PLEASE CLOSE THE SKY - SAYS REFUGEES
MEDYKA, POLAND : Ukrainians fleeing into central European pleaded for Western nations to take tougher steps against Russia following Moscow's invasion that has created more than 1 million refugees.
At the Medyka crossing, Poland's busiest, along its roughly 500km border with Ukraine, refugees called for a no-fly zone over Ukraine - something NATO powers have so far ruled out on the grounds it would risk escalating the conflict beyond Ukraine.
"Please close the sky," said Solomiya Zdryko, 18, who fled from Lviv in western Ukraine. "I know that it's not possible for us to join NATO but at least close the sky because people are dying."
"It's great that the whole world is watching us and supporting us, but it really needs to stop."
The number of refugees could potentially rise to 1.5 million by the end of the weekend from a current 1.3 million, according to the head of the UN refugee agency, Filippo Grandi.
"This is the fastest moving refugee crisis we have seen in Europe since the end of World War Two," Grandi told Reuters in an interview.
Poland, whose Ukrainian community of around 1 million is the region's largest, has accepted nearly 800,000 Ukrainian refugees since the start of the Russian invasion on Feb 24, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Paweł Szefernaker told reporters. More than 106,000 arrived from Ukraine in the last 24 hours, the highest figure since the war erupted.Russia said its forces had stopped firing near two besieged Ukrainian cities on Saturday (Mar 5) to allow safe passage to civilians fleeing fighting, but officials in one of the cities said Moscow was not fully observing the limited ceasefire.
Moscow says its invasion is a "special operation" to capture individuals it regards as dangerous nationalists and to counter what it views as NATO aggression, and has denied targeting civilians.
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@ Jackie San