Russian missile strikes will lead to internal displacements, UN warns

Russia’s latest missile strikes on Ukraine could lead to more refugees and internal displacements, the UN refugee agency has warned.

“I say clearly it is inexcusable what has happened: the bombing of civilian targets, homes, non-military infrastructure, and indiscriminately in many cities in Ukraine,” said Filippo Grandi, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

“This means that the war is getting harder and harder for civilians. We’re going to see more displacements, so we’re going to see an increasing humanitarian impact.”

His words came after Russia launched a wave of strikes across Ukraine in retaliation for an explosion that damaged a bridge linking the country to the illegally annexed Crimea peninsula.

Around 7.6 million people have left the country since the beginning of the invasion, with some returning home since. Around 4.2 million have registered for temporary protection in the EU or for other protection schemes, according to the UN refugee agency.

“It’s a huge figure. Inside Ukraine, we have between six and seven million displaced people,” Grandi said.

He said he feared the recent missile strikes to result mostly in internal displacements.

“The difficulty is the lack of a solution. Because humanitarian aid can always be activated, but it is difficult to sustain it in the long term if there is no solution if there is not even a prospect of a solution,” he added.

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