Jeddah: Ukraine is witnessing mass exodus comparable only to World War II—perhaps way more than that.
In the past 10 days since the war broke out more than 1.5 million refugees from Ukraine have crossed into neighboring countries, according to UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.
With the war looming over with no end in sight, Filippo Grandi expressed concerns about the humanitarian crisis. This is particularly so after Putin said the campaign would end with Ukraine surrendering.
Efforts to evacuate 200,000 people from the heavily bombarded city of Mariupol fell apart for a second day in a row. People in the fallen port city of Mariupol are rough-sleeping in shelters with no food, water, power and heating supplies.
Alongside the civilian casualties reported at 364 including more than 20 children, according to UN. Most died from using explosive weapons impacting wide areas, especially those including shelling, heavy artillery, and rockets. Meanwhile, Pope Francis said, "War is madness, please stop," in his weekly address at St. Peter's Square.
Poland has opened its doors to hordes of haggard Ukrainians offering food and transport. At borders, 27-year-old Nicolas Kusiak has done everything possible to support the Ukrainians. "It's beginning to get organized," Kusiak told AFP near the Medyka border post. Kusiak fluent many languages helps Ukrainians with translation as well.
He also brought tents, generators, heaters and food with him from Warsaw and has tried to coordinate police, doctors, firefighters and the volunteers doling out hot soups — a daunting challenge.
"Everyone is trying to do everything," he said.
In a massive effort to host the fleeing Ukrainians, Polish government has set up reception centres. The aid mobilized by the country helped an estimated 1.5 million Ukrainians already living in Poland. Reports quoting Polish border guards put the number of people crossing as of now at a million.