Scenes at the Polish border, which is seeing part of the largest, most sudden displacement of population since the period after World War II.
Louis Witter/Le Pictorium
Many of the refugees arriving at the border were already exhausted from days of travel, Przemysl, Poland, March 4, 2022
Editor’s note: More than a million Ukrainians have fled the country in the ten days since Russian forces invaded. Millions more have been internally displaced, as the conflict continues. The French photojournalist Louis Witter reached the small town of Medyka, in southeastern Poland close to the Ukrainian border, at the beginning of the week. There he found hundreds of newly arrived Ukrainians, bewildered, lost, and lacking basic items. It was cold, sometimes snowing; many people had brought with them their pets, which now shared the harsh conditions.
Soon, humanitarian volunteers from all over Europe began arriving to help, buses started ferrying the refugees to the nearby city of Przemyl, and local Polish people mobilized to take care of the more than three hundred thousand people crossing the border. Makeshift camps have been established and train stations became staging posts to find temporary accommodation for refugees and help with their onward journeys.
Witter found that some Ukrainians still hoped to return soon—and met others who were making the journey in the opposite direction, going back to fight. But most, he said, simply seemed in shock.
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