The intense wave of migration from Ukraine is said to be the Europe’s fastest in decades. But it has now been reported that as many as 30 percent of the Ukrainian arrivals are migrants of other nationalities, many of whom originate from Africa and the Middle East.
France, one of the many countries opening their borders to Ukrainian refugees, has declared a welcome for up to 100,000 people. The country does not require visas for entry for refugees from Ukraine, having recently permitted an asylum scheme for Ukrainians which allows them to remain in the country visa-free for at least a year. The announcement came after a speech from President Emmanuel Macron wherein he stated, “France, like all other European countries, will do its part to assist the Ukrainian people, but also to welcome refugees from this country.”
French Prime Minister Jean Castex recently revealed that around 5,000 have arrived so far in the country since Russia’s invasion on February 24th, and that the number of Ukrainian refugees was “increasing rapidly”.
Now it is reported that many of the new arrivals being identified by French authorities are not Ukrainian. Allegedly, “7.5 percent are of Algerian nationality, while 3.5 percent of arrivals are from the Ivory Coast and Morocco respectively … Indians and Kyrgyzstan nationals are next on the list at 2.5 percent apiece, while other nationalities arriving include the Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Pakistan, Nigeria, and China” according to Remix News and Le Figaro.
The United Nations Refugee Agency has insisted that countries do not discriminate “against any person or group” and to “continue to maintain access to territory for all those fleeing”. Neighboring nations across Europe have kept their borders open for refugees, with roughly three million migrants having fled the war in Ukraine, so far.
As more than half of Ukrainian refugees flee to neighboring Poland, substantial strain has been placed on Polish authorities who are now dealing with a sudden influx of people, indeed, while expecting numbers to increase as the war progresses.
Polish towns such as Zamosc (with a population of 60,000) have welcomed – on some days – up to 35,000 people, according to the BBC. Various neighboring areas have also been feeling the strain of mass migration and are left wondering how long they can cope with the influx.
Thousands more from Ukraine are expected to resume their journey for refuge to and from neighboring parts of Eastern and Western Europe throughout the coming weeks.