At the border-passage of Záhony 10-15 cars pass the Ukrainian border into Hungary per hour. On the Ukrainian side the waiting times are 8-10 hours on average, but this is not because of the Hungarian border patrols, they accept cars even on 4 parallel lanes. It is still on the Ukrainian side that the automotives are crammed in line, due to the Ukrainian controllers. Because of Military law, men 18-60yrs are not allowed out, but citizens with a double-nationality (e.g. incl. Hungarian) are, as well as citizens of 3rd countries. It is the control of these which slows down their exit.
On the Hungarian side 90% of arrivals are women and children. At the train statio of Záhony the situation is sometimes more critical, but mainly possible to keep in balance. Regularly approaching trains can bring you to the Nyugati (Western) Station in Budapest. For Ukrainian citizens this ride is free of charge. Because of the controls on the Ukrainian side, these trains usually are 1-2 hours late.
The challenge is with the late-comers via Csap who arrive at midnight, when there is no more connection to Budapest. In the past days these were 200-300 people. So they need to be taken care of until the next connective move to Budapest. This is partly taken care of in the local Educational/Cultural Center. Several charitable organisations have moved to the train station, offering water, food, hygiene goods.
70-80 Ukrainian Roma mothers and children are “stuck” on the train-station, who partly cannot, partly do not want to travel on, their fate is not clarified yet, but the local Roma self-governing organisations (in Záhony) are at the location. According to Police informations, some from this group are already returning to Ukraine.
The sitaution in Beregsurány and Tiszabecs is insofar different from that in Záhony that here there is also crossing on foot. The Hungarian border police are decently standing aside, the entry happens with remarkable speed and minimal bureaucracy. This is also the case for arriving pets. Among arriving pedestrians we already saw people arriving with cats.
Right off the border crossing, a humanitarian aid base is beginning to be established. Here not only water and food, but also warming and baby-mother tents are available, which is necessary as temperatures are at the freezing point, especially after dark.
Here we would like to draw attention to something which many don’t understand:
mothers are sitting beside the road with their children, who however don’t ask for being given a trip or help.
The people who arrive at the Ukrainian-Hungarian border are to ca. 90% “organized refugees”, which means, they are meeting at the border with friends & relatives from Western Europe. This can take hours or even days, until the latter have arrived. And there are Western cars waiting along the road, with a variety of license-plates, and are waiting for those they agreed to pick up.
At present, thousands of refugees are appearing at the Hungarian-Ukrainian border-passages every day, and this number will not increase until the administrative work of the Ukrainian forces slows down their exit.
The Western Train Station in Budapest (“Nyugati”) has also become a place of picking up refugees, where the aforementioned people from Záhony are arriving. The arrival of the trains is difficult to calculate because of the delays. Many arrive in transit to elsewhere, meaning with the next chance they will travel on towards Western Europe. Here the mood is calm as well, there is caritative aid on location. In connection with these, the availability of 1-1 nightly sleepovers/accommodation around the train station have also risen in value.
Source: Press release