Ukraine's Diaspora – The New York Times


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More than three million Ukrainians have fled their country. See who they are.
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David Leonhardt and
During the early days of the war in Ukraine — as Russia was attacking the city of Mykolaiv, near the Black Sea — Anna Sevidova decided to hide in her basement with her son. She figured it was their best hope for staying safe.
But they moved back above ground after several days, thinking the threat had receded. The next day, a missile exploded in Anna’s yard, and a fragment of it shot into her house, striking her in the face. With a piece of the missile lodged in her nose, she crawled through the house, dragging her son underneath her to protect him. Both of them were covered in blood. “I thought those were the last seconds of my life,” Anna said.
Instead, they survived and soon fled to Moldova, which borders Ukraine. They are among the roughly 10 million Ukrainians, or about one-fourth of the country’s population, who have left their homes in the past month. Of the 10 million, about seven million have moved to other parts of Ukraine, while more than 3.5 million have left the country.
It is the largest displacement of Europeans since World War II, according to the United Nations. More than half of Ukraine’s children are no longer living in their homes.
The numbers are so large because Russia is using a deliberate strategy of attacking civilians to destabilize Ukraine. This flood of refugees has created major challenges in Europe. Moldova, for example, has taken in more than 100,000 Ukrainians, despite being one of Europe’s smallest and poorest countries. About 90 percent of those refugees are living in private homes. “For now, society is showing a great degree of empathy,” Nicu Popescu, Moldova’s foreign minister, told The Times.
President Biden announced yesterday that the U.S. would accept 100,000 refugees and donate $1 billion to help European countries deal with the surge in refugees. Previously, the Biden administration had set a cap for refugees, coming from anywhere in the world, of 125,000 per year.
Today’s newsletter summarizes some of the best journalism about Ukraine’s refugees, including photographs that Sarah Hughes, a Times photo editor, selected.
“One day you are driving to the dentist. The next you are whispering with strangers in a dark basement,” our colleague Sabrina Tavernise writes, as part of a collection of short profiles of fleeing mothers and children. “It is a moment when instinct — to save your children, to get through the next checkpoint — takes over and emotions are blocked. Finally, it is the shocking realization that suddenly, unwillingly, you are a refugee, dependent on the generosity of strangers, no longer a middle-class person in charge of your own life.”
Natalia Lutsenko — who has fled to Poland from the bombed-out northern town of Chernihiv — told The Associated Press that she still could not comprehend what Vladimir Putin was thinking: “Why is he bombing peaceful homes? Why there are so many victims, blood, and killed children, body parts everywhere?”
Lviv — the largest city in western Ukraine, about 45 miles from Poland — has become a safe haven for many Ukrainians, as Stefanie Glinski describes in Foreign Policy. But they also wonder whether Russia will soon begin attacking it regularly. And daily life is often a crowded struggle. “We had a comfortable life and a nice apartment,” Ludmilla Marchuk, a 44-year-old mother of two said tearfully. “I just want to go home.”
Poland has accepted the most refugees by far — about 2.2 million, according to the U.N. (Next on the list are Romania and Hungary, each between 300,000 and 600,000.) The Washington Post has published drawings by children at the train station in Przemysl, a Polish city near the Ukrainian border. And the Times has reported that Przemysl, an elegant little city, has transformed itself nearly overnight to feed, house and help refugees.
Moldova has taken in about one refugee for every 25 of its citizens. This Times video looks at the situation there — and allows you to hear Anna Sevidova tell her own story.
“The best that humanity has to offer”: A Kyiv Independent journalist spent a day with volunteers who deliver food, rescue pets and evacuate people from nearby war zones.
For anybody who wants to make a donation to help Ukrainian refugees, there are many worthy options (but watch out for scams). One option recommended by this Times Opinion guide is Mercy Corps, which is supporting local organizations in Poland, Romania and Ukraine. Another option is World Central Kitchen, founded by the chef José Andrés.
Ukraine’s counteroffensive has scored several major strikes, destroying Russian helicopters, a resupply convoy and a naval ship in the Sea of Azov.
The U.S. imposed new sanctions on more than 300 members of Russia’s Parliament, and Biden said the country should be removed from the G20.
After Biden met with NATO leaders, the alliance activated a task force to prepare for a possible chemical, biological or nuclear attack. Biden visits Poland today, where he plans to meet with refugees and U.S. troops.
Some journalists have quit jobs at Russian state media outlets, citing regret for promoting lies about the war.
Pepsi, Pizza Hut and other symbols of Western culture are leaving Russia.
The Times’s Visual Investigations team analyzed battlefield radio transmissions between Russian forces, revealing communication failures.
Masha Gessen recommends books to understand what drives Putin.
The seven-day average of new Covid cases in the U.S. has risen for the first time since mid-January. (Here is The Morning’s explainer on the BA.2 subvariant.)
New York City exempted pro athletes from its vaccine mandate, allowing unvaccinated players on the Mets, Nets and Yankees to play home games. Players for the Knicks are fully vaccinated, their manager has said.
Many Asian-Pacific countries are removing pandemic restrictions. There’s one notable holdout: China.
Ginni Thomas, the wife of Justice Clarence Thomas, sent Donald Trump’s chief of staff text messages imploring him to overturn the 2020 election.
Ketanji Brown Jackson’s hearings were evidence that the Supreme Court confirmation process is broken, writes Carl Hulse, The Times’s chief Washington correspondent.
Arizona Republicans passed a bill banning most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Gov. Doug Ducey is expected to sign it.
The U.S. accused four Russian officials of hacking critical infrastructure, including a nuclear power plant in Kansas, in recent years.
The E.U. is set to pass a law restricting the ability of big tech companies to stifle competition.
Uber users in New York City will soon be able to request a yellow taxi.
North Korea carried out its boldest weapon test in years with its first intercontinental ballistic missile firing since 2017.
The pilots of the China Eastern Airlines flight were highly experienced, adding to the mystery surrounding the plane’s crash.
Ethiopia’s government announced a “humanitarian truce” in the Tigray region, where food aid has not been delivered since December.
The Oscars are in decline because movies have become less culturally relevant, Ross Douthat argues.
Sanctioning Russia’s oligarchs won’t sway Putin. Blocking its oil could, says Eileen O’Connor.
Jokes, time and things in common: David Brooks lists the secrets of lasting friendships.
Pop: Bespoke balloon arrangements are the new bouquets.
Modern Love: Two sister search for answers in their mother’s life and death.
A Times classic: The man who cracked the lottery.
Advice from Wirecutter: This baking sheet is a versatile kitchen staple.
Lives Lived: As a programmer for CompuServe in 1987, Stephen Wilhite led a team that revolutionized how people shared online video clips. They called their format a GIF (pronounced “jif,” as Wilhite himself said). He died at 74.
The arrival of spring means many new books to dig into. The Times Book Review put together a preview of exciting titles to look out for.
In the world of fiction, there are sprawling family sagas and tales of time travel. In the supernatural novel “The Hacienda,” by Isabel Cañas, a young bride must survive a sinister new home.
For fans of nonfiction, the spring slate includes a memoir by Viola Davis and a biography of George Floyd by two Washington Post journalists. There are also historical accounts, like “River of the Gods,” by Candice Millard, which delves into a yearslong journey in the 19th century to trace the Nile River to its source.
Brussels sprouts caramelize to a deep, delicious brown with this stove-top method.
The composer La Monte Young has finally put out an authorized recording of his breakthrough composition, “Trio for Strings,” which he wrote in 1958.
The Oscars are this Sunday — read our predictions and make your own with this ballot.
Jimmy Kimmel discussed Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Senate confirmation hearings.
How well did you follow this week’s headlines?
The pangram from yesterday’s Spelling Bee was inflexible. Here is today’s puzzle — or you can play online.
Here’s today’s Wordle. Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Wanderer (five letters).
If you’re in the mood to play more, find all our games here.
Thanks for spending part of your morning with The Times. See you tomorrow. — David
P.S. Frank Bruni, the longtime Times writer, discussed his new memoir — about losing sight but gaining perspective — on NPR’s “Fresh Air.”
Here’s today’s front page.
The Daily” is about how life has changed for Afghan girls under the Taliban. “The Ezra Klein Show” features Margaret Atwood. “Popcast” is about Rosalía, the Spanish singer.
Isabella Kwai, Ian Prasad Philbrick, Tom Wright-Piersanti, Ashley Wu and Sanam Yar contributed to The Morning. You can reach the team at themorning@nytimes.com.
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