Interior Ministry: More than 43,000 Ukrainians have entered Bulgaria since February 24

More than 43,000 Ukrainians have entered Bulgaria since February 24, the start of Vladimir Putin’s current invasion of Ukraine, the Interior Ministry said on March 8.

About 23,000 currently remain in Bulgaria, the ministry said.

According to figures published on March 8 by the UN refugee agency, the number of people fleeing Russia’s war in Ukraine has passed the two million mark and stands at 2,011,312.

The largest number had gone to Poland, more than 1.2 million, according to figures from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees on March 8.

Other countries that have taken in large numbers of refugees from Ukraine include Hungary, Slovakia, Russia and Moldova, the UN refugee agency said.

Since February 24 and March 6 at midnight Central European Time, Moldova has taken in 235,000 refugees from Ukraine, including around 207,000 Ukrainians.

Since then, more than 123,000 Ukrainian refugees have traveled to Romania, the refugee agency said.

During her visit to Chişinău on March 8, Bulgarian Foreign Minister Teodora Genchovska said Bulgaria could help Moldova in the refugee crisis.

In a statement from the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry, Genchovska was quoted as saying at a joint press conference with her Moldovan counterpart Nicolae Popescu that the crisis will continue and she suggested that Bulgaria, Romania and Moldova have common checkpoints at the Moldovan-Romanian border .

The aim of the joint teams there was to be able to better direct the flow of refugees to Romania and Bulgaria.

The statement said Popescu raised the issue of the need for additional buses to ensure the movement of refugees to Bulgaria.

Genchovska said that this is being discussed by the Bulgarian cabinet.

Sofia City Council will vote on March 10 to allocate a plot of land to be turned into a humanitarian center to help Ukrainian citizens, Bulgarian National Radio reported.

The premises will be made available to the “Mother Ukraine” association, which is organizing an action to collect food parcels and essentials.

Sofia City Hall has provided accommodation to more than 200 Ukrainian citizens who fled their country because of the war.

Plovdiv city officials told a news conference on March 8 that the city had housed 57 people who had fled Ukraine.

They were housed in a youth center, student dormitories and a retirement home, while people were also diverted to private apartments and hotels.

Deputy Mayor Georgi Tityukov said that the number of needy refugees is increasing and the planned accommodation capacities of Plovdiv Municipality will soon be full.

Tityukov appealed to hoteliers and employers willing to get involved to call the municipality’s contact center on 0800 112 32.

The press conference was told the number had received dozens of calls over a week from people needing and offering help.

(Photo of a border checkpoint in the Bulgarian city of Vidin on the Danube: Ministry of the Interior)

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