The United Nations is preparing for up to 4 million refugees from Ukraine, if Russia’s war against the country continues to escalate.
Thousands had already streamed across the borders into neighbouring countries such as Poland, Moldova, Slovakia and also Russia, a spokesperson for the UN refugee agency UNHCR said in Geneva on Friday.
The agency said it remained ready to provide assistance to Ukrainians seeking escape.
The UN children’s agency UNICEF is also strengthening its presence in the neighbouring countries of Moldova, Romania and Poland, as well as in Hungary and Slovenia.
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Shelters for women and children were to be set up along escape routes.
The UN human rights office said it had received reports of 25 civilians killed and 102 injured since Russia invaded in the early hours of Thursday.
The vast majority of cases were reported from areas controlled by the Ukrainian government, a spokeswoman said.
He added that the true numbers were assumed to be much higher.
Ukraine has almost 42 million inhabitants.