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A million people have fled Ukraine as Russia nears takeover of port city

A family arrives at the border crossing in Medyka, Poland, on Wednesday after fleeing from Ukraine. The U.N. refugee agency said Tuesday that 1 million people have fled Ukraine for neighboring countries since the Russian invasion began.
Markus Schreiber
/
AP
A family arrives at the border crossing in Medyka, Poland, on Wednesday after fleeing from Ukraine. The U.N. refugee agency said Tuesday that 1 million people have fled Ukraine for neighboring countries since the Russian invasion began.

The United Nations says 1 million refugees have fled across the borders of Ukraine since Russian forces invaded a week ago.

"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 wrote in a tweet on Wednesday.

The new total of refugees from Ukraine amounts to a little more than 2% of the country's total population of 44 million. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), around half of the refugees are in Poland, with Hungary, Moldova and Slovakia being the other top destinations, while others have fled to various other European countries.

Grandi added in his tweet: "For many millions more, inside Ukraine, it's time for guns to fall silent, so that life-saving humanitarian assistance can be provided."

On Wednesday, the United Nations General Assembly approved a nonbinding resolution condemning Russia for invading Ukraine and demanding that it withdraw its military forces.

Wednesday's vote follows after a series of speeches during which the majority of countries called on Russia to end the violence in Ukraine. The ongoing violence has continued for a week.

The resolution passed overwhelmingly by a vote of 141-5 with 35 abstentions. The five countries that voted against it were Russia, Belarus, Syria, North Korea and Eritrea.

"The truth is that this war was one man's choice and one man alone: President Putin," said U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield. "It was his choice to force hundreds of thousands of people to stuff their lives into backpacks and flee the country."

"Those were President Putin's choices," she added. "Now it is time to make ours. The United States is choosing to stand with the Ukrainian people."

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