Skip to main content

Russian troops invaded Ukraine on February 24, forcing more than one million people to seek refuge outside their homeland by early March. With Polish border crossings clogged by traffic jams, many refugees decided to leave Ukraine through Romania, arriving in places like Sighetu Marmatiei. The checkpoint is a hive of activity and emotion: officials check documents, young families juggle suitcases and strollers, and people comfort each other and scan their phones for news. At the nearby Petrova Orthodox Monastery, the monks provide temporary shelter for dozens of people, mostly women and children, and serve hot meals. Teenage couple Alex and Sofi left Kharkiv, which has been heavily shelled by Russian forces, and are heading to the Romanian capital, Bucharest, but many of their family members are still back in Ukraine.