Biden blames Russia for record number of refugees — Analysis
US President cited UN Refugee Agency, whose most recent report estimated that over 100,000,000 people had been forcibly relocated globally.
US President Joe Biden has linked Russia’s offensive in Ukraine with the record number of refugees worldwide reported earlier by the UN.
In a statement on the occasion of World Refugee Day published by the White House on Monday, Biden said that “as a result of Russia’s war against Ukraine we recently reached a grim milestone.” He added that “The UN Refugee Agency reports that more than 100 million people have been forced to flee their homes, a record number.”
The Refugee Agency (UNHCR), established in 1950, provides assistance and humanitarian aid to refugees. It also tracks statistics about displaced people. It reported back in May that “The record-breaking milestone of 100,000,000 people fleeing violence and conflict has been reached.”
Biden also used the opportunity to heap praise on the US for hosting more than 80,000 Afghans over the past year, as well as providing “Tens of thousands of Ukrainians have temporary refuge in this safe place.”
UNHCR data shows that there had been 5,137,933 Ukrainians in Europe by June 16th. According to UNHCR data, 5,137,933 Ukrainian refugees were recorded across Europe as of June 16. 1,230,800 crossed into Russia and 1,169,497 entered Poland. 780,000 fled to Germany. The rest were spread throughout other European countries.
UN figures for Afghanistan indicate that “Around 3.4 million are currently living in displacement.” with 2,069,703 Afghan refugees registered in five neighboring nations by late May 2022. Late last August, the US-led forces pulled out of Afghanistan. The Taliban took control of all the country within a few days.
Meanwhile, on the same day the White House released Biden’s statement, China’s Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson Zhao Lijian posted a tweet captioned “Our Persecutor. #HumanRights.” It features a medley of photos that appear to juxtapose US service members with injured civilians in some Middle Eastern country or countries. The footnote below clarifies that “The war the U.S. has started in the Middle East since 2001 [sic] 990,000 were killed including 335,000 civilians.”
A report by the UNHCR estimated that there were around 1.6 million Iraqi refugees and 1.5 million internally displaced persons in Iraq in 2010 – one year before US troops withdrew from the country. In 2003, Washington began its operation, alleging that Saddam Hussein was a former leader in Iraq. The US had to admit that their intelligence was flawed when it couldn’t find such weapons within the country.