Live: The number of Ukrainian refugees in France reaches 100,000

Live: The number of Ukrainian refugees in France reaches 100,000

France has taken in 100,000 Ukrainian refugees since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began more than five months ago, authorities said Thursday. The news came amid reports that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is seeking an opportunity to speak “directly” with Chinese leader Xi Jinping to help end the war. Follow FRANCE 24’s live blog for the latest developments. All times are Paris time (GMT+2).

1:30 p.m.: Zelensky says Schröder’s comments in favor of a “negotiated solution” with Russia are “disgusting”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said it was “disgusting” for former European leaders to work for Russia, in an apparent reference to former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder’s comments that Moscow wanted a “negotiated solution” to the war.

The war-torn country’s leader said in his daily speech on Wednesday, following the publication of an interview in German media in which Schroeder called for negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin: “The good news is that the Kremlin wants a negotiated solution.” The 78-year-old, Angela Merkel’s immediate predecessor, was quoted after confirming the meeting with Putin in Moscow last week. Schroeder has also called on Berlin to reconsider its position on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.

“It is simply disgusting when former leaders of powerful states with European values ​​work for Russia, which fights against these values,” Zelensky said in the video address, without referring directly to Schroeder.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has led to enormous public pressure in Germany for Schröder to turn his back on Putin and cut ties with Russia’s energy giants. Schroeder was chairman of the board of the Russian oil giant Rosneft.

1:30 p.m.: Russian shelling kills 8 at bus stop in eastern Ukraine

Russian shelling of a bus stop in Toretsk on the frontline in eastern Ukraine killed eight people and left four wounded, the regional governor said. “According to preliminary information, it was artillery fire. They hit a public transport stop, where there was a crowd at the time,” Pavlo Kyrylenko, head of the Ukraine-controlled Donetsk region’s administration, wrote in a telegram.

10:49 France accepts 100,000 Ukrainian refugees

France has taken in 100,000 Ukrainian refugees since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began more than five months ago, Didier Leschi, director general of the French Office of Immigration and Integration (Ofii), told AFP on Thursday.

“Since Wednesday evening, the threshold of 100,000” of people displaced by the conflict in Ukraine “has been crossed,” Leschi said, confirming information published in the French daily Le Figaro.

09:08: UN nuclear watchdog appeals for access to Ukrainian power plant in Zaporizhzhia

The head of the UN nuclear watchdog appealed for access to Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which is now being monitored by Russian forces to determine whether it was a source of danger.

Contact with Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, located in Zaporizhzhia and operated by Ukrainian technicians, was “fragile” and communication did not work every day, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi told Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger.

“We cannot afford miscommunication with the plant in areas relevant to security. We are aware of allegations that live ammunition is stored in the plant, that there are attacks on the power plant,” he said in an interview published in German. “Honestly, if I don’t have access, I can’t tell. There are contradictions between the accounts of the Russian and Ukrainian sides. I get information, I also mention it in my status reports, but I have no way to determine whether it corresponds to the facts .”

A Russian-based official in Ukraine said on Wednesday that Ukrainian forces had repeatedly used Western weapons to attack the facility, which has two of six reactors in operation and has been the subject of repeated warnings from Ukraine, the West and Russia.

8:15 a.m.: Russian troops shell towns near Kharkhiv

Ukrainian authorities in the east said several towns had been shelled in recent hours, including in the Kharkhiv region. In the Donetsk region, Kyiv has initiated mandatory evacuations due to heavy shelling. But many refuse, claiming they have nowhere else to go.

7:45: Ukraine warns of new Russian southern offensive

On the battlefield, Russian forces were engaged in significant military activity, firing from tanks, barrel and rocket artillery in several parts of Ukraine, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said on Thursday. Ukraine said Russia had begun creating a strike group in the Kryvyi Rih direction and could prepare new offensive operations in southern Ukraine.

The steel-producing city of Kryvyi Rih, where Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky grew up, is about 50 km (30 miles) from the southern front line, between the Russian-occupied city of Zaporizhzhia and Mykolaiv.

02:00: Zelensky reportedly seeks ‘direct talks’ with China to help end Ukraine’s war

Ukraine seeking an opportunity to speak “directly” with Chinese leader Xi Jinping to help end the war with Russia, President Volodymyr Zelensky said, the South China Morning Post reported on Thursday.

In an interview with SCMP, the Ukrainian leader urged China to use their great political and economic influence over Russia to end the fighting.

“It’s a very powerful state. It’s a powerful economy… So (it) can politically, economically influence Russia. And China is [also a] permanent member of the UN Security Council,” Zelensky was quoted as saying in the report.

12:34 p.m.: The US Senate passes a resolution ratifying Sweden’s and Finland’s membership in NATO

The US Senate on Wednesday ratified the entry of Sweden and Finland into NATO, strongly supporting the expansion of the transatlantic alliance in the face of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Senate voted 95 to 1 in favor of the two Nordic countries’ accession, making the United States the 23rd of the 30 NATO countries to formally approve it so far, after Italy approved it earlier on Wednesday and France on Tuesday.

Live: The number of Ukrainian refugees in France reaches 100,000

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and REUTERS)

Originally published on France24

Live: The number of Ukrainian refugees in France reaches 100,000


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