Google helps Ukraine refugees, asylum seekers find evacuation resources

Hundreds of thousands have already fled Ukraine

Google launched an SOS alert on Search across Ukraine aimed at helping Ukrainian refugees and asylum seekers find refugee and evacuation information as they try to flee the area. 

"When people search for refugee and evacuation information, they will see an alert pointing them to United Nations resources for refugees and asylum seekers," Kent Walker, Google's president of global affairs, said in a statement Tuesday.  


A Polish border guard assists refugees from Ukraine as they arrive to Poland at the Korczowa border crossing, Poland, Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022.  (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski / AP Newsroom)


Walker said the company is currently working alongside other organizations "to source helpful humanitarian information as the situation unfolds." 

The company is also providing information on refugee and migrant centers in neighboring countries to help the hundreds of thousands who have already escaped Russia’s burgeoning war against Ukraine.  

Airstrikes hit Chuhuiv, Ukraine

Ukrainian security forces accompany a wounded man after an airstrike hit an apartment complex in Chuhuiv, Kharkiv Oblast, Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022.  (Wolfgang Schwan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images / Getty Images)

The U.N. expects the number of refugees to reach 4 million in the coming weeks, according to Filippo Grandi, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. 


According to Google, SOS Alerts make emergency information more accessible to people in the midst of a crisis through updates from local, national, or international authorities, depending upon the situation. 

These updates could include anything from emergency phone numbers and websites, maps, translations of useful phrases and even donation opportunities. 

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A local resident prays in a Christian Orthodox church on February 24, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine.  (Photo by Pierre Crom/Getty Images / Getty Images)

Users with updated versions of the Google app, and who have their location turned on, can get a notification on their home screen that will send them to the full alert on Google Search. 

Google has made several moves "to help protect the safety of local communities and their citizens" including temporarily disabling some live Google Maps features in Ukraine. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.