One million refugees have fled Ukraine since start of invasion: UN

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Intl desk, Mar 03: One million refugees have fled Ukraine to neighbouring countries since the start of the Russian invasion a week ago, the U.N. refugee agency said Wednesday.

A family arrive at the border crossing in Medyka, Poland, Wednesday, March 2, 2022, after fleeing from the Ukraine. The U.N. refugee agency said Tuesday that around 660,000 people have fled Ukraine for neighboring countries since the Russian invasion began. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

That figure accounts for 2 percent of Ukraine’s population, with the agency saying up to four million people are predicted to leave, The Associated Press reported.

The new total comes as Russia has taken over its first city in Ukraine, and fighting has intensified in the capital city of Kyiv.

“In just seven days we have witnessed the exodus of one million refugees from Ukraine to neighbouring countries,” U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi posted on Twitter.

Many of the refugees have been heading to the neighboring countries of Romania, Poland and Hungary, which have welcomed the refugees and some of their pets.

Many other countries have joined in saying they will take Ukrainian refugees, with Japan becoming the latest country to make the offer on Wednesday.

Men ages 16 to 60 are not allowed to leave Ukraine after martial law was declared and the government called on citizens to help fight against the Russians.

Meanwhile, the International Criminal Court opens an investigation into potential war crimes by Russia in Ukraine.

It comes as Russia intensifies its attacks on key Ukrainian cities – with fighting raging for a seventh day in the north, east and south.

Hundreds of people are feared dead in the southern port of Mariupol following hours of sustained shelling, city’s deputy mayor says.

The UN General Assembly votes to condemn Russia’s invasion in its first emergency meeting since 1997.

Moscow’s defence ministry has admitted for the first time that 498 Russian soldiers have been killed during its invasion of Ukraine.

Talks between Ukraine and Russia are expected to resume as negotiators travel to Belarus for another meeting.

Sources: News Agencies