By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News, reporting from Hungary-Ukraine border
ZÁHONY, HUNGARY (Worthy News) – People are massively leaving Ukraine as Russia has intensified its attacks on key Ukrainian cities. Fighting was raging for the seventh day of the Russian invasion in the north, south, and east of Ukraine.
Ukraine’s government says Russian paratroopers have landed in Kharkiv, the country’s second-largest city in the northeast.
In the south, Russia claims it has taken control of the port of Kherson, but its mayor maintains Ukrainian forces still hold it. Elsewhere in the country, a 40 mile-long or 64-kilometer long convoy of Russian armored vehicles is just a mile away from the capital Kyiv.
The fighting has caused a refugee crisis, with many arriving at the Hungarian-Ukrainian border. Tearful came at the train station in Záhony at the Hungarian-Ukrainian border.
“We don’t know where we have to go. What will happen to our small children?” two exhausted, crying women said. “The people of Ukraine want freedom. Russia is behaving like a tyrant; it is a dictatorship. So we had to leave our own country and our children.”
She refers to the mobilization of her son and many others. All men aged 18-60 have been mobilizing against as many as 200.000 Russian troops. Belarus has also joined the fight.
And 24-year-old Svetlana Voropai says her dreams have been shattered. She told Worthy News that she wanted to start a business in Kiyv, having fled the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine. But that’s all changed. “I am from Ukraine, from Kyiv.”
She added that she lived in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region, mainly run by Russian-backed separatists. “I first saw the first war in the east. Then I lived in Kyiv for one year when I saw the second war. It is very bad. There are many men with guns.”
Her companion, 34-year-old Kevin from Nigeria, says they will never forget the horrific attacks in and around Ukraine’s capital. “I came from Kyiv. This is not good what is happening in Ukraine. They kill people all the time. Even we run away because of bomb explosions. They shoot at people. But thank God, we are safe now,” he stressed.
Church volunteers are among those helping him and many other refugees, including the significant ethnic Hungarian minority living across the border.
“We provide food and drinks such as water to the people. There is so much uncertainty among those who flee. I hope this war will be over soon,” said Péter Kiss of the Budapest-based Faith Church, a Pentecostal congregation.
Hungary says more than 125,000 refugees have arrived since Thursday. That number is expected to rise as fighting escalates across the country.
In response, the United States said it would ban Russian airlines from its airspace – following the lead of the European Union and Canada.
And major companies such as Apple, Google, Ford, and Exxon Mobil have taken steps against Russia over the invasion.
But all these actions have done little to halt the offensive.
As a result, the United Nations says more than 800,000 people have fled Ukraine, with many more expected to escape Europe’s most significant conflict since World War Two.
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