Ukrainian refugees near 1.5 million as Russian assault enters 11th day

KYIV: The number of refugees fleeing Ukraine was expected to reach 1.5 million on Sunday as Russia continued its attack 11 days after invadi...


KYIV: The number of refugees fleeing Ukraine was expected to reach 1.5 million on Sunday as Russia continued its attack 11 days after invading Ukraine and Kyiv pressed for further Western help, including more sanctions and weapons.

Moscow and Kyiv traded blame over a failed ceasefire on Saturday that would have let civilians flee Mariupol and Volnovakha, two southern cities besieged by Russian forces. Ukrainians who could escape spilled into neighbouring Poland, Romania, Slovakia and elsewh-er-e.

Ukrainian negotiators said a third round of talks with Russia on a ceasefire would go ahead on Monday, although Moscow was less definitive. 

In a televised address on Saturday night, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy called on people in areas occupied by Russian troops to fight.

"We must go outside and drive this evil out of our cities," he said, vowing to rebuild his nation.

Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterated that he wanted a neutral Ukraine that had been "demilitarised" and "denazified," and likened Western sanctions "to a declaration of war," adding: "Thank God it has not come to that.

Ukraine and Western countries have decried Putin's reasons as a baseless pretext for the invasion and have imposed sweeping sanctions aimed at isolating Moscow and crippling its economy.

Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, after meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the Ukraine-Poland border, said he expected new sanctions and weapons for Ukraine in coming days.

The United States has said it would give Ukraine more weapons and has repeatedly warned it could escalate sanctions, with President Joe Biden seeking $10 billion in emergency funding to respond to the crisis.

Washington is working with Poland as Warsaw considers whether to provide fighter jets to Ukraine, a White House spokesperson said, adding that the United States could replenish Poland's supply of jets.

Zelenskiy asked for help securing aircraft from European allies in a video call with U.S. lawmakers. He also called again for more lethal aid, a ban on Russian oil, a no-fly zone and an end to Visa Inc (V.N) and MasterCard Inc privileges in Russia, U.S. media reported.

Visa and Mastercard later said they would suspend credit card operations in Russia, the latest in a dramatic series of corporate pullbacks and government sanctions over the invasion.

-News Feed

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Local Glob: Ukrainian refugees near 1.5 million as Russian assault enters 11th day
Ukrainian refugees near 1.5 million as Russian assault enters 11th day
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