100,000 Ukrainians cross Poland border

100,000 Ukrainians cross Poland border

100,000 Ukrainians cross Poland border

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine earlier this week, according to Poland’s Deputy Interior Minister Pawel Szefernaker, 100,000 individuals have crossed the border into Poland.

“From the onset of warfare in Ukraine through today, along the entire border with Ukraine, 100,000 people have crossed the border from Ukraine into Poland,” Szefernaker told reporters in the border village of Medyka, southeastern Poland.

At a news conference, the chief of the Polish border guard, Tomasz Praga, said that almost 50,000 migrants had entered into Poland from Ukraine only on Friday alone.

Before Russia’s invasion, Poland was home to an estimated 1.5 million Ukrainians. Poland has maintained unwavering support for Ukraine and has witnessed the vast majority of people leaving the country pass into its territory so far.

“Latest update is that almost 116,000 have fled to neighbouring countries since 24 Feb — mainly Poland, Hungary, Moldova, Slovakia and Romania,” the UN refugee agency UNHCR tweeted on Saturday.

“Numbers are rising,” it added.

Szefernaker said that 90 percent of the migrants had actual locations to go in Poland, such as the houses of friends or family members, but that the remaining 10 percent are seeking assistance at nine receiving centers set up near the border with Hungary.

The centers provide food and medical services, as well as a place to relax and any information that may be required. Those migrants who have nowhere else to go are subsequently transported by bus to a variety of lodging choices that Poland has arranged in preparation.

A separate announcement was made on Saturday by Poland’s Infrastructure Minister, Andrzej Adamczyk, who said that “for the next four weeks, Ukrainian residents will be allowed to travel trains run by (Polish rail operator) PKP Intercity without paying a single cent.”

In the border city of Przemysl, the EU member with a population of 38 million people has also prepared an ambulance train.

Michal Dworczyk, a Polish government official, said that, if and when required, the train would go to the Ukrainian border city of Mostyska, where it will pick up the injured and transfer them to Warsaw for medical attention.

“I hope that we won’t have to use these railroad cars,” he told reporters.

He added that Poland is doing everything it can to help its neighbour under attack.

“Over the last few days we’ve seen an incredible burst of solidarity among Poles,” he said.

“I have yet to come across someone who didn’t want to somehow help.”

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