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Refugees flee Ukraine as Russian forces target Mariupol, Kharkiv, Kyiv

Mar 17, 2022


KAWĘCZYNEK, Poland — Russian forces have continued attacking Ukraine three weeks after their first invasion. Mariupol, Kharkiv and Kyiv have experienced some of the heaviest losses.

Ukrainian officials believe Russian bombardment has killed at least 2,500 people in Mariupol. Those attacks have left much of the city without water, heat and electricity. Mass graves are being prepared for the Ukrainian victims.

Kharkiv, just 26 miles from the Russian border, has also been the target of heavy Russian military attacks, but Ukrainian forces have maintained control of the city.

Capital city Kyiv has been subjected to continued missile attacks, but President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and other Ukrainian government leaders have remained in the city to fight.

“I need ammunition, not a ride,” Zelenskyy said when offered safe transport out of his country by other world leaders. (He also asked Congress for air support, and President Biden responded with a new military aid package.)

Most Ukrainian men are subject to martial law and must stay in the country to fight. More than 3 million Ukrainians have become refugees in Poland, Slovakia, Moldova and elsewhere.

Straight Arrow News spoke with Dasha, a mother in Lviv trying to leave Ukraine with her sister and their four children. She said their journey from Kyiv was scary for the whole family, as air raid sirens sounded frequently.

“We were at the train station hiding with our kids behind benches because there were not many shelters available,” she said.

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