Over 1 million people fled Ukraine following the attack by Russia invasion in the fastest refugee exodus in the century, the United Nations announced on Thursday, as Russian forces up their bombardment of that of the country second-most grand cityKharkiv, and besiege two strategic seaports.
The tally published by the UN refugee agency to The Associated Press was reached on Wednesday and stands at more more than 2% of Ukraine population to be forced out of the country in less than a week. The mass evacuation could be seen in Kharkiv, where residents desperately seek escape the shells and bombs fell cityde the station and pressed on the trains, not always knowing where they were going.
In a videotaped address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on Ukrainians to keep up resistance. He swore that the invaders would have “not one moment of calm” and described the Russian soldiers like “confused children who were used.”
that of Moscow isolation thorough when most of the world double up against to the United Nations for demand he withdraws from Ukraine and the prosecutor for the International Criminal Court has opened an investigation into possible war crimes.
With the fights going on on on several fronts across the country, the UK Ministry of Defense said Mariupol, a grand city on the Sea of Azov, was surrounded by Russian forces, while the status of another vital port, Kherson, Black Sea shipyard city of 280,000, remained unclear.
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s forces claimed to have taken complete control of Kherson, which would make it the most grand city fall again in the invasion. A senior we defense official disputed that.
“Our view is that Kherson is highly disputed city,” the official said, speaking on state of anonymity.
by Zelensky office told the Associated Press (AP) that he could not comment on the situation in Kherson as the fighting continued on.
The mayor of Kherson, Igor Kolykhaev, said Russian soldiers were in the city and came to the city administration building. He said he had asked them not to fire on the civilians and to allow crews to assemble up street bodies.
“We have no Ukrainian forces in the cityonly civilians and people here who want to LIVE,” he said. in a statement later posted on Facebook.
The mayor said Kherson would maintain a strict curfew from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. and restrict traffic in the city food and medicine deliveries. the city will also force pedestrians to walk in groups not exceeding two, obey orders to stop and not to “provoke the troops”.
“The flying flag over us is Ukrainian,” he wrote. ” And for it remains that way these requirements must be met.”
Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko said the attacks there had been relentless.
“We can’t even get the wounded out of the streets, houses and apartments today, since the shelling doesn’t stop,” he was quoted by Interfax. news agency as said.
Russia reported son military victims for the first time in the war, saying almost 500 of his troops were killed and nearly 1,600 wounded. Ukraine did not disclose its own military losses but said more more than 2,000 civilians died, a claim that could not be independently verified.
In a video address to the nation on Thursday morning, Zelenskyy hailed the resistance of son country.
“We are a people who in a week have destroyed the plans of the enemy”, he said. “They will not have peace here. They will have no food. They will not have here one quiet moment.”
He said the fighting was taking its toll on the moral of Russian soldiers, who “go to the grocery store stores and try to find something to eat.”
“They are not warriors of a superpower,” he said. “These are confused children who were used.”
During this time, the senior we defense official said a huge Russian column of hundreds of tanks and others vehicles seemed stuck about 25 kilometers (16 miles) from Kyiv and had made no real progress in the last couple of days.
The convoy, which earlier in the week had seemed about to launch an assault on the capital, was plagued with fuel and food shortages, official noted.
On the far edges of Kyiv volunteers well into their 60s manned a checkpoint in an attempt to block the Russian advance.
“In my old age, I had to take up weapons,” said Andrey Goncharuk, 68. He said the fighters needed more weapons, but “we will kill the enemy and take their weapons.”
Around Ukraine, others piled into train stations, carrying children envelope in blankets and dragging wheeled suitcases around new live as refugees.
In an email, UN refugee agency spokesman Joung-ah Ghedini-Williams told the AP that the number of refugees exceeded one million. of midnight in Central Europe, based on figures collected by national authorities.
Shabia Mantoo, another spokesperson for the agency, said that “at this rate” the exodus from Ukraine could be the source of “the biggest refugee crisis this century.”
A large explosion shook the center Kyiv on Wednesday evening in what the president office said it was a missile strike near the capital city’s south station. There was no immediate word on any death or injury.
Russian forces pounded Kharkiv, the most grand from Ukraine city after Kyiv, with about 1.5 million people, in another one round of aerial attacks that shattered buildings and ignited up the horizon with flames. At least 21 people were killed over the past day, said Oleg Sinehubov, head of Kharkiv regional administration.
Several Russian planes were shot down down over Kharkiv, according to Oleksiy Arestovich, one of Zelenskyy’s top advisers.
“Kharkiv today is Stalingrad of the 21 century”, Arestovich said, citing what is considered one of most heroic episodes in russian history five months defense of the city Nazis during World War II.
Since son bunker in the basement, Kharkiv Mayor Igor Terekhov told the BBC: “The city is united and we will stand fast.”
Russian attacks, many with missiles, blew the roof off off The five-story regional police building and set the top floor on fire and also hit intelligence headquarters and a university buildingaccording to officials and videos and photos published by the Ukrainian State Emergency Service. Officials said residential buildings were also hitmais gave no details.
the head of the UN nuclear watchdog has warned that the fighting poses a danger to the 15 Ukrainian nuclear reactors.
Raphael Grossi of the International Atomic Energy Agency has noted that war is “the first one time military the conflict takes place within the facilities of a large established nuclear power plant power program’, and he said he’s ‘seriously concerned.”
Russia already took control of disused Chernobyl power plant, scene in 1986 of the world’s worst nuclear disaster.
In New York, the United Nations General Assembly voted demand that Russia stop its offensive and immediately withdraw all troops, with world powers and small island states condemning Moscow. the vote was 141 to 5, with 35 abstentions.
Assembly resolutions are not legally binding but may reflect and influence world opinion.
the vote came after the 193-member assembly convened son first emergency session since 1997. The only countries for vote with Russia was Belarus, Syria, North Korea and Eritrea. Cuba has spoken in that of Moscow defense but ultimately abstained.
Ukrainian Ambassador to the UN Sergiy Kyslytsya said Russian forces “came to Ukrainian soil, not only to kill some of us … they came to deprive Ukraine of the very right to exist.” added: “The crimes are so barbaric that it is difficult to understand.”
Russia is gaining momentum up his rhetoric. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov recalled world on the country’s vast nuclear fleet arsenal when he said in a meeting with Al-Jazeera that “a third world the war could only be nuclear.”