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100,000 Ukrainian refugees have arrived since start of Russian invasion, says Polish Border Guard

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A Polish border guard assists Ukrainian refugees as they arrive to Poland, on February 26.
A Polish border guard assists Ukrainian refugees as they arrive to Poland, on February 26. (Czarek Sokolowski/AP)

Around 100,000 people have entered Poland from Ukraine since the start of Russia’s invasion of the country on Thursday, a Polish border guard said Saturday.

“Yesterday was a record day, Border Guard officers cleared over 47,000 people in the direction to Poland. We will help everyone, we will not leave anyone without help. Once again, all Polish services are working together,” a tweet attributed to the guard’s Commander-in-Chief read.

The United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees, Kelly Clements, told CNN Saturday that more than 120,000 people had left Ukraine while 850,000 were internally displaced. She added up to 4 million Ukrainians could leave if the situation worsened.

The Head of the Prime Minister’s Office, Michał Dworczyk, said a train had been converted to aid people fleeing the war, and tweeted a photo of himself at the station.

The train will run from the station in Przemysl, Poland to the western Ukrainian city of Lviv.

“We are next to the train which will perform 2 functions. 5 wagons were converted for sanitary transport and possible injured. 4 wagons are filled with humanitarian aid, which will be transferred to the Lviv region today,” Dworczyk said.2 min ago

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson calls for end to Russian involvement in SWIFT

British prime minister Boris Johnson speaks from 10 Downing Street, in London, on February 24.
British prime minister Boris Johnson speaks from 10 Downing Street, in London, on February 24. (Jeff J Mitchell/Pool/AFP/Getty Images)

British prime minister Boris Johnson has called for an end to Russia’s involvement in SWIFT, the secure messaging service that facilitates payments among 11,000 financial institutions in 200 countries, in an act of support towards Ukraine. “We are calling for an end to Russian involvement in SWIFT,” said a UK government update on Ukraine which Johnson tweeted Saturday. 

The European Union is divided over Ukraine’s appeal for Russia to be banned from the service.

In a video message to Ukrainians earlier on Saturday, the country’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said the majority of EU members now supported imposing the new sanction, but called on Germany and Hungary to do the same.

Ukraine appealed for Russia to be removed from SWIFT after President Vladimir Putin ordered an invasion on Thursday. The call from Kyiv was backed by Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia and the United Kingdom but other European countries resisted.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has come under fire for not supporting the move, which the government said would require careful preparation.

Removing Russia from SWIFT would make it much harder for financial institutions to send money in or out of the country, delivering a sudden shock to Russian companies and their foreign customers — especially buyers of oil and gas exports denominated in US dollars.

However, senior Russian lawmakers have responded by saying that shipments of oil, gas and metals to Europe would stop if that happened.

The West could still kick Russia out of SWIFT as the 'last resort'

Blinken authorizes $350 million more in US military assistance to Ukraine   

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Saturday he has authorized $350 million in new US military assistance to Ukraine.

“Today, as Ukraine fights with courage and pride against Russia’s brutal and unprovoked assault, I have authorized, pursuant to a delegation by the President, an unprecedented third Presidential Drawdown of up to $350 million for immediate support to Ukraine’s defense,” Blinken said in a written statement.

“This package will include further lethal defensive assistance to help Ukraine address the armored, airborne, and other threats it is now facing. It is another clear signal that the United States stands with the people of Ukraine as they defend their sovereign, courageous, and proud nation,” he added.

As CNN has reported, President Joe Biden instructed Blinken to release up to $350 million in immediate support to Ukraine’s defense, according to a memo released by the White House Friday. 

This is the third drawdown of money. Previous drawdowns have been for $60 million and $250 million, putting the total over the last year at more than a billion dollars, according to an administration official. 

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