The situation in Ukraine remains dire and the number of refugees fleeing the Russian invasion could rise to 1.5 million by the end of the weekend, the head of the UN refugee agency said on Saturday.
The current number of people who had to flee Ukraine because of the war is 1.3 million.
“This is the fastest-moving refugee crisis we have seen in Europe since the end of the Second World War,” UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi told Reuters in a telephone interview.
Grandi also said most refugees at the moment are networking with friends, family and other connections already living in Europe, but warned that future waves will be more complex.
More than 700,000 fled to Poland
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau on Saturday in the Polish city of Rzeszów.
Poland has received more than 700,000 refugees who have left Ukraine since the Russian invasion began on February 24.
In a press release after the meeting, Blinken said the country had asked Congress for $2.75 billion for humanitarian actions targeting Ukrainian refugees.
“Poland is doing fundamental work in this crisis. […] To help meet the needs of Ukrainians in Poland and beyond, the Biden administration has just requested $2.75 billion from Congress for humanitarian assistance,” he said.
“This is to meet the needs of vulnerable people and communities within Ukraine, as well as helping refugees who are here in Poland,” added the Secretary of State.
latest war news
Ukraine accuses Russia of violating the ceasefire and announced the postponement of the withdrawal of civilians from Mariupol on Saturday (5). In the early hours of Saturday, the Russian Defense Ministry announced a ceasefire in the Ukrainian cities of Mariupol and Volnovakha to allow the release of humanitarian corridors for civilians to flee. But Pavlo Kyrylenko, governor of the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine, posted on his Twitter profile at 12:45 pm local time: “EVACUATION OF THE PACIFIC POPULATION OF MARIUPOL POSTPONED!”
“Due to the fact that the Russians do not observe the regime of silence and continue to bomb Mariupol and its surroundings, for security reasons, the evacuation of the population has been postponed,” he added.
Teams and volunteers race against time to get the residents out of the two cities. The situation in cities is “scary”, a volunteer told CNN.
According to the Russian government, the interruption of the attacks and bombings began at 10 am Moscow time (04 am GMT), and will help civilians to flee Ukraine safely.
This is, to date, the first ceasefire by the Russian army since Russian troops began their invasion of Ukraine on February 24.
In a statement, the Russian Defense Ministry said the “humanitarian corridors and exit routes have been agreed with the Ukrainian side”. Mykhailo Podoliak, chief of staff to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, confirmed that evacuation corridors are being prepared in regions of the country.
City officials said the two sides had agreed that Ukrainians would have five hours to cross humanitarian corridors while the firing was stopped.
Last Thursday (3), at a meeting for negotiations between the two countries, representatives of Ukraine and Russia had already agreed on humanitarian corridors – places that would not be targets of Russian attacks and would serve for the passage of refugees and resources. .
Source: CNN Brasil