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the welcome mat is out

White House: U.S. prepared to accept Ukrainian refugees fleeing invasion

Now that Russia has invaded Ukraine, it's estimated that up to 5 million Ukrainians may flee their country. On Thursday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters the United States is ready to accept some of those refugees.

The U.S. does expect that "most, if not the majority" will seek refuge in countries neighboring Ukraine, like Poland, and Psaki said the Biden administration is "also working with European countries on what the needs are, where there is capacity."

Since the invasion began early Thursday, Ukrainians fleeing the fighting have entered Poland, Romania, and Moldova, and there are centers set up at the borders to provide assistance, The Washington Post reports.

In December, Ukraine's defense minister estimated that between 3 and 5 million Ukrainians might be forced to leave their homes if Russia invaded. In comparison, about 1 million refugees entered Europe between 2015 and 2016 from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and nearly 1.5 million people were displaced in 2014 when Russia invaded Crimea.