By Ononye VC
More than 1 million children have fled Ukraine in the less than two weeks since Russia first invaded the country, says UNICEF spokesperson James Elder, calling it “a dark historical first.”
That means that children represent around half of the more than 2 million people that have fled the war, an exodus that the UN refugee agency has called the fastest-growing refugee crisis in Europe since World War II.
Most of those fleeing the war have entered countries on Ukraine’s western border, like Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Romania and Moldova. The majority have gone into Poland, where 1.33 million refugees have crossed according to the Polish Border Guard agency.
Moldova’s Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilita told CNN on Sunday that 1 in every 8 children in Moldova is a refugee.
In addition to children, most other refugees are women — the mothers and grandmothers of the children that are bringing them to safety — since Ukrainian men from age 18 to 60 aren’t permitted to leave the country.