The invasion of Ukraine has already displaced scores of Ukrainians from their homes, with the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR estimating that over one million people have fled the country to avoid the conflict caused by Russia’s invasion. With refugees spreading out across Europe, and many hoping to be reunited with family members in the UK, Eurostar has announced that they’ll offer free travel to Ukrainians in order to help them reach London.
The international train service announced this week that Ukrainian nationals with valid visas would be able to access free tickets to London, from Paris Nord and Lille Europe stations in France, Brussels-Midi station in Belgium, and Amsterdam Central station in the Netherlands. To claim a ticket, Ukrainians heading to these cities are encouraged to speak to Eurostar staff at these stations.
Meanwhile, the ‘valid visas’ point here is crucial; the British government has created a new visa sponsor route in response to the crisis, which ministers claim could help up to 100,000 refugees to reach the UK – but refugee charities have publicly asked the government to introduce visa waivers to help even more people.
Eurostar isn’t the only travel company aiming to help out; with the vast majority of Ukrainian refugees heading to bordering nations such as Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, and Poland, Wizz Air recently committed to providing 100,000 free seats on short-haul flights from these countries. With London Gatwick and Luton airports both reachable from those four nations, there are further options for Ukrainians aiming to reach the UK available.
Also published on Medium.