Ukrainian scientists stand in defiance

People clear debris from a damaged military base in Okhtyrka in the Sumy region, Ukraine

Folks clear particles from a broken navy base in Okhtyrka within the Sumy area of Ukraine.Credit score: Irina Rybakova/Handout/Reuters

“I survived this already eight years in the past,” says economist Illya Khadzhynov. “I’m from Donetsk.”

Because the world awoke to information on 24 February that Russia had invaded Ukraine, together with its capital Kyiv, Ukraine’s folks have been being pressured to make unimaginable choices about whether or not to remain and shelter, try to flee or combat for his or her nation.

Because the battle approaches the one-week mark, Ukrainian researchers have described to Nature how they’ve responded. Some scientists say that their colleagues and college students have taken up arms to defend their nation. Others have remained in cities, taking care of their households and watching the devastation wrought by Russian shelling on condo and college buildings. “We’re not fascinated about analysis,” says Khadzhynov.

Air-raid alerts

Khadzhynov is vice-rector for scientific work at Vasyl’ Stus Donetsk Nationwide College. In 2014, the 85-year-old college relocated to Vinnytsia in central Ukraine, displaced by the battle within the Donbas area, components of that are claimed by separatists. “It moved to Vinnytsia with no sources, no buildings. It had a rebirth,” says Khadzhynov.

For Khadzhynov, the occasions of the previous week remind him of that point, when he was pressured to go away his hometown of 35 years. “It’s the second time in my life that is occurring. I believed I had forgotten all this horror. Sadly, it’s repeated.”

When the assault got here on 24 February, Khadzhynov was on the practice to Kyiv. He obtained a textual content from his brother telling him the invasion had began, acquired off on the subsequent cease and went again to Vinnytsia. Lectures on the college instantly moved on-line. Alongside his colleagues, Khadzhynov’s precedence was his college students’ well-being.

“We’re pondering first of our college students and personnel — what ought to we do and what ought to we are saying to them,” he says. “The primary level for us is to present college students psychological assist and help for psychological well being.” Khadzhynov had not seen Russian forces in Vinnytsia when he spoke to Nature on 2 March, and had been going to his college to work on daily basis. However he mentioned air-raid alerts have been ongoing. “The air alarms assist us. In Donetsk, there have been no air alarms, they merely began shelling.”

Many college students at Khadzhynov’s college have entered the territorial defence forces, that are handing out weapons to any grownup keen to defend the nation; about 18,000 arms have been given out. Ukraine has introduced conscription of all males aged 18–60, however college students and people educating in universities or in scientific positions are exempt, says Khadzhynov.

Image from Kyiv

“It’s in all probability coming to the following Russian bombardment,” says Maksym Strikha, a physicist on the Taras Shevchenko Nationwide College of Kyiv, from his condo in central Kyiv on 1 March. “We hear shelling on daily basis.”

The entrance line is about 30 kilometres away, he says, and small teams of Russian troopers are regularly attempting to penetrate town, however have to date been stopped by Ukrainian troopers. Many youthful college students at his institute have additionally taken up arms. “They’re both on the battlefield or supporting the military,” he says. (Colleagues his age and older — Strikha is 60 — are too previous to combat, he says.)

“I could make no plans,” says Strikha. “Yesterday, I despatched my colleagues a draft of my guide in Ukraine of solid-state physics. If the scenario won’t be good for me, perhaps somebody can edit this guide and publish it.”

Firefighters work to extinguish a fire at the Kharkiv National University building

The Kharkiv Nationwide College constructing in Ukraine’s second metropolis has been badly broken by Russian bombardments.Credit score: Oleksandr Lapshyn/Reuters

Due east of Kyiv, 30 kilometres from the northeastern Russian border, is Sumy Nationwide Agrarian College. Yuriy Danko, an economist and vice-rector for scientific work on the institute, says that shelling has broken dormitory and college buildings. “All home windows have been damaged, all doorways have been damaged, all flooring have been destroyed.”

“There are victims,” says Danko. “Together with many among the many civilian inhabitants.”

Danko says that some college students left however most remained. Town has shaped a territorial defence unit that accepts all kinds of folks. “College students and scientists took up arms immediately.”

On 1 March, Danko was on the college serving to college students who hadn’t had time to go away and have been nonetheless in dormitories — about 400. These embody 170 college students from different international locations, together with China, India and Nigeria. “It’s at the moment unimaginable to evacuate them and they’re in bomb shelters. We’re in bomb shelters throughout bombings and at evening.”

Coordinating assist

From Riga, Sanita Reinsone, a digital-humanities researcher on the College of Latvia, is coordinating efforts to assist Ukrainian scientists. On 26 February, she made a devoted Twitter account for the hashtag #ScienceforUkraine, which has garnered virtually 3,000 followers.

At first, institutes, universities and analysis organizations worldwide have been providing ethical assist. However inside days, many have been offering detailed details about scholarships, fellowships and even providing to pay salaries for Ukrainian researchers. “I didn’t count on the calls of assist to be so extensive,” mentioned Reinsone. “To this point, I’ve compiled 50 organizations, however there might be greater than 100 worldwide.” Presents have are available in from Chile to Japan.

Reinsone took on the duty of organizing the alternatives after feeling that she couldn’t sit and watch as a neighbouring nation struggled underneath Russian aggression. “It was private for me,” she says. An information-technology specialist from her division helped to create a web site that reveals a map of universities world wide and assist they’re providing. “Ukrainian students don’t have the time to look these provides individually, so we wish to mixture all the main points in a single place,” she says.

A continent away in Lexington, Massachusetts, the scenario in Ukraine reminds physicist George Gamota of his childhood. He fled Ukraine along with his household in 1944, aged 5, and arrived in the US in 1949. After a profession working at Bell Labs, the Pentagon and as a institute director on the College of Michigan, he spent a few years serving to Ukraine to develop its scientific system after it gained independence, together with as a part of a nine-person worldwide committee appointed by the Ukrainian authorities.

“Six months in the past, I used to be excited to see younger folks working in labs and heading departments, which was very uncommon,” says Gamota. “What’s going to occur now’s anyone’s guess,” he says. In a single state of affairs, Russia may impose regime change and set up a Kremlin-friendly authorities. “That will be a tragedy, as a result of extra younger folks would flee, and the possibilities of Ukraine actually growing could be stymied.”

For Khadzhynov, the suggestion of regime change prompts a swift reply: “On this case, I’ll transfer overseas.”

Ukrainian man who enlisted after Russia’s invasion gives an update, a week later : NPR

Volodymyr Omelyan says he believes that defending the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, is necessary. It’s a metropolis he seems like he belongs to.

Volodymyr Omelyan

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Volodymyr Omelyan

Volodymyr Omelyan says he believes that defending the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, is necessary. It’s a metropolis he seems like he belongs to.

Volodymyr Omelyan

Volodymyr Omelyan is among the many hundreds of Ukrainians who rushed to enlist after Russia invaded Ukraine final week. Talking to NPR by cellphone Wednesday, he mentioned he is assured Ukraine will prevail, regardless of dealing with Russia’s a lot bigger army.

“We’re 100% positive that we’ll win,” he mentioned in an interview on Morning Version. “Little doubt about that. Undoubtedly.”

Ukrainian army officers say their forces have managed to safe a number of notable victories in opposition to Russia’s army, however they warn that the Russians appear to be adjusting their technique. Russia is counting on “the felony ways of long-range shelling of peaceable cities,” Ukraine’s protection minister, Oleksii Reznikov, mentioned in an replace on the struggle.

Omelyan concurs with that evaluation however he mentioned Russia’s strategy may backfire, saying it is upsetting not solely terror amongst residents, however anger.

“They’re attempting to unfold panic among the many civilians, bombing them, however they get completely different response to such actions,” he mentioned. “Persons are getting livid and persons are able to kill Russians. Even civilians which by no means took any sort of gun of their arms.”

Omelyan was as soon as Ukraine’s infrastructure minister, however he is now positioned in Kyiv with Ukraine’s territorial protection forces. He mentioned that whereas Ukraine’s army nonetheless wants extra weapons and armor, it is having actual successes in opposition to Russia’s vaunted power.

“They had been all the time [saying] that it is just like the second military on this planet, but it surely seems to be very weak, and we crushed lots of their brigades,” he mentioned.

On Wednesday, the Russian Protection Ministry made its first announcement of considerable casualties in Ukraine, saying 498 personnel had been killed and 1,597 injured.

Omelyan mentioned he believes the Russians’ major objective is to not occupy everything of Ukraine, however to get management of the capital so Moscow can set up a puppet authorities and manufacture information tales a few profitable conquest of Kyiv.

Final week, Omelyan advised NPR that he joined Ukraine’s army to guard his household. He additionally mentioned he was sure his nation will win. Every week later, that hasn’t modified.

“We’ll by no means give up,” he mentioned.

He thanked the U.S. and its European allies for his or her help, saying he hopes Ukraine can change into a member of the EU. He referred to as for NATO to change into extra concerned, citing the Russian army’s killing of Ukrainian civilians. And he reiterated that Ukraine wants extra tools to assist it struggle.

“We want [an] pressing provide of anti-missile and anti-military plane programs to clear the skies from invasion,” he mentioned. “And we’ll deal with the land occupation simply.”

Russians besiege Ukrainian ports as armored column stalls

Native militiaman Valery, 37, carries a toddler as he helps a fleeing household throughout a bridge destroyed by artillery, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday. Russian forces have escalated their assaults on crowded cities in what Ukraine’s chief referred to as a blatant marketing campaign of terror. (Emilio Morenatti, Related Press)

Estimated learn time: 6-7 minutes

KYIV, Ukraine — Russian forces laid siege to 2 strategic Ukrainian seaports Wednesday and pressed their bombardment of the nation’s second-biggest metropolis, whereas the large armored column threatening Kyiv appeared stalled outdoors the capital.

Moscow’s isolation deepened, in the meantime, when many of the world lined up towards it on the United Nations to demand it withdraw from Ukraine. And the prosecutor for the Worldwide Felony Courtroom opened an investigation into attainable conflict crimes.

A second spherical of talks geared toward ending the preventing was anticipated Thursday, however there gave the impression to be little widespread floor between the 2 sides.

Russia reported its navy casualties for the primary time for the reason that invasion started final week, saying practically 500 of its troops have been killed and virtually 1,600 wounded. Ukraine didn’t disclose its personal navy losses however mentioned greater than 2,000 civilians have died, a declare that might not be independently verified.

With preventing occurring on a number of fronts throughout the nation, Britain’s Protection Ministry mentioned Mariupol, a big metropolis on the Azov Sea, was encircled by Russian forces, whereas the standing of one other important port, Kherson, a Black Sea shipbuilding metropolis of 280,000, remained unclear.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s forces claimed to have taken full management of Kherson, which might make it the largest metropolis to fall but within the invasion. However a senior U.S. protection official disputed that.

“Our view is that Kherson may be very a lot a contested metropolis,” the official mentioned, talking on situation of anonymity.

Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko mentioned the assaults there had been relentless.

“We can not even take the wounded from the streets, from homes and flats as we speak, for the reason that shelling doesn’t cease,” he was quoted by the Interfax information company as saying.

We can not even take the wounded from the streets, from homes and flats as we speak, for the reason that shelling doesn’t cease.

–Vadym Boychenko, mayor of Mariupol, Ukraine

In the meantime, the senior U.S. protection official mentioned the immense column of a whole lot of tanks and different autos gave the impression to be stalled roughly 16 miles from Kyiv and had made no actual progress within the final couple of days.

The convoy, which earlier within the week had appeared poised to launch an assault on the capital, has been plagued with gasoline and meals shortages and has confronted fierce Ukrainian resistance, the official mentioned.

On the far edges of Kyiv, volunteer fighters properly into their 60s manned a checkpoint to attempt to block the Russian advance.

“In my outdated age I needed to take up arms,” mentioned Andrey Goncharuk, 68. He mentioned the fighters wanted extra weapons, however “we’ll kill the enemy and take their weapons.”

Russia additionally pounded Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest metropolis with about 1.5 million folks, in one other spherical of aerial assaults that shattered buildings and lit up the skyline with flames. No less than 21 folks had been killed and 112 injured over the previous day, mentioned Oleg Sinehubov, head of the Kharkiv regional administration.

A number of Russian planes had been shot down over Kharkiv, in line with Oleksiy Arestovich, a high adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

“Kharkiv as we speak is the Stalingrad of the twenty first century,” Arestovich mentioned, invoking what is taken into account one of the crucial heroic episodes in Russian historical past, the five-month protection of town from the Nazis throughout World Conflict II.

From his basement bunker, Kharkiv Mayor Igor Terekhov advised the BBC: “Town is united and we will stand quick.”

A view of smoke from inside a damaged gym following shelling in Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday.
A view of smoke from inside a broken gymnasium following shelling in Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday. (Picture: Efrem Lukatsky, Related Press)

Russian assaults, many with missiles, blew the roof off Kharkiv’s five-story regional police constructing and set the highest ground on fireplace, and in addition hit the intelligence headquarters and a college constructing, in line with officers and movies and images launched by Ukraine’s State Emergency Service. Officers mentioned residential buildings had been additionally hit, however gave no particulars.

Seven days into Russia’s invasion, the United Nations mentioned greater than 870,000 folks have fled Ukraine in a mounting refugee disaster on the European continent, whereas the top of the U.N. nuclear watchdog company warned that the preventing poses a hazard to Ukraine’s 15 nuclear reactors.

Rafael Grossi of the Worldwide Atomic Vitality Company famous that the conflict is “the primary time a navy battle is occurring amid the services of a giant, established nuclear energy program,” and he mentioned he’s “gravely involved.”

“When there’s a battle ongoing, there’s after all a threat of assault or the potential for an unintended hit,” he mentioned. Russia already has seized management of the decommissioned Chernobyl energy plant, the scene in 1986 of the world’s worst nuclear catastrophe.

In New York, the U.N. Basic Meeting voted to demand that Russia cease its offensive and instantly withdraw all troops, with world powers and tiny island states alike condemning Moscow. The vote was 141 to five, with 35 abstentions.

Meeting resolutions aren’t legally binding however can replicate and affect world opinion.

The vote got here after the 193-member meeting convened its first emergency session since 1997. The one nations to vote with Russia had been Belarus, Syria, North Korea and Eritrea. Cuba spoke in Moscow’s protection however finally abstained.

Ukraine’s U.N. Ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya mentioned Russian forces “have come to the Ukrainian soil, not solely to kill a few of us … they’ve come to deprive Ukraine of the very proper to exist.” He added: “The crimes are so barbaric that it’s tough to grasp.”

A big explosion shook central Kyiv on Wednesday evening in what the president’s workplace mentioned was a missile strike close to the capital metropolis’s southern railway station. There was no fast phrase on any deaths or accidents. Hundreds of Ukrainians have been fleeing town by the sprawling railway complicated.

A spokesman for the Russian Protection Ministry, Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, launched his aspect’s navy casualty figures, disputing as “disinformation” reviews of a lot greater losses. Ukraine’s chief claimed virtually 6,000 Russian troopers have been killed.

Konashenkov additionally mentioned greater than 2,870 Ukrainian troops have been killed and about 3,700 wounded, whereas over 570 have been captured.

Russia additionally ramped up its rhetoric. International Minister Sergei Lavrov reminded the world concerning the nation’s huge nuclear arsenal when he mentioned in an interview with Al-Jazeera that “a 3rd world conflict may solely be nuclear.”

Within the northern metropolis of Chernihiv, two cruise missiles hit a hospital, in line with the Ukrainian UNIAN information company, which quoted the well being administration chief, Serhiy Pivovar, as saying authorities had been working to find out the casualty toll.

In different developments:

  • The worth of oil continued to soar, reaching $112 per barrel, the best since 2014.
  • Russia discovered itself much more remoted economically as Airbus and Boeing mentioned they’d minimize off spare components and technical assist to the nation’s airways, a serious blow. Airbus and Boeing jets account for the overwhelming majority or Russia’s passenger fleet.

Contributing: Mstyslav Chernov, Sergei Grits, Robert Burns, Eric Tucker, Francesca Ebel, Josef Federman, Andrew Drake, Lorne Cook dinner, Edith M. Lederer, Jennifer Peltz and others.


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The Ukrainian Exodus at the Polish Border

On Tuesday morning, within the ready space of the Przemysl railway station, Kateryna Popko, a nineteen-year-old Ukrainian medical scholar, sat together with her mom, Tatiana. The station is a couple of miles contained in the Polish border with Ukraine, and the ticket corridor was crowded with refugees from the battle. Some slept on baggage, and others fed their infants bottles of system. Volunteers carrying high-visibility jackets tried to convene teams to depart on buses. Cops moved among the many throng, making an attempt to determine methods wherein they might assist or clear the logjam.

Kateryna and Tatiana had not been planning to depart their residence in Dnipro, a metropolis six-hundred and fifty miles to the east, in Ukraine. After Russia’s annexation of Crimea, in 2014, Tatiana, a furnishings producer, had redesigned her home with a bolstered basement. Within the occasion that Russia ever invaded Ukraine once more, she thought, her household would at the least have someplace secure to remain. However then, final week, as Russian troops superior, a pal persuaded her {that a} bolstered basement may not be sufficient. She and Kateryna determined to take a practice to Lviv, a Ukrainian metropolis close to the border with Poland, after which to make their approach into Poland itself.

The journey was lengthy and troublesome, however the girls instructed their story with no self-pity. Kateryna, pale-faced and with a girlish side-braid in her hair, even appeared to take some pleasure in it, usually pulling out her cellphone to point out an image of this or that calamity. In her retelling, the gang of people that boarded the service from Dnipro to Lviv was so nice that each inch of flooring within the practice automobile was taken, together with individuals sleeping on roll-up mattresses. Some passengers even stuffed themselves into the overhead baggage racks. Most of the individuals on board had no tickets. The practice was scheduled to depart Dnipro at 2:30 p.m. however departed late, and stopped regularly. When it handed areas the place preventing was taking place—close to the capital, Kyiv, and town of Bila Tserkva—the lights minimize out. The ladies arrived in Lviv at 11 a.m. the next day, already exhausted.

Tatiano Popko ready in Poland.

From Lviv, Kateryna and Tatiana took a bus, which stopped almost 4 miles in need of the Polish border. It was already night, and horribly chilly. They started to stroll the remaining miles. At 9 p.m., nearing the border, they had been instructed by an official that there could be a nine-hour wait till they could possibly be processed. They had been proven to a college the place they might sleep, alongside different individuals fleeing the violence. Volunteers had established meals stations within the school rooms. One household had a three-day-old child with them. (Kateryna shook her head in pity at this level within the story.) No person obtained a lot sleep. The subsequent day, a bus took them to the border, which they crossed at Medyka, with out bother.

Now in Poland, the ladies had been awaiting associates who had been arriving from Lviv by practice. They had been all hoping to journey to Finland collectively, the place they’d family members and associates who might assist them. They surmised that the rest of the journey may take two days by automobile. The ladies realized they won’t return to their residence for some time. “I feel the Russians will bomb every little thing, and there shall be nowhere to return again to,” Tatiana mentioned. Kateryna was already contemplating tips on how to proceed her medical research in Finland.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has triggered an exodus of lots of of hundreds of individuals. Many are travelling west, the place Poland has promised to obtain them. Poland has not all the time been such a pal to refugees. Within the fall, it refused asylum to a gaggle of Afghans fleeing the Taliban takeover of their nation, and it’s at present constructing a wall on its Belarussian border to maintain immigrants out. However its generosity within the face of this disaster has been warming. Officers from a lot of Poland’s authorities businesses, and from its emergency providers, are actually at work helping individuals crossing the border. In a single transit middle for housing and processing refugees, located at a large meals depot aptly named Hala Kijowska—“Kyiv Corridor”—I noticed a Polish soldier gallantly carrying the luggage of a girl in her sixties, at the same time as he barked directions to a gaggle of youthful Ukrainians to comply with him to a bus.

A number of girls I spoke to carried with them tales of people that couldn’t be persuaded to depart. Tatiana Doctorova had pushed from Kyiv together with her two teen-age daughters, a separate household of 4, and a cat named Gabriele, in a medium-sized automobile. She instructed me that her mom had remained within the metropolis of Sumy, close to the Russian border, the place there was preventing. Regardless of the hazard, she couldn’t be satisfied to flee. Likewise, Doctorova’s sister, who lives together with her youngsters on the left financial institution of Kyiv, close to Doctorova, determined to remain, even after explosions shook her constructing. “She believes in our Military, and he or she thinks every little thing shall be O.Okay.,” Doctorova mentioned. “She could be very robust.”

Final week, Doctorova’s two daughters had been at school. Now they had been standing on the facet of a street in Poland, after an exhausting four-day journey, and with unsure prospects. They wore hoodies and nostril rings and Nike high-tops. They giggled usually and shrugged their shoulders after I requested troublesome questions. (“They’re younger,” Doctorova defined.) However I used to be stunned at how evenly their mom appeared to bear the dramatic modifications in her life. The household thought they may attempt to dwell in Germany, though they didn’t converse the language. Was she anxious concerning the future?

“Typically . . . I don’t know if I’m doing the best factor or not,” Doctorova mentioned. “I do have moments when I’m overcome with anxiousness and emotion . . . I nonetheless can’t imagine that is taking place.”

There are millions of comparable tales alongside the border: of lives upended and swiftly reimagined. President Volodymyr Zelensky has banned all males between the ages of eighteen and sixty from leaving Ukraine, so a lot of the refugees are girls or youngsters, or non-Ukrainian males who had been residing within the nation. (Most of the males are college students from creating nations, or present refugees from different conflicts, and their confusion is usually painful to witness; one Saudi scholar I spoke to had seemingly spent two days in line earlier than getting into Poland.) The Ukrainian girls which have fled fear for these left behind. Kateryna Popko instructed me that boys in her class had already signed as much as battle; she confirmed me an image of one among her male faculty associates in uniform.

However there may be additionally a counterflow. A stream of males is shifting east, from Poland again into Ukraine. I met a few of them at Medyka, the principle border crossing close to Przemysl. Medyka has not too long ago been the location of a big influx of refugees, however was a lot quieter on the day I visited, as a result of—I used to be instructed—extra individuals are actually being bused straight to transit facilities, moderately than ready on the checkpoint itself.

Mykhailo Kozlovskiy and Andrii Tsarenko are wide-shouldered Ukrainians who work as truck drivers round Europe. They’re each of their mid-forties, they usually every have a spouse and two youngsters in Ukraine. Strolling to the passport sales space, Tsarenko mentioned they had been going again “to guard their households and their lands.” They deliberate to affix up with a army group and battle the Russians. Kozlovskiy mentioned he had spent 13 years within the Ukrainian Military. Tsarenko had two years’ army expertise. They every carried two small baggage.

Andrii Tsarenko and Mykhailo Kozlovskiy returning to Ukraine to affix a army group preventing the Russians. 

“There isn’t a alternative,” Kozlovskiy mentioned, earlier than shaking my hand.

Vitalii Lysetskii, a thirty-eight-year-old development employee with a scar above his eye and a shaved head, got here to the border crossing along with his spouse, a chic lady carrying an extended fur coat. His spouse could be staying in Poland. His three youngsters, the youngest of whom is 2, remained in Ukraine, however could be leaving shortly. Lysetskii, who was from town of Uman, mentioned he was returning to Ukraine. Why, I requested?

“I’m going to barbecue,” he mentioned, drily. He was referring to killing Russians. He mentioned he would solely come again when he had “run out of fabric to barbecue.”

When Lysetskii mentioned goodbye to me, my Ukrainian translator engaged him with a greeting—“Glory to Ukraine!”—to which he responded, “Glory to the Heroes!” He laughed, then joined the road for passport management. He mentioned goodbye to his spouse, and no person cried.

Utah not expected to take in influx of Ukrainian refugees

Folks arrive on the West Prepare Station from Zahony after border crossing at Zahony-Csap as they flee Ukraine on Tuesday in Budapest, Hungary. Utah’s Refugee Service Workplace mentioned they did not anticipate any incoming Ukrainian refugees. (Janos Kummer, Getty Pictures)

Estimated learn time: 2-3 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — The State of Utah Refugee Companies Workplace met with the federal authorities Tuesday afternoon, asking if Utah wants to organize for incoming Ukrainian refugees.

The query comes on the tails of welcoming in lots of of humanitarian parolees from Afghanistan final fall, which included coordinating sources and setting these people and households up for fulfillment.

Asha Parekh, director of the Refugee Companies Workplace inside the Division of Workforce Companies, defined that they have been following the scenario in Ukraine carefully.

“This was a query, proper, that each one of us had, as to what is going on on? How is that this going to work? Ought to we be amping up? Or is it extra of a long-term situation?

Throughout Tuesday’s assembly between refugee providers places of work across the nation and the U.S. Division of Human Companies Inhabitants, Refugee, and Migration workplace, Parekh indicated that they received a solution.

“The U.S. simply does not have any quick plans to resettle Ukrainians presently,” she mentioned.

Final fall, Parekh helped a state process power work with a number of neighborhood organizations to coordinate sources for these fleeing Afghanistan — from employment to monetary assist, to healthcare entry, to items and housing.

However that scenario was totally different, Parekh mentioned.

“The U.S. was a part of that occupation in Afghanistan, and people of us who had been working carefully with the U.S. Military have been at risk,” Parekh defined. “And so, they took issues into their very own fingers.”

The almost 800 Afghan refugees who ended up in Utah, Parekh relayed, might want to apply for asylum by September 2023 as a result of their humanitarian parolee standing is barely non permanent.

With no boots on the bottom in Ukraine, which means no evacuation to the U.S. for Ukrainians.

Parekh identified that neighboring nations are at present taking in Ukrainian refugees, and other people escaping the warfare can resettle in these locations.

If anybody does in the end hope to make it to the U.S., she described how they’re going to observe the identical course of as everybody else.

“There is a course of for all refugees as they get moved by way of the system, and it’s a prolonged two-year vetting course of,” Parekh mentioned.

With nations like Poland, Romania, Hungary, and Moldova permitting Ukrainians to resettle there, Parekh famous that it is extra excellent for refugees to get help in these locations.

Particularly if that resettlement is non permanent.

“We do not know what is going on to occur in Ukraine,” she mentioned. “There’s the potential that they can return residence.”

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More African students decry racism at Ukrainian borders | Russia-Ukraine crisis News

Barlaney Mufaro Gurure, an area engineering pupil from Zimbabwe, had lastly reached the entrance of a nine-hour queue at Ukraine’s western border crossing of Krakovets after an exhausting four-day journey.

It was her flip to cross. However the border guard pushed her and 4 different African college students she was travelling with apart, giving precedence to Ukrainians. It took hours, and relentless calls for, earlier than they have been additionally allowed to undergo border management.

“We felt handled like animals,” the 19-year-old stated in a telephone interview from a Warsaw resort. Gurure, a freshman on the Nationwide Aviation College, fled Kyiv hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops into Ukraine on February 24.

“Once we left [Kyiv] we have been simply attempting to outlive,” she stated. “We by no means thought that they’d have handled us like that […] I believed we have been all equal, that we have been attempting to face collectively,” Gurure added.

Her story is just not remoted as scores of Africans have reported episodes of abuse and discrimination whereas attempting to cross into Ukraine’s neighbours.

For the reason that struggle began, no less than 677,000 refugees have fled from Ukraine to neighbouring nations, the United Nations stated. Half of these are at the moment in Poland. Queues alongside the border at the moment are tens of kilometres lengthy with some African college students saying they’ve been ready for days to cross amid freezing temperatures and with no meals, blankets or shelters.

Ukraine refugees overview

Claire Moor, one other Black pupil, was pushed down as she tried to board a prepare at Lviv’s prepare station. The guard insisted that solely ladies might take the prepare. The officer seemed away, Moor stated, as she identified that she was, certainly, a girl. “I used to be shocked as a result of I didn’t know the extent of the racism,” she added.

Jan Moss, a volunteer with the Polish assist organisation, Grupa Zagranica, who has been offering help on the Polish-Ukrainian border, stated whereas refugees have been welcomed at many crossings out of Ukraine with none type of discrimination, the reception close to Medyka has been extra problematic as refugees have been being organised primarily based on “racial profiling”.

“Ukrainians and Polish nationals are allowed to move by way of the a lot faster automobiles’ lane, whereas foreigners must undergo the pedestrian one, a three-stage course of that may final from 14 to 50 hours, Moss stated.

Al Jazeera contacted Ukraine’s Border Guard Service through e mail over the allegations of segregation on the borders, however had not acquired a response earlier than publication of this report.

INTERACTIVE- Visa requirements for Ukrainians(Al Jazeera)

Within the final 20 years, Ukraine has emerged as a selection vacation spot for African college students, particularly in medicine-related fields as it’s cheaper in contrast with universities in the USA and elsewhere in Europe.

Movies and tweets underneath the hashtag #AfricansinUkraine have flooded social media, triggering quite a few crowdfunding initiatives on Telegram and Instagram to assist college students on the borders and put stress on respective governments.

The African Union reacted to the outcry on Monday: “Reviews that Africans are singled out for unacceptable dissimilar therapy can be shockingly racist and in breach of worldwide legislation,” it stated in a press release. A spokesperson from South Africa’s overseas ministry stated on Sunday {that a} group of its nationals and different Africans have been being “handled badly” on the Polish-Ukrainian border.

The Nigerian authorities additionally expressed considerations over stories of discriminatory behaviour, together with a video extensively shared on social media displaying a Nigerian girl together with her younger child being forcibly made to surrender her seat to a different individual. It additionally stated {that a} group of Nigerians had been refused entry into Poland – an allegation dismissed by Poland’s ambassador to Nigeria.

However some foreigners stated they acquired a heat welcome in neighbouring nations, equivalent to Moldova and Romania, together with a comparatively easy transit.

Standing ovation for Ukrainian ambassador at Biden’s State of the Union address

US President Joe Biden mentioned the USA stands with the folks of Ukraine following the Russian invasion.

The Ukrainian Ambassador to the US, Oksana Markarova, was a visitor of First Woman Jill Biden at his first State of the Union handle to Congress.

Watch the second she acquired a standing ovation.

Deadly blast at Kyiv TV tower as Russia warns Ukrainian capital | Russia-Ukraine crisis News

A minimum of 5 folks have been killed after Russian forces fired on the foremost tv tower in Kyiv and the town’s foremost Holocaust memorial, Ukrainian officers stated, after Russia warned it will launch “high-precision” strikes on the Ukrainian capital.

Ukrainian authorities stated 5 folks have been killed and 5 others wounded within the assault on the TV tower, situated a few miles from central Kyiv and a brief stroll from quite a few house buildings.

A TV management room and an influence substation have been hit, and not less than some Ukrainian channels briefly stopped broadcasting, officers stated.

Later, the pinnacle of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s workplace, Andriy Yermak, stated on Fb {that a} “highly effective missile assault on the territory the place the (Babi) Yar memorial advanced is situated” was beneath approach.

“To the world: what’s the level of claiming ‘by no means once more’ for 80 years, if the world stays silent when a bomb drops on the identical website of Babi Yar,” Zelenskyy wrote in a tweet.

There was no fast touch upon the allegations from Russia. The nation’s defence ministry stated earlier that Russian troops would perform an assault on what they stated was the infrastructure of Ukraine’s intelligence companies in Kyiv and urged residents residing close by to go away.

A blast is seen in the TV tower, amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in Kyiv, UkraineA blast is seen within the TV tower, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine March 1, 2022 [Carlos Barria/Reuters]

“As a way to suppress info assaults on Russia, the technological infrastructure of the SBU [Ukraine’s Security Service] and the 72nd foremost PSO [Psychological Operations Unit] centre in Kyiv will likely be hit with high-precision weapons,” defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov stated.

“We name on … Kyiv residents residing close to relay nodes to go away their houses,” Konashenkov added.

Assault on Kharkiv

Within the nation’s northeast, a residential space within the metropolis of Kharkiv lay in ruins after a constructing was struck. The second-largest metropolis in Ukraine was got here beneath heavy bombardment all through the Monday evening and into Tuesday morning.

Russian shelling struck central Kharkiv’s Freedom Sq. simply after dawn Tuesday, badly damaging a regional administration constructing and another buildings, and killing not less than six folks and injuring dozens of others, Ukrainian officers stated.

It was the primary time the Russian army hit the centre of the town of 1.5 million folks, although shells have been hitting residential neighborhoods in Kharkiv for days.

The Ukrainian emergency service stated it had put out 24 fires in and round Kharkiv brought on by shelling, and it had disabled 69 explosive gadgets.

Al Jazeera’s Andrew Simmons, reporting from the town of Lviv, in western Ukraine, says there’s a sense of “dread” sweeping throughout the nation.

“We’re listening to of a whole lot of preventing within the south, within the space close to Mariupol, and that’s getting fiercer on a regular basis,” Simmons stated.

“And persons are coping with an enormous explosion, and numerous rocket assaults, in Kharkiv,” he added.

The UN estimates that 12 million folks in Ukraine will want aid and safety, whereas it projected that greater than 4 million Ukrainian refugees might have assist in neighbouring nations within the coming months.

A view of the central square following shelling of the City Hall building in Kharkiv, UkraineA view of the central sq. following the shelling of the Metropolis Corridor constructing in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, March 1, 2022 [Pavel Dorogoy/AP Photo]

Advance on Kyiv

In Kyiv, Russia warned residents to flee their houses as satellite tv for pc pictures taken on Monday confirmed a Russian army convoy north of Kyiv that stretches for about 40 miles (64 kilometres), considerably longer than the 17 miles (27 km) reported earlier within the day.

Nonetheless, a US defence official stated the Russian advance on the capital has stalled as its forces wrestle with primary logistics challenges, together with shortages of meals and gasoline, with some models showing to be gripped by low morale.

“One motive why issues seem like stalled north of Kyiv is that the Russians themselves are regrouping and rethinking and making an attempt to regulate to the challenges that they’ve had,” stated the official, talking on situation of anonymity, the Reuters information company reported.

Ukrainian servicemen ride on top of an armored personnel carrier speeding down a deserted boulevard during an air raid alarm, in KyivUkrainian servicemen trip on high of an armoured personnel service dashing down a abandoned boulevard throughout an air raid alarm, in Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, March 1, 2022 [Vadim Ghirda/AP Photo]

The official advised reporters that it was unclear whether or not the convoy itself had stalled, but it surely was not making a lot progress.

In the meantime, within the southern port metropolis of Mariupol, Russian assaults severely wounded a number of folks, the AP information company reported.

Amid heavy Russian shelling, ladies in a maternity hospital have been compelled to remain within the improvised bomb shelter within the basement.

Negotiations prospects

Talking in a closely guarded authorities compound in Kyiv, Ukraine President Zelenskyy stated Russia should “first cease bombing folks” earlier than peace talks may make any headway.

Setting out his situations for additional talks with Russia, Zelenskyy advised Reuters and CNN in a joint interview, “It’s essential to not less than cease bombing folks, simply cease the bombing after which sit down on the negotiating desk.”

Talks started on Monday with Ukraine calling for a right away ceasefire and the withdrawal of Russian forces.

Al Jazeera’s Dorsa Jabbari talking from Moscow stated there was no clear affirmation from Ukraine if it would attend talks scheduled on Wednesday on the Belarus border, in response to Russia.

“There hasn’t been large expectations out of those talks to start with,” she stated.

“However many analysts right here [in Moscow] imagine so long as the 2 sides are in a position to sit down collectively, there’s a risk that they may discover a approach out of it,” Jabbari added.

Ukrainian at Capitol rally urges Utahns not to be ‘detached’ from the dangers of the Russian invasion

Upwards of a thousand individuals gathered Monday on the Utah Capitol, the place, for the primary time within the state’s historical past, the blue and yellow Ukrainian flag flew alongside the U.S. and Utah flags.

The rally was a wanted present of assist for the embattled European nation, stated Ivan Bagmet, a Ukrainian man who was compelled to flee along with his household to the U.S. practically eight years in the past.

As a Ukrainian nationalist dwelling in Donetsk — one of many areas that Russian President Vladimir Putin not too long ago declared impartial as a pretext for invasion — Bagmet advised The Salt Lake Tribune that he confronted harsh persecution that culminated in an try on his life in 2014.

The subsequent day, his younger household of 4 fled to Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, after which flew to Utah.

“[The invasion] isn’t just Ukraine’s downside, it’s everybody else’s downside as nicely,” he stated, referencing Putin’s ominous remarks about nuclear arms. “It’s not going to cease in Ukraine, and proper now it’s a menace to the entire world, together with [the] United States.”

All through the rally, Ukrainians within the crowd raised impassioned shouts of their native language, voicing assist for his or her countrymen who are actually combating for his or her lives half a world away. For them, even the Ukrainians dwelling in Utah, Russia’s invasion hits near residence.

Bagmet stated he has household and associates nonetheless dwelling in Donetsk and Kyiv, together with his mother and father and in-laws.

“As quickly because it began, principally, my brother known as me. It was like 5:38 a.m. within the morning, Ukrainian time,” he stated. “For me, it was, like, principally center of the day. … He simply wakened at 5:38 a.m. as a result of the constructing was shaking from explosions. And he simply known as me and stated, ‘Hey, it appears prefer it’s began.’”

What adopted had been days spent on the telephone, checking in on family members, ensuring that everybody was OK.

Thus far, Ukrainian forces have managed to stymie the Russian invasion.

“I do know that nations [are] normally born in tears and blood, and I consider that’s what’s happening with Ukrainian individuals proper now,” Bagmet stated. “As a result of Putin stated he [was] going to take over Ukraine inside 48 hours. As you recognize, it’s been 5 days … and Ukrainian individuals [are] combating again.”

Regardless of the satisfaction he has in his nation, and his fellow nationalists, Bagmet stated Ukraine alone won’t be able to win this conflict. Russia is simply too skilled and is a far higher army energy than its neighbor.

So Ukraine is counting on different international locations to supply help.

“As soon as, eight years in the past, I stay in a peaceable nation,” Bagmet stated, warning that the peaceable life loved by many People is fragile. “So, please, don’t be indifferent. Please, attempt to assist for those who can.”

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Vlada Yaremenko, from Ukraine, joins lots of of protesters collect on the Utah Capitol for a rally in assist of Ukraine, on Monday, Feb. 28, 2022.

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox, Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson and some lawmakers spoke on the rally, held to point out solidarity with Ukrainians in Europe and in Utah after an identical occasion on the Capitol on Saturday.

Attendees held yellow flowers, waved flags, and joined in chants of “Ukraine!” and “Zelensky!” — referring to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who the audio system usually known as a “hero.”

Rep. Jordan Teuscher, D-South Jordan, stated Russia’s assault on Ukraine impacts not solely Ukrainians like his spouse and her household, but additionally Utahns.

“This assault in opposition to Ukraine isn’t just an assault in opposition to Ukraine, however an assault in opposition to democracy and an assault in opposition to each single one in every of us,” he stated.

The governor and lieutenant governor echoed that sentiment of their transient remarks.

“Our horror at what’s unfolding in Europe with our associates is heightened by the conclusion that freedom, democracy, justice and self-determination is below assault,” Henderson stated. “We stand with Ukraine not simply due to what’s occurring to its individuals … but additionally as a result of the invasion right into a sovereign nation highlights the fragility of all that we maintain expensive.”

The lieutenant governor additionally quoted Sen. Mitt Romney, referring to Putin as a “small, evil, feral-eyed man” who she stated, “deserves each little bit of scorn and condemnation for his evil actions.”

Romney appeared on CNN on Sunday and stated Republicans’ assist of the Russian president was “nearly treasonous.”

In his speech, Cox expressed love for the 1,500 Ukrainians dwelling within the state, however he additionally spoke to Utah’s Russian inhabitants, saying, “We don’t maintain you accountable for the acts of a madman.”

Echoing his weblog put up revealed on-line Monday, Cox urged Utahns to place apart division, although the U.S. is “flawed,” he stated.

“Our Ukrainian associates are reminding us what it means to be American,” Cox stated on the rally. “They want us. They want a united us. They want the very best of us. And we want them.”

Mayor Erin Mendenhall, who spoke below a sky she described as “nearly as blue because the stripe on the Ukrainian flag,” stated Russia’s assault on Ukraine was private for her.

Her household fled Russian-occupied Lithuania throughout World Warfare II, she stated, and so they had been by no means in a position to return. “Our democracy is simply as secure as our dedication to it,” she stated.

Mendenhall additionally known as on Utahns to ship assist to the Salt Lake Metropolis sister cities of Chernivtsi in Ukraine, and Izhevsk in Russia.

The rally was held on one other busy day on the Utah Legislature, however Republican Home Speaker Rep. Brad Wilson stated that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine warranted lawmakers hitting the “pause button.”

Simply hours earlier than the rally, the Utah Legislature unanimously handed a invoice denouncing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and urging the U.S. federal authorities to “restore peace in Europe.”

The rally closed with a prayer from Rabbi Samuel Spector of Congregation Kol Ami, in addition to a prayer in Ukrainian from a lady sporting a blue scarf who was recognized solely as Anna.

The rally’s host, entrepreneur Owen Fuller, stated that the Utah Capitol could be lit up in yellow and blue for Ukraine as soon as the sky darkened Monday night, as had been the governor’s mansion, the College of Utah’s block U. and lots of companies all through Salt Lake Metropolis and the state.

Cox stated that the one different time the Utah Capitol has been lit up was throughout the 2002 Winter Olympics.

‘I wake up with sweaty palms’ — How Ukrainian Latter-day Saints are fighting fear with faith and food storage

Katia Serdyuk rose earlier than daybreak Feb. 24, simply as she had each morning, squeezing in just a few hours of labor as a translator for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints whereas the world was nonetheless quiet.

Quickly, she knew, the home would buzz together with her daughter and son-in-law and their 4 kids, whom she shared a home with in Ukraine’s capital of Kyiv. However for just a few pre-dawn hours, she was free to commit her consideration solely to verb conjugations and sentence constructions.

Besides it wasn’t her grandchildren who broke her focus that morning. The household was nonetheless asleep when, round 5 a.m., bombs exploded overhead.

“It was horrifying,” she mentioned. “It was so loud and early within the morning.”

Within the hours and days which have adopted Russia’s invasion, Serdyuk, who was baptized into the LDS Church in 1996, mentioned Ukrainian Latter-day Saints have banded collectively, tapping their shut ties and preexisting help constructions to assist strengthen each other amid the escalating violence.

(Alexandra Vyshneva) Katia Serdyuk poses in entrance of the Kyiv Temple. Baptized in 1996, she says regardless of concern for his or her households, native Latter-day Saints have turned to at least one one other for help and luxury.

“We name one another and attempt to discover out who wants assist,” she mentioned, “particularly the aged and people with younger kids.”

Interviews with eight Ukrainian Latter-day Saints recommend Serdyuk and her congregation are removed from the anomaly. Time and again, these members from the besieged nation cited their church group as enjoying a pivotal position as nightly raids topple buildings and Russian troops encroach on their cities and neighborhoods.

‘We’re not panicking’

Marina and Bogdon Pryshcheupchuk dwell with their 16-year-old son in Bila Tserkva, a metropolis 50 miles southwest of Kyiv. Because the invasion started, they mentioned their Latter-day Saint congregation has been speaking “always” by a bunch chat, sharing information, inquiring after each other, and pooling assets — together with meals, drugs, cash and underground shelter.

“We’re not panicking,” mentioned Bogdon, including that the congregation had gone as far as to create a turn-based system of prayer. That means, an hour by no means goes by with out somebody within the congregation supplicating on behalf of the others and the nation.

Each agreed that contributing to this sense of calm was the truth that their congregation had obtained and adopted instruction from native leaders two months previous to retailer up essential provides as a congregation. On the similar time, every household was advised to create an emergency suitcase with important paperwork along with sufficient meals and water to carry their family over for at the very least 72 hours.

“We had been making ready at full pace,” Marina mentioned.

Marina and Bogdon Pryshcheupchuk in Bila Tserkva. The photograph was taken on her birthday, Feb. 23, 2022. The bombing started the subsequent morning.

Rostyslav Lukach and his spouse, Maryna, dwell with their canine and cat in a suburb of Kyiv. Till the second the bombing started, the previous enterprise college professor had remained skeptical that Russian President Vladimir Putin would comply with by on his threats to invade. Waking as much as the explosions Thursday morning, he felt stunned and “very nervous.”

The subsequent day, native Latter-day Saint leaders despatched a textual content asking all the lads within the congregation to achieve out to the people they had been assigned to minister to and decide who wanted assist with meals and procuring.

When Lukach contacted the 2 widows assigned to him, he mentioned he discovered them in a great temper. “We laughed and joked and supported one another. Truly,” he chuckled. “They tried to help me.”

Church help from overseas

Help from fellow Latter-day Saints hasn’t been restricted to space congregations.

“All of the missionaries that served in Ukraine preserve sending help and prayers,” Bogdon Pryshcheupchuk mentioned. Then, chatting with the church’s normal membership, he added: “Your prayers and fasts are actually useful now.”

Sergei and Ludmila, who requested that their final names not be used out of concern for his or her security, have been significantly grateful for the help they’ve obtained from Latter-day Saints dwelling in Utah.

Fearing battle, the couple left their house within the Ukrainian metropolis of Zhytomyr in January for California, their three kids in tow. They rapidly realized, nevertheless, that they couldn’t afford the price of hire and accepted a proposal from the dad and mom of the missionary who, in 2016, had taught and baptized Sergei to remain of their house in Kaysville.

Since they’ve arrived, they mentioned they’ve obtained help from native Latter-day Saints starting from fundamentals like meals and furnishings to cash whereas Sergei applies for political asylum and secures the documentation wanted to work in the USA.

“We wish to thank the LDS group in Utah for his or her help and their love,” Ludmila mentioned. “It will have been a lot tougher with out this help.”

For Serdyuk, maybe essentially the most significant outreach has come from Russian Latter-day Saints. As a volunteer administrator for an academic program designed for college-age members, generally known as BYU–Pathway Worldwide, she mentioned she’s repeatedly in touch with Latter-day Saint college students from Moscow and Siberia. The day after the bombing started, she discovered herself in a gathering with a lot of them.

“I simply couldn’t take a look at them like my enemies,” she mentioned.

The sensation was mutual. Nearly instantly, the youthful Russian attendees started to precise concern and apologize for the circumstances now dealing with Serdyuk and her individuals.

“They usually had been honest,” she mentioned. “I may really feel that.”

‘Why ought to I’m going?’

Mariya Manzhos grew up in Kyiv however left Ukraine in 2002 to attend Brigham Younger College. She now lives in Boston together with her husband and three kids, although her dad and mom and different household stay in Kyiv.

“I’ve been shaking,” she mentioned. “I get up with sweaty palms, scared to have a look at my cellphone.”

She, too, expressed gratitude for the “outpouring of help” from worldwide members of the religion, particularly former missionaries to Ukraine.

Mariya Manzhos, second from proper, and her husband, Zachary Davis, pose together with her dad and mom on their marriage ceremony day in entrance of the Kyiv Temple. The couple now dwell in Boston with their three kids, however Manzhos has remained in fixed communication for the reason that begin of the invasion together with her dad and mom, who stay in Kyiv.

“My dad and mom had been simply telling me,” she mentioned, “how moved they had been with simply how many individuals are providing shelter and welcoming them to return to the USA.”

In contrast to the Pryshcheupchuks, nevertheless, her dad and mom don’t plan to go wherever.

“A part of me is heartbroken,” she mentioned, “however a part of me is like, I get it. There’s one thing highly effective about staying in your house and together with your individuals throughout turbulent occasions.”

Now all that’s left, she mentioned, is to hope and belief.

“My dad and mom have mentioned a number of occasions that they’re attempting to depend on religion and prayer, to think about Christ and be sturdy,” she mentioned. “I feel in moments like this, when issues are out of your management, that’s if you actually depend on religion.”

Rosytslav Lukach doesn’t see himself packing up both — irrespective of how harmful issues get.

“It’s my nation,” he mentioned. “It’s my land. Why ought to I’m going?”

Within the meantime, he mentioned, he feels hopeful, a sense he attributed to his religion.

“Data of the Lord Jesus Christ’s holy plan is and was and at all times can be essential to my spouse’s and my optimism,” he mentioned. “That’s the core.”

The church’s response

The Utah-based church confirmed Monday that it “doesn’t have any overseas full-time missionaries in Russia,” explaining that as of mid-February, roughly 50 “volunteers” had taken assignments elsewhere.

The church moved its full-time missionaries out of Ukraine in January because of the rising tensions, quickly reassigning them to different elements of Europe.

The religion’s governing First Presidency issued an announcement the day after the invasion started calling for peace.

“We pray that this armed battle will finish rapidly, that the controversies will finish peacefully and that peace will prevail amongst nations and inside our personal hearts,” the discharge learn. “We plead with world leaders to hunt for such resolutions and peace.”

Church spokesperson Sam Penrod confirmed that the Latter-day Saint temple in Kyiv had closed.

Greater than 11,000 Latter-day Saints dwell in Ukraine, based on the church’s web site. The church doesn’t record its statistics for Russia, although it reportedly had about 23,000 members there in 2018 scattered amongst almost 100 congregations.