Warsaw mayor calls for help as city overwhelmed by Ukrainian refugees

A Ukrainian police officer helps people as artillery echoes nearby while fleeing Irpin in the outskirts of Kyiv
Associated Press/Emilio Morenatti

The mayor of Poland’s capital, Warsaw, is calling for help as the city has been overwhelmed by Ukrainian refugees fleeing the war. 

“We are dealing with the greatest migration crisis in the history of Europe since World War II. … The situation is getting more and more difficult every day,” Mayor Rafal Trzaskowski said Friday, The Associated Press reported

He stated 300,000 Ukrainian refugees have come to the city as Poland has been a top destination for those escaping the conflict. Poland’s Border Guard agency said 1.5 million refugees have made it to Poland. 

In total, more than 2.5 million individuals have left Ukraine since Feb. 24 when the invasion began. 

Volunteers have been working to provide humanitarian aid to refugees in the city, but the mayor said this is only a temporary fix as the citizens will have to go back to their jobs soon, according to the AP.

Trzakskowski listed psychologists as one of the positions that have been volunteering, especially as new arrivals are those who have seen the destructions and bombings of Ukraine first-hand. 

“This is a completely different kind of refugee. They are afraid of everything. They sit in their jackets. Children are scared, they don’t want to play, their mothers have such empty eyes,” Dorota Zawadzka, a child psychologist who has been volunteering, stated, the AP noted. 

The international community has been providing humanitarian aid to Ukraine and its citizens as some countries have lifted visa requirements so refugees can more easily flee.

Poland has been used for people who plan to stay there until the war is over and for those who just need a transit point to get to another country in Europe.

Tags Asylum Forced migration Poland Refugee Ukraine warsaw

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