UN reports 1 million Ukrainians already left country, warns of 'biggest refugee crisis this century'

The says the situation could become "the biggest refugee crisis this century."
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Ukraine
Ukraine woman, infant rush to board train to Poland. Lviv, Ukraine, March 3, 2022
(Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

The United Nations' refugee agency said Thursday that 1 million people have fled Ukraine since Russia invaded a week ago.

The count by U.N. High Commission for Refugees on Wednesday equals over 2% of Ukraine's total population (the country had a population of 44 million at the end of 2020.)

Commission spokesperson Shabia Mantoo said Wednesday the current exodus rate could create "the biggest refugee crisis this century."

As many as 4 million people could eventually make their way out of Ukraine, according to the agency, but even that figure could be revised upward.

The Associated Press compared the number of Ukrainian refugees to the number of Syrians who fled their country as civil war erupted in 201. More than 5.6 million people eventually left the war torn Middle East country. But in that exodus, it took more than three months for 1 million refugees to leave.