African Union calls for Ukraine truce in call with Putin

Senegal's President Macky Sall. 

What you need to know:

  • After Russian launched its invasion on February 24, the AU issued a statement calling for Ukraine's territorial integrity and international law to be upheld.
  • The number of refugees fleeing Ukraine increased by more than 140,000 in 24 hours, according to Wednesday United Nations figures.

Senegalese President Macky Sall, the current head of the African Union, said he had talked with Vladimir Putin on Wednesday to urge a "lasting" ceasefire in Ukraine.

In a tweet, Sall said: "As president of the African Union, I am delighted about my talk this morning with President Putin to press for a lasting ceasefire.

"I commend him for listening and for his willingness to maintain dialogue for a negotiated outcome to the conflict."

After Russian launched its invasion on February 24, the AU issued a statement calling for Ukraine's territorial integrity and international law to be upheld.

It also urged Russia and Ukraine to implement an immediate ceasefire and open negotiations under UN auspices.

More than 140,000 flee Ukraine in 24 hours - UN

The number of refugees fleeing Ukraine increased by more than 140,000 in 24 hours, according to United Nations figures issued Wednesday, with more than 2.15 million now having fled since Russia invaded on February 24.

2,155,271 refugees 

UNHCR, the UN's refugee agency, recorded 2,155,271 refugees on its dedicated website -- 143,959 more than the previous count on Tuesday.

"Behind the monolithic statistics are two million stories of separation, anguish, and loss," UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi said.

Families have been "senselessly ripped apart", plunged into "despair and unimaginable suffering" by the "brutal war", he said.

Authorities and the UN expect the flow to intensify as the Russian army advances deeper into Ukraine, particularly as it approaches the capital, Kyiv.

Before Russia invaded, more than 37 million people lived in Ukrainian territory under the control of the central government. 

Besides those who have left, an unknown number have been displaced from their homes within the country.

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