Our biggest refugee crisis since WWII

Our biggest refugee crisis since WWII: Europe is facing exodus of FOUR MILLION people fleeing Ukraine… piling pressure on UK to take in more families

  • A further 2 million refugees are set to flee Ukraine for the UK in the coming days
  • Many who left already are suffering from frostbite, having traveled through snow
  • Second wave of refugees from Ukraine are expected to be older and vulnerable

Another two million people are set to flee Ukraine within days – raising pressure on Britain to welcome more refugees.

The ‘unprecedented’ scale of the exodus leaves Europe facing the largest crisis of its kind since the end of the Second World War, Western officials said last night.

The number of desperate refugees fleeing the Russian invasion is expected to double from 2.2 million to at least 4 million, as the spotlight falls on Home Secretary Priti Patel to do more to help families who want to come to Britain.

Many of those who have already left are suffering from frostbite after travelling through snow and ice to escape. Others have severe mental health problems related to their ordeal. 

The officials said the second wave of refugees would be older and more vulnerable than the first, meaning they will need more help from Western countries such as Britain.

The warning will pile further pressure on Boris Johnson to do more to make it easier for Ukrainians to find sanctuary in the UK.

Another two million people are set to flee Ukraine (pictured on the Romanian border) within days – raising pressure on Britain to welcome more refugees

The ‘unprecedented’ scale of the exodus leaves Europe facing the largest crisis of its kind since the end of the Second World War, Western officials said last night (pictured, an emergency worker holds a Ukrainian child in Romania)

Many of those who have already left are suffering from frostbite after travelling through snow and ice to escape (pictured, people rush to catch a train leaving the Ukrainian city of Odessa)

Kharkiv residents rest as they shelter from Russian shelling in a metro station in the city centre on Thursday, March 10

Following mounting criticism, Miss Patel yesterday announced major changes to the visa regime – but charities said they did not go far enough.

The Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Secretary Michael Gove is preparing to announce details of a ‘local sponsorship scheme’ – but this has been delayed until next week. 

The programme will enable Britons to house those fleeing the war in a spare room, or even give them a job.

Refugee numbers are set to increase dramatically as the crisis in Ukraine deepens. 

The World Health Organisation said it has 18 verified reports of Russian attacks on ambulances or health facilities across the country.

Following mounting criticism, Miss Patel yesterday announced major changes to the visa regime – but charities said they did not go far enough

Refugees fleeing the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine wait for hours to board a train to Poland outside the train station in Lviv on Tuesday, March 8 

Ukrainian rescue team inspects damaged residential buildings that were shelled by Russian forces in the Zhytomyr region of Ukraine on Wednesday, March 9 

Rejected after £4,000 in fees 

A grandmother from Ukraine seeking sanctuary with family in the UK had her visa bid turned down without explanation – after £4,000 in fees.

Alla Yuzhakova, 72, was driven to within four miles of the Moldovan border by a stranger, then walked in freezing cold and rain. 

Her daughter Irina Wilson, 41, who lives in Weymouth, Dorset, met her in Romania last week and borrowed £4,000 to pay the fees for her Adult Dependent Relative visa – only to receive a rejection via email on Tuesday.

 

The bombing of a maternity hospital in Mariupol on Wednesday sparked international outrage. 

Hundreds of thousands of trapped citizens in the southern city are without food, water or medical aid. 

Dozens of civilians have been killed in air strikes and shelling in the eastern city of Kharkiv, while Kyiv’s mayor said half its population had fled.

Western officials yesterday described the refugee crisis as ‘unprecedented’. 

One said: ‘I would like to stress the sheer scale of this, which is something that we haven’t seen, certainly since the end of the Second World War, and that is a real challenge to us all.’

Following intense criticism, Miss Patel announced yesterday that some Ukrainian passport-holders will be able to apply for a visa entirely online without the need for face-to-face biometric checks.

It came as Mr Johnson said security checks on evacuees must continue in case applicants are ‘still armed’. 

But there has been no easing of rules which insist all applicants must have a relative with permanent rights to live in Britain. 

Thousands more with family members on work and other short-term UK visas remain excluded from the scheme, along with millions more with no links to the UK. 

Figures published on Wednesday showed Britain had granted just 957 visas so far.

Mike Adamson of British Red Cross, which has received £500,000 from the Mail Force Ukraine Refugee Appeal, said yesterday: ‘The simplest way of fixing this quickly is to remove visa requirements for Ukrainians … at least temporarily, in line with the actions of countries across Europe.’

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi suggested to Channel 4 News that more needed to be done to ‘streamline’ the system.

This image taken from video provided by the Mariupol City Council shows the aftermath of Mariupol Hospital after an attack, in the besieged port city of Mariupol, March 9, 2022

This image taken from video provided by the Mariupol City Council shows the aftermath of Mariupol Hospital after an attack, in Mariupol, Ukraine, Wednesday March 9, 2022

Residents cross the destroyed bridge as they flee from the frontline town of Irpin, Ukraine, March 9, 2022

A man carries his child away from the damaged by shelling maternity hospital in Mariupol, March 9, 2022

A mortuary worker sits on body bags before they were transported to the outskirts of Mariupol, March 9, 2022

Ukraine war: The latest

In other developments yesterday: 

  •  Boris Johnson warned the ‘cynical, barbaric’ Russian regime could use chemical weapons in Ukraine as it was ‘straight out of their playbook’;
  •  Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich and six other oligarchs were finally hit with sanctions over links to Vladimir Putin;
  • The club was left in crisis after its sale was put on hold and it faced curbs including a ban on ticket sales and merchandise;
  • Senior politicians including George Osborne and Tory peer Lord Barker faced questions over their links to newly-sanctioned oligarch Oleg Deripaska;
  • Talks between the Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers in Turkey failed to achieve any progress towards a ceasefire;
  • Russia denied responsibility for the Mariupol hospital attack, with Moscow’s embassy in London sparking outrage by claiming an injured mum-to-be was an actress;
  • A convoy of Russian tanks was destroyed in a Ukrainian ambush as it edged towards Kyiv, but heavy shelling continued to claim innocent lives in major cities and towns;
  • Moscow said it would open daily humanitarian corridors for civilians to escape to Russian territory – despite Kyiv insisting no evacuation routes should lead there;
  • CIA director William Burns said Putin did not appear to have a ‘sustainable’ end-game in Ukraine and may try to find a way to end the fighting soon;
  • Russia has reportedly sacked eight generals for their ‘failing operation’ amid claims Putin is furious with his spy agency for providing dodgy intelligence;
  • Mail readers’ donations helped our fundraising appeal for Ukrainian war victims to hit £5.5million, with £250,000 going to a charity that will help vulnerable children fleeing the fighting;
  • It was claimed more than half of Ukraine’s economy has shut down and assets worth $100billion (£76billion) have been destroyed since the invasion started.

 

Source: Read Full Article