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U.N.: Over 150,000 Ukrainians have crossed border into neighboring countries

European Union leaders attend a summit at the Chateau de Versailles near Paris on March 11, 2022. Photo by the European Union/ UPI | License Photo

Feb. 26 (UPI) -- More than 150,000 refugees have crossed from Ukraine into neighboring countries, the United Nations said Saturday.

Filippo Grandi, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, said in a statement that about 75,000 of the refugees have fled into Poland alone.

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Poland, which has strong ties to Ukraine, is allowing refugees who don't have identification into the country and shortening its processing times, according to U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Samantha Power.

"Poland's ties to Ukraine are strong with a Ukrainian community of over 1 million," Power said while calling Polish efforts "beyond generous."

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Many of the refugees are also fleeing to Hungary, Moldova and Romania, Grandi said.

"Displacement in Ukraine is also growing but the military situation makes it difficult to estimate numbers and provide aid," he said.

Moldova, which borders Ukraine to the south, has been an evacuation point for Ukrainian refugees fleeing cities such as the port city of Odessa, where Russian troops landed at the start of the invasion.

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President Maia Sandu of Moldova said in a statement that Moldovans have "opened their hearts and homes to the people of Ukraine who need help."

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Sandu shared images Thursday of tents the country set up near the villages of Palanca and Ocnița to serve as "temporary placement centers."

"Our borders are open for Ukranian citizens who need safe transit or stay," she said.

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Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán visited the border his country shares with Ukraine on Saturday and said the country will support all sanctions against Russia, according to Zoltan Kovacs, the Hungarian secretary of state.

Orbán said "humane, decent and well-prepared" officers at the border will make sure all refugees are cared for, according to Kovacs.

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, whose country also borders Ukraine, said in a statement Friday that the country "will continue to give all our support to Ukraine, including humanitarian assistance."

"The latest developments seriously affect European, Euro-Atlantic and global security, and Russia holds full responsibility for this situation and must be held accountable for these acts of extraordinary gravity," he said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said late Friday that Russian troops had targeted orphanages and schools while moving toward Kyiv.

"What is this war against Ukrainian children in a kindergarten? Who are they? Are they neo-Nazis from kindergarten as well? Or were they NATO soldiers that threatened Russia?" Zelensky said in an address. "Killed and injured children are the sentence to this invasion."

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