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Over 1million refugees flee Ukraine in one of ‘swiftest exodus this century’

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More than 1 million people have fled Ukraine in one of the “swiftest refugee exodus this century,” the United Nations said Thursday as Russian military forces escalated attacks for an eighth day on civilian areas of Ukraine’s largest cities.

In one week, more than 2% of Ukraine’s population has been forced out of the country, according to a tally from the United Nations released to The Associated Press. The number topped 1 million on Wednesday.

The mass evacuation could be seen in Kharkiv, where residents desperate to escape falling shells and bombs crowded the city’s train station and pressed onto trains, not always knowing where they were headed. According to The New York Times, Russia captured the southern city port of Kherson and are now bearing down on Mykolaiev, another important city in the Ukraine.

Delegations from both countries are expected to hold talks in Belarus on Thursday, a second round of face-to-face discussions.

In a video address to the nation early Thursday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on Ukrainians to keep up their resistance but didn’t comment on whether the Russians have seized any cities.

“They will have no peace here,” Zelenskyy said, calling on the Russian soldiers to “go home” and describing them as “confused children who have been used.”

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