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Inside Ukraine's refugee crisis

Ukrainians crowd under a destroyed bridge as they try to flee crossing the Irpin river in the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, March 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Ukrainians crowd under a destroyed bridge as they try to flee crossing the Irpin river in the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, March 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

Russian helicopters landed near Oleksandr’s home in Ukraine.

That was the moment he and his family knew they had to flee, joining the more than two million Ukrainians who are now refugees:

“Those are real people and real pain. They never wanted to leave for other countries,” Oleksandr Mykhed, writer, literary scholar and art curator, says. “Amount of pain through these two weeks, you could not imagine that.”

Volunteers in neighboring countries have rushed to their borders to help:

“We have this banner that says ‘You’re safe, welcome, you’re safe’ and they’re starting to cry when they see that,” Natasja Bogacz, who works with Caritas Norway, helping refugees crossing into Poland, says.

Today, On Point: Two million refugees, and counting. We discuss the humanitarian catastrophe of Russia’s attack on Ukraine.

Guests

Sarah Deardorff Miller, senior fellow at Refugees International. She teaches courses on refugee protection at the University of London and Georgetown University.

Natasja Bogacz, she works with Caritas Norway, helping refugees crossing into Poland.

Kateryna Babkina, Ukrainian poet, playwright and author. She lived in Kyiv, but fled to Poland.

Oleksandr Mykhed, writer, literary scholar, art curator and a member of PEN Ukraine. He fled his home in Hostomel and is now working as a volunteer in Chernivtsi.


Looking for reputable organizations that support refugees? 

Organizations include UNHCR – The UN Refugee Agency, Médecins Sans Frontières, International Committee of the Red CrossCARE – Fighting Global Poverty and World Hunger, Caritas and Save the Children.


Related Reading

Financial Times: “Letter from Ukraine: the language of war” — “A leading Ukrainian writer recalls the Russian assault on his home near Kyiv — and asks what artists should do in wartime.”

Ponars Eurasia: “The Journey from Kyiv to Lviv | Ivan Gomza” — “Leaving my apartment in Kyiv, I deliberately stopped the wall clock at 5 AM. I hope the apartment will stand so that I can come back and set the right time. If not, I hope the wall where it hangs will stand to symbolize when I became an IDP.”

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.