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More than 120,000 refugees have left Ukraine since Russia invasion began

Over 120,000 Ukrainian refugees have left the country since Russia began its invasion on Thursday, according to the UN.

As Ukraine’s forces battle Russian troops in the capital Kyiv and in the north, south and east of the nation, the UN deputy high commissioner for refugees, Kelly Clements, said the situation was expected to get worse.

Most refugees are heading to Poland and Moldova, but also to Romania, Slovakia and Hungary.

Ms Clements said: “We now see over 120,000 people that have gone to all of the neighbouring countries.

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People fleeing from Ukraine arrive in Hungary, after Russia launched a massive military operation against Ukraine, at a border crossing in Beregsurany, Hungary, February 26, 2022. REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo
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According to the UN, over 120,000 have been displaced since Thursday

“The reception that they are receiving from local communities, from local authorities, is tremendous.”

“But it’s a dynamic situation. We are really quite devastated, obviously, with what’s to come,” she told CNN.

Read latest updates on Ukraine invasion

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Poland’s interior minister Mariusz Kaminski said on Thursday that his country will open nine reception centres along its border with Ukraine.

Key developments:

• According to the UK’s Ministry of Defence, Russian forces have made advances throughout the day – “but continue to face strong resistance from the Ukrainian Armed Forces”
• Ukraine also “retains control of key cities”
• China has abstained from voting on a draft UN Security Council resolution that would have deplored Moscow, in what will be seen as a diplomatic win for the West
• The UK is going to impose direct sanctions on Vladimir Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov imminently. The EU also plans to freeze their assets, and the US intends to do the same

People fleeing from Ukraine embrace as they arrive in Hungary, after Russia launched a massive military operation against Ukraine, at a border crossing in Beregsurany, Hungary, February 26, 2022. REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo
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The UN has urged neighbouring countries to keep their borders open

Mr Kaminski said Poland would take in “as many as there will be at our border”, with reception centres offering meals and medical care.

Read more: Russian invasion of Ukraine mapped

People queue for supermarkets and petrol as Kharkiv residents flee city

The UN has warned Russia that its invasion of Ukraine would have “devastating” humanitarian consequences.

Overnight in Kyiv and several other cities, gunfire and airstrikes could be heard, with reports from Reuters that 198 Ukrainians, including three children, have been killed.

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