Ukrainian refugees reach 2.8 mn

Warsaw: As Russia's war in Ukraine becomes a grim new reality for millions of Ukrainians, the tens of thousands who make the increasingly treacherous journey toward safety in the European Union each day are left with no sense of when, or if, they'll ever return home.

More than 2.8 million people have fled Ukraine in the wake of Russia's invasion, according to the UN refugee agency, the vast majority seeking refuge in Poland which has taken in more than 1.7 refugees in the last 19 days.

In the Polish border town of Przemysl, some of those who are fleeing, mostly women and children, are exhausted and express a simple wish that the war and violence would stop.

All day crying from the pain of having to part with loved ones, with my husband, my parents, said Alexandra Beltuygova, 33, who fled from Dnipro, a city between the embattled metropolises of Kyiv and Mariupol.

I understand that we may not see them. I wish this war would end, she said.

At a refugee center in Suceava in northern Romania, 28-year-old Lesia Ostrovska watched over her 1-year-old son as her daughter, who is 8, played nearby with other children displaced by the war.

I left my husband, my father, my mother, my grandparents, said Ostrovska, who is from Chernivtsi in western Ukraine.

It's hard with kids, in the bus, here in this situation We hope that the war is finished soon and we can go back home.

As the fighting, now in its third week, continues to exact a grievous human toll in Ukraine with Russian troops bombarding many of the country's most populous cities, the number of those crossing into countries on the eastern edge of the EU has begun to slowly wane in

recent days.

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