Strikes in Ukraine | UN expects new wave of displacement

(Geneva) More people will be forced to flee their homes in Ukraine, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi warned on Monday, after Russian missiles fell on Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities.

Posted at 7:58 p.m.

Earlier on Monday, Moscow unleashed the most massive series of strikes across Ukraine in months, in retaliation for the explosion that damaged a key bridge linking Russia and the Crimean peninsula over the weekend. .

This bridge is a symbol of the annexation of Crimea by the Kremlin in 2014.

“The horror of what happened in Ukraine today…is inexcusable,” the Italian diplomat told reporters.

“The bombardment of civilians, houses […]non-military infrastructure indiscriminately in many cities of Ukraine, means that war is becoming more and more difficult for civilians,” he added.

“I fear that the events of the past few hours will cause new displacements”.

Since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, more than 7.6 million Ukrainian refugees have been registered as refugees across Europe.

While a number of these people have since returned home, some 4.2 million Ukrainians are affected by temporary protection status within the EU.

According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), nearly 7 million people have also been displaced inside the conflict-torn country.

Grandi said he expected people to flee mostly inside Ukraine after Monday’s attacks, which Kyiv said left at least 14 people dead and nearly 100 injured.

“My prognosis… is that we will see mostly internal displacement,” he said on the sidelines of the UNHCR Nansen Prize ceremony, which was awarded this year to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. former German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The UN envoy said travel in Ukraine was currently “extremely fluid”.

“You have people fleeing for just a few hours, to escape the bombs…, and then trying to get home,” he noted.

But in situations where the destruction is greater and people no longer have access to heating or food, “I fear that the displacements will not last longer”.

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