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Thursday, July 7, 2022

Will Ukrainian exodus surpass the refugee influx of World War II?

In a recent news release, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) counted more than 100 million people globally who have been displaced and forced to flee conflict, violence, human rights violations and persecution. .

The staggering numbers of refugees have been fueled by wars in Ukraine and Afghanistan, Syria, South Sudan, Myanmar and Somalia. Ukraine has seen a mass exodus since Russia invaded the country in February.

Syrian children hold hands as they wait for a delivery of food and toys at an orphanage camp for displaced people run by the Turkish Red Crescent in November 2021.
( Associated Press Photo/Francisco Seco)

More than 6.6 million Ukrainians have fled, whose numbers continue to grow. Men between the ages of 18 and 64 need to stay in the country to help protect themselves, so the majority of refugees are women and children.

This situation represents the largest and fastest migration of people to Europe since World War II, when an estimated 11 million people were displaced from their home countries by 1945.

Post-war European history is also littered with refugee movements resulting from conflict between the Soviet Union and the West.

cold war refugee flows

Although it is difficult to identify the total number of refugees generated in these conflicts due to the scale of the movement, the difficulty of defining and counting refugees, and shifting terminology (for example, the use of the term “refugee” instead of “displaced persons”). ), we know that the Cold War produced millions of refugees from communist Europe in the years immediately following World War II.

This included an estimated 3.5 million who fled East Germany before the Berlin Wall was built.

The Hungarian Revolution of 1956 was estimated to have produced 200,000 refugees.

The 1968 Prague Spring – an attempt to establish political liberalization through mass protests by the people of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic (now the Czech Republic and Slovakia) – was crushed by the Soviet Union, producing some 80,000 refugees.

An Elderly Woman In A Blue Shirt Is Sitting Next To Two Elderly Men.
Surviving members of a group known as the Magnificent Eight wait to receive an award in Prague, Czech Republic, for the 1968 protest in Russia against the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia.
( Associated Press Photo/Petr David Josek)

From 1991 to 2001, an estimated 2.4 million refugees broke into the independent countries of Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, Kosovo and Bosnia as a result of a series of inter-related wars involving the former Yugoslavia.

Most Ukrainian refugees have fled to Poland, but Hungary, Romania and Slovakia and Moldova have also received refugees. Some Ukrainians are able to transfer to third country destinations, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany.

Read more: Canada should welcome Afghan refugees as much as Ukrainians

Ukrainians are displaced or stranded

But the UNHCR estimates that there are more than seven million Ukrainians displaced within the country, particularly those who fled the intense fighting for the western city of Lviv in eastern Ukraine, and those who fled Kyiv during the siege of the country’s capital. Were.

Counting both refugees and internally displaced persons, more than a quarter of Ukraine’s population is now displaced.

A Brown-Haired Woman Looks Out Of The Bus Window Sadly.
An internally displaced elderly woman from Mariupol looks out the window of a bus as she arrives at a refugee center fleeing Russian attacks in April 2022.
( Associated Press photo/Leo Korea)

Still others are trapped and unable to leave their ravaged homes and communities, essentially meaning they have been displaced without being able to leave.

Although there have recently been reports of people returning to parts of Ukraine as Russian forces run out, the war is showing no signs of being lost, making it more than likely that both refugee flows and internal displacement will continue to grow .

It has taken less than 11 weeks for the Russia-Ukraine conflict to become the biggest trigger for human displacement in Europe since the full six years of World War II.

Given that Ukraine has a population of 44 million, it is quite possible that the ongoing conflict could result in a refugee influx that surpasses World War II.

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Deskhttps://worldnationnews.com/
World Nation News is a digital news portal website. Which provides important and latest breaking news updates to our audience in an effective and efficient ways, like world’s top stories, entertainment, sports, technology and much more news.
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