Ukrainians are fleeing in droves. But they're waiting more than 60 hours at the border

Ukrainian refugees crossing the border into Medyka, Poland.

(CNN)Ukrainians have been leaving the country in huge numbers following the Russian invasion that began on Thursday, but many are being forced to wait more than 60 hours in long queues to cross into neighboring Poland.

A CNN team on the ground joined the queue but only moved just under half a mile (0.8 kilometers) in 70 minutes, a rate that meant it would have taken them more than 60 hours to cross the border. Of course, the wait times can vary.
About 30 miles (48 kilometers) from the border, some Ukrainians got out of their cars and began a long walk to the village of Medyka in southeast Poland.
    Ukrainians waiting in a queue of cars to cross the border into Poland, February 26, 2022.
    Among them, two young girls skipped along happily, blissfully unaware that they were about to embark on a 30-mile walk.
      The Polish Border Guard tweeted on Saturday that 45,200 people had entered the country from Ukraine that day alone, as of 3 p.m. local time. More than 121,000 people had entered since the start of the invasion, the guard said.
      "It's nice to cross but also it's very sad to leave my country in such despair," one woman said after crossing into Medyka in the early hours of Saturday. She said she had taken some belongings of sentimental value from her flat in Kyiv "just to remember it if anything happens."
      On the M13 highway toward another point along the border, CNN's team encountered at least five checkpoints set up at entrances to the towns they passed through.
        Concrete chicanes, or serpentine curves, had been put in place to slow traffic, and next to newly installed concrete barriers at some checkpoints, piles of tires were being gathered with the intention of setting them alight and rolling them into the road in the case of Russian forces trying to enter the towns.
        Ukrainian refugees crossing the border into Medyka, Poland, February 26, 2022.
        On Saturday, the United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees, Kelly Clements, told CNN's Michael Holmes that more than 120,000 people had left the country and 850,000 were internally displaced.
        "We would say that up to 4 million people could actually cross borders, if things continue to deteriorate, which they have until now," Holmes added, saying Ukrainians were having to make "life or death" decisions.
        CNN's team said the Ukrainians walking to the border were largely women and children, and were "resigned" to the journey, having accepted it as "the only option they had."
        Men between the ages of 18 and 60 are not permitted to leave the country, after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky imposed martial law in the aftermath of the Russian invasion.