• A Ukrainian family was barred from boarding a Sydney-bound flight because their 9-month-old baby had no passport
  • The family is now being assisted by the Ukrainian embassy in Poland while staying in emergency accommodation
  • Other Ukrainian families with small children attempting to enter Australia also faced the same problem

A Ukrainian family attempting to flee to Australia following Russia's invasion of Ukraine was unable to board a flight over their baby's lack of proper documentation.

Iryna Zaiets fled Ukraine with her mother, Olena Kuzmych, and her 9-month-old child, Oksana, in the wake of Russia's initial military assault on her home country Thursday, reported.

Zaiets' father and husband were left behind, added the outlet.

The three members of the family who were able to leave Ukraine secured visas and flights to Australia after they crossed the border to Poland, but they were told they could not fly when they tried to check-in for their Emirates flight from Krakow to Sydney.

The family would have been deported at their flight stopovers in Frankfurt, Germany and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates as Oksana had no passport, according to Zaeits' sister, Olha Lyeskakova.

Lyeskakova, a permanent Australian resident in Sydney, claimed half a dozen Ukrainian families with small children attempting to get to Australia faced the same problem.

While the European Union allowed people to cross the border from Ukraine without travel documents, other countries did not, Lyeskakova said.

"The EU will be overwhelmed with Ukrainians who will be willing to depart immediately from Europe to their relatives in Australia, the US, or Canada, but there is no legislation in place at this stage to get it done," she said.

Australia's Department of Home Affairs has since started looking into the case of Lyeskakova's family members, who are now being assisted by the Ukrainian embassy in Krakow while staying in emergency accommodation.

Lyeskakova hoped Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade could soon issue temporary travel documents for Oksana. She claimed her family should not stay in Poland for long because they were unsafe there.

"If Russia starts bombing and uses nuclear weapons, it will not be limited by a border, it will go to Poland, it will go everywhere," Lyeskakova said.

Leaflets containing instruction in case of a nuclear attack have reportedly been scattered around Ukraine's capital of Kyiv.

More than half a million Ukrainian refugees have fled to neighboring countries such as Poland, Hungary and Moldova following Russia's attack.

The number could go up 4 million unless there is an "immediate halt" to the conflict, as per the United Nations.

Refugees are flowing across the border into neighbouring countries like Poland
Refugees are flowing across the border into neighbouring countries like Poland AFP / Wojtek RADWANSKI