The head of the U.N. refugee agency on Monday said that over 500,000 people had fled Ukraine since the Russian invasion began last week, and more than half had gone to neighboring Poland.
Poland has accepted the most Ukrainians, at 281,000, a global spokesman for the U.N. refugee agency told NBC News on Monday. Hungary has taken in nearly 85,000 refugees, while Moldova, Romania and Slovakia have each accepted 30,000 to around 36,000. Close to 35,000 have fled to other European countries.
Filippo Grandi, the U.N. high commissioner for refugees, confirmed the half-million number in a tweet early Monday. More than 130,000 Ukrainian people have reportedly left the country in less than 24 hours; just a day earlier, Grandi tweeted that a reported 368,000 had fled. The agency said in a report Saturday that the final figure could reach 5 million.
“Displacement in Ukraine is also growing but the military situation makes it difficult to estimate numbers and provide aid,” Grandi said in a tweet over the weekend. He noted that more than 50,000 Ukrainian refugees had fled in the first two days of the attacks against the country.