LVIV, Ukraine (AP) — By car, train, foot and — in at least one case — office chair, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian war refugees have sought safety in the bordering nations of Poland, Romania, Hungary, Moldova, and the Czech Republic.
The chaotic run for freedom was captured by Associated Press photographers as more than an estimated 500,000 people have been forced to flee the country during the Russian invasion.
The U.N. has estimated the conflict could produce as many as 4 million refugees with “devastating humanitarian consequences.”
As a seemingly endless column of cars lined up to cross into Moldova at the Mayaky-Udobne border point, some opted to walk alongside cars pulling luggage. Others walked toward borders bundled in heavy winter coats, gloves, warm hats — some with dogs in tow, others pulling baby strollers piled with bags of belongings.
There were emotional goodbyes as people parted at train stations and tearful reunions as family members embraced upon reaching one of the neighboring countries that has opened their borders to refugees.
Families gathered in tents in Siret, Romania. Children were offered toys.
At the train station in Lviv on Sunday, the lucky were able to board a train bound for Chop on the border with Hungary. Others had to wait to see if another train would arrive.