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10 Mar. 2022


Lviv-savior. How Lviv region copes with hundreds of thousands of refugees



Lviv-savior. How Lviv region copes with hundreds of thousands of refugees

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Western Ukraine in these two weeks has become the main security outpost for Ukrainians fleeing the horrors of war. Someone considers the Lviv region solely as a transit point on the way to the largest rear in the history of mankind - the whole of Europe. Others are trying to temporarily settle here, hoping that the war is not for long.

It is difficult to find a resident of our country who, at least once in his life, has not wandered through the ancient streets of Lviv, has not looked into its wonderful coffee houses and restaurants, has not enjoyed the unhurried true “Europeanness” of this wonderful city. But, none of those who ended up in it in these terrible days for Ukraine could imagine that the next reason for the visit would be like this. We must pay tribute to the heroic Lviv and the region, which mobilized in a matter of hours to help the colossal number of refugees: in the first three days of the war alone, 31,000 people arrived here by trains and cars.

Many of those, who are staying there, settled with relatives and friends, but 2.5 thousand refugees were helped by the hastily deployed resettlement center for forced settlers at the Arena Lviv stadium. And in the very heart of the city, on Copernicus Street, a coordination center has been launched. They help to find temporary housing, food and medicine, warm clothes - all this comes to the centers not only from patrons of great caliber, but also from ordinary Lviv residents who are in a hurry to share everything they can with those who are in trouble.

In addition, refugees themselves can find housing in promptly created Telegram and Facebook chat bots.

Head of the Lviv Regional State Administration, Maxym Kozytskiy, claims that the city already has 37,000 places to settle. However, since the flow of migrants is increasing every day of the war, the region hastily prepares everything for at least 100,000 more people. Housing is offered on the basis of rent or free accommodation, both by the residents themselves through chats on social networks, and by local hotels, sanatoriums and even schools. 

Although, men of military age have been refused to be accepted for several days now - their help is is now required where there is a direct fight against the enemy.

As for the cost of living, the position of the authorities was initially very tough: “The facts of increasing the prices of housing for refugees will be considered as looting during the war and we will respond to them accordingly.”

The situation with transit travel, unfortunately, is more critical. Until now, there are absolutely incredible queues at the checkpoints at the border, and it is difficult to leave not only by car or bus, but also by rail. Even despite the provision by Poland of several additional free trains. At the railway station, people literally live on the platform, hoping to get on the train. The lucky ones who succeed often leave their belongings here if they do not fit in the carriage.

On March 4, the number of refugees crossing the border, according to the UN, exceeded one million. Two days ago it jumped to 1.5 million. Today, after two weeks of war, a figure is already being announced that exceeds 2 million people. It is noteworthy, that although in much smaller numbers, the border is crossed in the opposite direction too: men who were in Europe on earnings are returning to fight for their motherland.