Greece reaffirmed its support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine against Russia’s aggression during the visit of Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias to Kyiv on Wednesday.
“We reiterate that Greece will continue to stand by Ukraine and the Greek Community in Ukraine,” Dendias said as he met his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba.
Dendias and the Greek delegation in Kyiv entered a bomb shelter with Kuleba when air-raid sirens sounded during their meeting. Diplomatic sources reported that both Dendias and the delegation were unharmed.
“I am shocked by what I witnessed today in Kyiv, namely a large city under attack and the death of civilians—that is, non-military targets,” Dendias said.
Earlier, Dendias laid flowers at the Memory Wall of the fallen defenders of Ukraine, paying tribute to those who lost their lives fighting for Ukraine’s sovereignty and independence.
It is Dendias’ third visit to Ukraine since the Russian invasion, having already traveled twice to Odessa.
In #Kyiv along with #Ukraine counterpart @DmytroKuleba, FM @NikosDendias laid flowers at the Memory Wall of fallen defenders of #Ukraine, paying tribute to those who lost their lives fighting for 🇺🇦 sovereignty and independence pic.twitter.com/ilJLAhLds9
— Υπουργείο Εξωτερικών (@GreeceMFA) October 19, 2022
Greece urges its citizens to leave Ukraine
On Tuesday, Greece called on its citizens to leave Ukraine and postpone any plans to travel, as Russia has been stepping up its bombing campaign.
In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged “Greeks citizens who are in the country to leave immediately.”
It also recommended that those who remain in Ukraine “immediately report their contact information to the Greek Embassy in Kyiv.”
Earlier in October, Greece joined the US and its NATO allies in strongly condemning the annexation of the eastern regions of Ukraine by Russia.
Greece “will never recognize the illegal annexation of Ukraine’s territories,” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis tweeted.
Russia starts Kherson evacuation following Ukraine’s offensive
Tens of thousands of civilians and Russian-appointed officials are being moved out of Ukraine’s southern Kherson region ahead of a Ukrainian offensive, says the Russia-installed local leader.
Vladimir Saldo said fifty to sixty thousand civilians would leave four towns on the west bank of the Dnieper River in an “organized, gradual displacement.”
All Russian-appointed departments in Kherson would cross the river, too. Russian TV footage showed a number of people gathering near the Dnieper.
As they queued for boats, it was not clear how many were leaving. The transfer or deportation of civilians by an occupying power from occupied territory is considered a war crime.
Ukrainian Presidential Adviser Mykhailo Podolyak pointed out it has been less than a month since Russia held a ceremony to annex Kherson. “Reality can hurt if you live in a fictional fantasy world,” he said.
Late on Monday, Russia’s new military commander in Ukraine, General Sergei Surovikin, had described the situation in Kherson city, the regional capital, as difficult.