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Number of Ukrainians displaced by Russia's invasion has swelled to nearly 10 million, UN agencies say

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Children play on the stage of the theatre of the Ukrainian House where a shelter for refugees is installed in Przemysl, southeastern Poland, near the Ukrainian-Polish border, on March 18, 2022. Photo by WOJTEK RADWANSKI/AFP via Getty Images
Children play on the stage of the theatre of the Ukrainian House where a shelter for refugees is installed in Przemysl, southeastern Poland, near the Ukrainian-Polish border, on March 18, 2022. Photo by WOJTEK RADWANSKI/AFP via Getty Images
  • The number of Ukrainians displaced by Russia's invasion has swelled to nearly 10 million.
  • The UN said on Thursday that more than 3.1 million Ukrainians have fled to neighbouring countries.
  • On Friday, it said an estimated 6.5 million people are displaced within Ukraine.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Nearly 10 million Ukrainians have now been forced to leave their homes as a result of Russia's invasion more than three weeks ago.

The United Nations' International Organization for Migration said on Friday that nearly 6.5 million people are displaced within Ukraine, which it called "a good representation of the scale of internal displacement" in the country.

Earlier this week, the UN's Refugee Agency had estimated that at least two million people were displaced within Ukraine — a figure significantly lower than Friday's new tally.

Meanwhile, the UN on Thursday said that over 3.1 million Ukrainians have fled the country, bringing the total number of displaced individuals — those still inside Ukraine and those who have fled to neighbouring countries — to an estimated 9.6 million.

The UN cautioned, however, that the latest figures of internally displaced Ukrainians still don't tell the full story of the humanitarian impact the war has caused.

"Over 12 million people are estimated to be stranded in affected areas or unable to leave due to heightened security risks, destruction of bridges and roads, as well as lack of resources or information on where to find safety and accommodation," the UN said in Friday's statement.

Ukrainian parliament's commissioner for human rights Lyudmyla Denisova said on Friday that Ukraine and Russia agreed on several humanitarian corridors, which have seen 173,000 citizens evacuated from war-torn cities like Mariupol and Sumy.

She said humanitarian conditions in Kyiv and Kharkiv are worsening, though they are not yet as bad as they are in Mariupol.

"The humanitarian situation in cities such as Mariupol and Sumy is extremely dire, with residents facing critical and potentially fatal shortages of food, water and medicines," the UN said on Thursday.

Ukraine has said that Russian forces are repeatedly targeting civilian infrastructure, as its advance on the country remains largely stalled.

US and Western officials have slammed Russia for attacks on civilians. The US State Department, International Criminal Court, and International Court of Justice are all investigating whether Russia has committed war crimes in Ukraine.

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