A total of 386 war refugees from Ukraine arrived in Estonia on Wednesday, May 25, among them 78 children, the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) reported on Thursday. To date, Estonia has received 40,047 refugees from Ukraine.
Of the 386 refugees to arrive in Estonia on Wednesday, 267 were considered to be in transit, i.e. do not wish to remain in Estonia.
Since February 27, Estonia has received 40,047 war refugees from Ukraine. This total does not reflect arriving refugees who have been in transit through Estonia.
The state has also already registered 25,969 applications for temporary protection.
Refugees equal 3 percent of population
The total number of refugees from Ukraine received by Estonia equals approximately 3 percent of its population, which on January 1 stood at 1,331,796 according to Statistics Estonia.
In comparison, as of May 25, Latvia has officially received approximately 30,000 war refugees from Ukraine, Latvian public broadcaster LSM reported. This equals approximately 1.6 percent of the Latvia's total population, which according to its Central Statistical Bureau stood at 1,893,223 as of January 1.
According to a Statistics Lithuania dashboard, Lithuania has received a total of 54,435 war refugees from Ukraine. This now equals 2 percent of the country's population, Lithuanian broadcaster LRT reported on Tuesday, which according to official statistics stood at 2,799,023.
Info desks in Tallinn, Tartu, Pärnu
On Friday, May 13, the PPA drew the implementation of Estonia's mass emergency response plan to a close, decommissioning the Joint Command Center for Emergency Management and handing the leading role in accepting and providing aid to incoming war refugees back over to the Social Insurance Board (SKA).
As part of the change, refugee reception centers operating in Tartu and Pärnu were replaced with SKA-operated information desks at Tallinn Bus Station, at the sites of the previous reception centers in Tartu and Pärnu. These info desks are continuing to distribute important initial information regarding both remaining in and traveling on from Estonia.
Info desk personnel can also help provide short-term housing to those arriving war refugees who need emergency aid, including refugees in transit via Estonia.
A fourth information desk was planned for Narva, the Estonian border city currently seeing the largest numbers of incoming refugees from Ukraine — many of whom are in transit — however according to ERR News' information, this location was nonetheless canceled.
On May 13, the PPA also reverted to processing temporary protection applications by dedicated staff at its service offices as part of its regular operations. Should a refugee who has received or applied for temporary protection require temporary accommodations, they will be provided with short-term housing at SKA accommodations.
Following the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, which triggered a significant wave of war refugees to begin arriving in Estonia shortly thereafter, the PPA on March 11 implemented the emergency response plan for mass immigration and established the Joint Command Center for Emergency Management.
The Joint Command included representatives from the PPA, SKA, the Rescue Board, the IT and Development Center of the Ministry of the Interior (SMIT), the Estonian Defense League (KL), the Estonian Tax and Customs Board (MTA), the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Health Board, among others.
Editor: Aili Vahtla