Sunday, February 6, 2022

Should Europe brace for a new refugee crisis? –

Could an escalation in Ukraine trigger a new European refugee crisis? The answer to that question is yes.

According to the New York Times, ​​Biden administration officials estimate a large-scale Russian invasion could kill as many as 50,000 civilians and result in one million to five million refugees, with many of them pouring into Poland.

Europeans have so far been more sceptical of a large-scale invasion. Instead, they see other scenarios as more likely to play out, including capturing strategic territory in Ukraine’s east, creating a land bridge from Russia to occupied Crimea, hybrid warfare with cyberattacks targeting critical infrastructure, or missile strikes without troop involvement.

Another possibility is a small incursion or simply sending Russian mercenaries and military equipment to the already occupied territories of Ukraine to expand existing separatist-held areas.

However, even such scenarios could see people flee the country.

Poland said it is preparing to take up to a million “real refugees” from its neighbour. The country already has a substantial Ukrainian community of over one million (though figures vary due to the seasonal and temporary nature of some migration) since 2014.

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