More than one million people have fled Ukraine following Russia’s invasion, in the swiftest refugee exodus this century, the United Nations says.
“In just seven days we have witnessed the exodus of one million refugees from Ukraine to neighbouring countries,” UN refugee chief Filippo Grandi tweeted. “Unless there is an immediate end to the conflict, millions more are likely to be forced to flee Ukraine.”
Russian troops were in the centre of the southern Ukrainian port city of Kherson on Thursday after a day of conflicting claims over whether Moscow had captured a major urban centre for the first time in its eight-day invasion.
The capture of Kherson, a strategic southern provincial capital where the Dnieper River flows into the Black Sea, is the first significant city to fall since Moscow launched its attack on February 24.
Ukraine’s second city Kharkiv continues to come under heavy Russian shelling, with police and university buildings among the latest struck.
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) says a member of its observer mission died in the shelling.
Russia denies targeting civilians although there have been widespread reports of non-combatant casualties and the targeting of residential areas.
Russia on Wednesday reported its military casualties for the first time since the invasion began last week, saying nearly 500 of its troops had been killed and almost 1,600 wounded.