Berlin: The loudspeaker announcement is nearly drowned out by the hubbub of passengers spilling out of the train from Warsaw, but it’s a message many of them have been longing to hear: “Dear passengers from Ukraine, welcome to Berlin!” Just over a week after Russia launched an attack on Ukraine, the trickle of war refugees arriving in Germany has swelled into a steady stream. “The situation has changed dramatically,” said Katja Kipping, senator for social affairs in the city-state of Berlin. On Tuesday evening alone, 1,300 refugees arrived in the German capital by train. Mayor Franziska Giffey expects Berlin, less than 100 kilometers from Ukraine’s western neighbour Poland, to take in at least 20,000 Ukrainians in the weeks ahead, and his city is urgently preparing emergency accommodation. Germany’s interior ministry has officially registered more than 5,000 Ukrainian refugees so far. But given the absence of border checks between Poland and Germany, the real number is likely higher. At Berlin’s central train station, Ukrainian women and children make up the bulk of those arriving from Poland, having left behind husbands, fathers and sons to join the fight against the advance of Russian troops.