a million people “and those who are likely to come” to assure them that “they will not be abandoned in this time of need.” The government has announced plans to house Ukrainian refugees in hostels and sports facilities.
For his part, the Polish Minister of Health, Adam Niedzielski, confirmed in an interview with a news portal that Warsaw is preparing a special medical train to treat wounded from Ukraine and that there are more than 120 Polish hospitals willing to admit people. that come from that country.
As explained by the minister, the convoy will be ready “in the next few days” and will pick up wounded people “on the border with Ukraine” to transport them to Polish hospitals.
Other European countries offer help
Austria, one of the richest countries in the European Union (EU), has welcomed different waves of refugees in the past, although in recent years it has tightened its asylum policy towards those fleeing conflicts in Asia and the Middle East.
“The situation in Ukraine is different from that of countries like Afghanistan. It’s about helping a neighbor,” the federal chancellor, the conservative Karl Nehammer, advanced already on Wednesday, before the start of the attack.
The German government today offered “massive support”, both to Poland and to other neighboring European countries, in the reception of refugees and in the face of the foreseeable migratory flow that will result after Russia’s attack on Ukraine.
António Costa, the prime minister of Portugal, has assured that potential refugees from Ukraine are welcome in the country. “Ukrainian citizens who have relatives, friends and acquaintances here are welcome in Portugal,” Costa said, promising to facilitate the issuance of entry visas.