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Half of Kyiv population has fled, Ukrainian capital mayor says

Half the population of Kyiv has fled since the Russian invasion began, its mayor Vitali Klitschko said on Thursday, as Moscow’s forces press ever closer to the Ukrainian capital.

“From our information, one in two Kyiv residents has left the city,” he told Ukraine television. “A little less than two million people have currently left. However, Kyiv has been transformed into a fortress. Every street, every building, every checkpoint has been fortified.”

The greater Kyiv area had a population of 3.5 million last year, according to website citypopulation.de.

Russian forces have reached the northeastern edge of the city, with battles for control of the main highway reported during the night. Moscow has also been making progress against the cities of Kharkiv in the east and Mykolaiv in the south.

Klitschko said the capital had been “transformed into a fortress,” adding, “Every street, every building, every checkpoint has been fortified.”

On Wednesday, two bombs hit two hospitals in a city west of Kyiv, according to the mayor. The World Health Organization said it has confirmed 18 attacks on medical facilities since the Russian invasion began two weeks ago.

An air raid also hit a maternity hospital in the port city of Mariupol, killing three people including a child and drawing widespread condemnation.

“What kind of country is this, the Russian Federation, which is afraid of hospitals, is afraid of maternity hospitals, and destroys them?” Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy asked in a televised address late on Wednesday.

United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric said no health facility “should ever be a target” and called for an “immediate halt to attacks on healthcare, hospitals, healthcare workers, ambulances.”

United States Vice President Kamala Harris has called for an investigation into Russia’s conduct in Ukraine and condemned what she said were “atrocities of unimaginable proportions” carried out by Moscow’s forces.

United Kingdom Minister for the Armed Forces James Heappey said hitting the hospital was “a war crime” regardless of whether it had been a deliberate act or not.

Russia Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov claimed the Mariupol hospital had been seized by far-right fighters who were using it as a base.

Some countries continued to ease measures for refugees. Britain said that from Tuesday, Ukrainians with passports no longer need to travel to a visa application center to provide fingerprints and can instead apply to enter the UK online and give fingerprints after arrival.

ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH 

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: FOX NEWS

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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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