Germany extends aid, free trains to fleeing Ukrainians
The German Government has provided aid, shelter, and free trains to Ukrainians fleeing their country following the invasion of Russia into Ukraine.
Ukrainians are fleeing the conflict in their country in the hundreds of thousands, and many do not wish to stay in neighbouring countries such as Hungary or Poland.
About 5,000 have made their way to Germany so far, according to official figures.
The actual number to have reached Germany is thought to be higher, as there are no restrictions on travel or border checks between Poland and Germany.
On Tuesday night alone, some 1,300 refugees from Ukraine arrived by train via Poland at Berlin’s main station.
Regular long-distance trains have been bringing people in from Poland steadily over the last few days.
Since Sunday, anyone with a Ukrainian passport or ID card can travel for free on long-distance trains bound for Germany.
Overnight, helpers handed out food and drink to the arrivals.
Refugees who travelled further west to Frankfurt’s main train station were met on Tuesday by charity workers as well as staff from the local health and social welfare authorities and police.
Accommodation is being organised in several German cities.
In Berlin, according to Social Affairs Senator Katja Kipping, new accommodation is to be set up in the course of the week.
In Schwerin in the North-East, Ukrainian women and children are being accommodated in a youth hostel.
Men of fighting age have been forbidden from leaving Ukraine.
In Hanover, a trade fair hall is being organised as emergency accommodation, with a maximum planned capacity of 1,200.
At a meeting of interior ministers from Germany’s 16 federal states, there was reportedly a great willingness to take in refugees.