We will remember the haunted faces of fleeing refugees

Reflections from a week in Poland as thousands cross the border from Ukraine every day.

Suitcase wheels trundle as mothers carry children wrapped in blankets.

An elderly woman shuffles by, aided only by her walking stick.

Thousands are fleeing Ukraine every day, but at the Medyka border crossing in Poland, it’s quiet. Sometimes there are just no words.

It’s a bitter winter, and after a journey few of us could ever imagine, these refugees have queued for hours to finally get to safety.

When we meet them, they’re exhausted, their faces haunted by what they’ve seen – and by what they fear they may never see again. 

Taissia still dreams about the blasts of the bombings. Nastia, 16, says she no longer loves life. Sofia, just a child, travels without her father.

These are some of the stories that will stay with us. But amidst all the pain, there is hope and humanity.

People displaying selfless acts of kindness, putting their own lives on hold as they come from across the world to help.

Volunteers provide food, sweets for the children and – crucially – some comfort.

This is the biggest humanitarian crisis Europe has seen since the Second World War.

As we leave Poland, the conflict rages on. Two million people have fled their country, and many more will do so in the coming months.

The eyes of the world are watching, and history will judge us by our response.

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