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Moldova readies emergency steps in preparation for Ukrainian refugees


The president of the former Soviet republic of Moldova announced on Thursday that her government will ask parliament to implement a state of emergency as the country prepares for “tens of thousands” of refugees fleeing Ukraine ahead of Russia’s invasion.

Maia Sandu called the Russian attack a “flagrant violation of international norms” and promised her country “will help people who need our support. At this moment, we are ready to accommodate tens of thousands of people.”

Hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin declared war on Ukraine, traffic flow has increased along border crossing points between Ukraine and Moldova, Sandu revealed. 

Moldova, one of Europe’s poorest nations, shares an approximately 800-mile border with Ukraine. 

Meanwhile, US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield warned Wednesday that millions of people in the region could be displaced as a result of the Moscow invasion.

Traffic flow has increased along border crossing points between Ukraine and Moldova.
Traffic flow has increased along border crossing points between Ukraine and Moldova.
EPA

“If Russia continues down this path, it could, according to our estimates, create a new refugee crisis, one of the largest facing the world today, with as many as 5 million more people displaced by Russia’s war of choice,” she said during a UN address.

Ukraine’s other neighbors had already begun preparing for a potential influx of refugees ahead of the invasion. 

Romanian Defense Minister Vasile Dincu said Tuesday that Bucharest is willing to take in up to 500,000 displaced people across its roughly 370-mile border with Ukraine. 

A map shows the Ukrainian cities currently under siege by Russian forces.
A map shows the Ukrainian cities currently under siege by Russian forces.

“There are several estimates, but we could receive over 500,000 refugees, that is … the number for which we have prepared alongside the interior ministry and other institutions,” Dincu told Reuters.

“There is a plan prepared for all large cities, there are areas for this near the borders,” he added, appearing to refer to refugee camps.

“We are also not expecting a major influx coming here now, but one never knows,” Dincu added.


Get the latest updates in the Russia-Ukraine conflict with the New York Post’s live coverage.


Earlier this month, Poland’s deputy interior minister, Maciej Wąsik, revealed in a radio interview that the Warsaw government has to be prepared for a “worst-case scenario” and has readied “for a wave of up to a million people.” Poland, located to the west of Ukraine, shares a roughly 330-mile border with its eastern neighbor.

Several other nations, including Latvia, Hungary, Lithuania and Estonia, have also pledged to take in several thousand refugees.

However, it’s unclear how many Ukrainians will choose to leave.

Putin declared war on Ukraine early Thursday local time, launching ground attacks and airstrikes into the country. 

The Russian president claimed Moscow was undertaking a “special military operation” to demilitarize and “denazify” the country under the pretense that Russia was defending itself.

'At this moment, we are ready to accommodate tens of thousands of people,' Sandu said.
“At this moment, we are ready to accommodate tens of thousands of people,” Maia Sandu said.
EPA

More than 40 people in Ukraine have been killed since the attack began and several dozen have been injured, according to Aleksey Arestovich, adviser to the head of the country’s presidential office.

Already Russia has claimed to have destroyed 74 Ukrainian military facilities, including 11 airbases, though those numbers could not be independently confirmed. Ukraine has said six Russian planes and one helicopter have been shot down, four Russian tanks destroyed and 50 troops killed. 

With Post wires



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