Russia’s invasion of Ukraine caught Europe unawares, without an understanding of the full implications of the war and its effect on members of NATO and the European Union. On Day 15 of this unprovoked war of aggression from Russia, the number of migrants fleeing the conflict is in the hundreds of thousands. Europe hasn’t seen a crisis of such magnitude since World War II.
Every day, the number of Ukrainian refugees fleeing to Europe is increasing. The UN refugee agency says more than 2 million citizens have already left Ukraine to escape the ongoing Russian aggression. The main migration flow runs to Poland (more than 1.2 million), Hungary (more than 191,000), Slovakia (over 140,000), also Russia (more than 99,000) and Moldova (over 82,000).
Western countries, and the UN humanitarian organisations involved, presented with problems of such a scale cannot escape from the obligation to condemn and counteract Putin’s criminal regime.
The main fear forcing people to flee from Ukraine to Europe are the air strikes, missile strikes and artillery shelling of residential buildings by the Russian army in large cities across Ukraine. These actions have deliberately caused massive civilian casualties, struck fear into the hearts of ordinary people trying to escape from the military conflict, and provoked a spike in the number of refugees seeking a safe haven.
The events in Ukraine are causing the largest migration crisis in 80 years. To help mitigate the crisis Ukraine needs modern air defence systems, combat aircraft and most importantly, closure of the sky over Ukraine to all flights.
Only these actions will force Putin to sit down at the negotiating table and end the war in Ukraine, thus saving millions of civilian lives in Ukraine and stemming the flood of refugees into Europe.