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Over a million Ukrainians returned since Russian invasion: Kyiv border official

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Over a million Ukrainians have returned to their country since Russia launched its devastating invasion at the end of February, a spokesman for Kyiv’s border force said Wednesday.

“From that period of time, 1.1 million of our citizens entered Ukraine,” border official Andriy Demchenko said at a press conference.

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He added that “almost five million people” crossed the Ukrainian border in both directions since war with Moscow erupted.

Demchenko did not specify how many of those returning had earlier left the country in connection with the war.

He also said more than 2,000 people were arrested for attempting to cross the border illegally.

The United Nations said on Wednesday that more than five million Ukrainians have fled the country since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched the invasion.

UNCHR, the UN refugee agency, said 5,034,493 Ukrainians have left since February 24, the day Putin launched his offensive.

“Eight weeks into the conflict, we are at five million and counting, with five million unique stories of loss and trauma,” said deputy UNHCR chief Kelly T Clements.

It is Europe’s fastest-growing refugee crisis since World War II.

The amount of people returning to the war-torn country has triggered some warnings from authorities.

Kyiv’s mayor Vitali Klitschko earlier this month told residents of the city who fled had the conflict not to return home yet as Russia was still targeting the capital with missile strikes.

Read more: Ukraine says evacuation corridor agreed for besieged port city of Mariupol

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