People are leaving Kyiv after Russia launched a full military invasion of Ukraine. The invasion marks the biggest attack by one country against another in Europe since World War II.
On Thursday morning, queues of cars formed from the city centre to various exits out of Kyiv while people sheltered in the city’s underground stations and other safe places.
“Everyone who is not involved in the operation of the critical infrastructure and life support of the city, stay at home and be ready to follow to the shelter when the sirens turn on,” as announced by the Kyiv City State Administration in a message on its official Telegram channel.
Inhabitants of Kyiv are withdrawing money from ATMs and stocking up food supplies, according to a source of Al Jazeera.
Central European countries have started receiving people fleeing Ukraine.
Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban said Hungary would prepare humanitarian aid for Ukraine and was ready to receive refugees. Hundreds of Ukrainians arrived in Poland, at the normally quiet Medyka crossing. Polish hospitals have prepared beds for wounded Ukrainians, the health ministry said. Germany has offered humanitarian help to countries bordering Ukraine while Finland is also preparing to receive refugees fleeing from Ukraine.
The UN’s refugee agency (UNHCR) has accelerated its operations and is working with Ukrainian authorities to provide greater humanitarian assistance. Filippo Grandi, Commissioner of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, said the agency was working with governments in neighbouring countries, calling on them “to keep borders open to those seeking safety and protection”.
What Can We Do?
On Thursday evening, people have held demonstrations against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in the UK, France, Japan, Germany, Turkey, Italy, Lebanon and elsewhere. Anti-war protests in solidarity with Ukraine have broken out in various countries around the world in response to Russia’s invasion. An anti-war protest was held in Milan, Italy at 18:00 CET on Thursday, February 24 in front of the City Council of Milan. Hundreds of people showing Ukrainian flags and protest signs with anti-war and anti-Putin texts were used.
While singing the Ukrainian national anthem, the protesters were marching in the streets of Milan.
A protester commented how terrified he was for his family back home in Ukraine. He felt powerless. He was holding a protest sign above his head saying “Stop Russian Aggression”. Other signs used were either referring to Ukraine or Putin, such as “Putin Get Off!”, “Stand With Ukraine”, “Stop War” and “We Want Peace”.
Hours after Putin ordered his troops into Ukraine, Russians across the country took to the streets to protest against his actions. Police in Russia arrested over 1,700 people at the protests.
Ukraine's capital Kyiv declared a curfew amid ongoing attacks by Russian forces. Explosions were heard around the city, with thousands fleeing: "We’re afraid of bombardments."
▪️ Metro stations to serve as bomb shelters
▪️ Martial law across country
▪️ Ports, airspace closed pic.twitter.com/Vie6Hhq1Zx
— AJ+ (@ajplus) February 24, 2022
But, there are other ways to support Ukraine. The Ukraine Humanitarian Fund is one of the UN’s country-based pooled funds, where a donation can be made in order to help with the crisis in Ukraine: https://crisisrelief.un.org/t/ukraine
And, make sure to double-check your news sources: Russian propaganda works well, and western media may be influenced by it.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed here by Impakter.com columnists are their own, not those of Impakter.com. — In the Featured Photo: An anti-war protest in solidarity with Ukraine in Milan, Italy. Featured Photo Credit: Amber van Unen.