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Ukrainians are fleeing to Poland, but some are returning home for their families

People arrive in Poland who have just crossed the border by bus from Ukraine at the Korczowa-Krakovets crossing.
Claire Harbage
/
NPR
People arrive in Poland who have just crossed the border by bus from Ukraine at the Korczowa-Krakovets crossing.

Thousands of Ukranians and residents of Ukraine are fleeing the country and entering Poland following Russia's invasion last week. Poland has set up several refugee shelters along the border. But some are returning to Ukraine to get to their families or to join the Ukrainian military and fight against Russian forces.

Kseniia Onyshchenko contributed to this report.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

A bus brings refugees to a warehouse that's been turned into a shelter.
Claire Harbage / NPR
/
NPR
A bus brings refugees to a warehouse that's been turned into a shelter.
Polish civil servants, military and volunteers help organize the numerous busloads of people coming across the border from Ukraine and dropping off people who are fleeing the war in the country.
Claire Harbage / NPR
/
NPR
Polish civil servants, military and volunteers help organize the numerous busloads of people coming across the border from Ukraine and dropping off people who are fleeing the war in the country.
A temporary shelter is set up for people who have recently crossed into Poland by bus from Ukraine near the Korrczowa-Krakovets border crossing.
Claire Harbage / NPR
/
NPR
A temporary shelter is set up for people who have recently crossed into Poland by bus from Ukraine near the Korrczowa-Krakovets border crossing.
Karpenko's children play with other kids in the temporary shelter after crossing the border into Poland by bus.
Claire Harbage / NPR
/
NPR
Karpenko's children play with other kids in the temporary shelter after crossing the border into Poland by bus.
People walk into Poland from Ukraine at the Medyka border crossing.
Claire Harbage / NPR
/
NPR
People walk into Poland from Ukraine at the Medyka border crossing.
People carry suitcases towards the Medyka border crossing to enter Ukraine from Poland. People are returning to get to their families in Ukraine and also to join the Ukrainian military.
Claire Harbage / NPR
/
NPR
People carry suitcases towards the Medyka border crossing to enter Ukraine from Poland. People are returning to get to their families in Ukraine and also to join the Ukrainian military.
Ihor Kobryn, 52, is proud to be a Ukrainian and is returning to Ukraine tto fight after spending time working as a driver in Poland.
Claire Harbage / NPR
/
NPR
Ihor Kobryn, 52, is proud to be a Ukrainian and is returning to Ukraine tto fight after spending time working as a driver in Poland.
Sergei Smushko, who is Russian, helps a woman return to Ukraine to get her children. "I'm proud for Ukrainians because they are fighting a war they didn't start. And I think we should help each other and not fight each other. Because it's a bad thing, it should not happen now and in the future. But it's happening and we should do something, that is why I'm here, no questions asked." he says.
Claire Harbage / NPR
/
NPR
Sergei Smushko, who is Russian, helps a woman return to Ukraine to get her children. "I'm proud for Ukrainians because they are fighting a war they didn't start. And I think we should help each other and not fight each other. Because it's a bad thing, it should not happen now and in the future. But it's happening and we should do something, that is why I'm here, no questions asked." he says.

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