Over half a million people have returned to Ukraine: official

KYIV, Ukraine -- More than half a million people have returned to Ukraine since the start of Russia's invasion in February, the Ukrainian interior ministry said on Sunday.

People queue to get aid in town of Bucha, northwest of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv on April 3, 2022. Sergei SUPINSKY / AFP

"During the past week, 144,000 people left Ukraine and 88,000 arrived. In total... around 537,000 of our compatriots have returned to Ukraine," the ministry said, citing data from the national border service.

The High Commissioner for Refugees on Saturday said 4,176,401 Ukrainians have left their country since Russia launched its invasion on February 24.

Tens of thousands have been leaving Ukraine daily since the start of the war in what has become Europe's worst refugee crisis since World War II.

The UN's International Organisation for Migration said around 205,000 non-Ukrainians have also fled the country.

In total, more than 10 million people have either left their homes, either to neighbouring countries or being displaced within Ukraine.

Before the war, 37 million people lived in territories controlled by Kyiv. That figure does not include the Crimean peninsula annexed by Russia in 2014 or two eastern regions controlled by pro-Moscow separatists.