Greece sending military, civilian aid to Ukraine

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Greece is sending ammunition, “Kalashnikov-type assault rifles” and missile launchers to Ukraine, authorities have confirmed.

The military aid was decided at a meeting on Sunday morning between Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Defence Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos and Chief of the National Defence General Staff Gen. Konstantinos Floros.

Two C-130 planes with the equipment have left a military airport west of Athens bound for Poland.

READ MORE: World leaders react as Ukraine loses control of Chernobyl to Russian forces.

Two more planes carrying humanitarian aid have also left Athens International Airport and are bound for Poland. They carry items such as blankets and food.

10 ethnic Greeks killed in Ukraine air strikes:

This aid comes after news emerged that ten ethnic Greeks were killed during the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine late on Saturday night.

According to Ekathimerini, they were killed during Russian air strikes in the city of Mariupol in the country’s south.

READ MORE: It’s war: Russian President Putin declares ‘military operation’ in Ukraine.

Air strikes in Ukraine. AP Photo / Vadim Zamirovsky

There was also six other fatalities in Ukraine’s Greek community on Saturday, including four in the Buhas village in the Donetsk region and two in Sartana on the outskirts of Mariupol.

The Greek political world unanimously condemned the Russian strikes.

“Stop the bombing now!” Mitsotakis said in a statement released on social media.

READ MORE: Greek President expresses support for diaspora in Ukraine amid tensions with Russia.

SYRIZA leader, Alexis Tsipras, said: “The Russian invasion has to stop immediately.”

“More innocent people dead in Ukraine. Deepest condolences to the families of our compatriots that were killed,” Tsipras added.

READ MORE: Greece ‘in full coordination’ with EU, NATO as Russia sends troops into Ukraine.

French President, Emmanuel Macron, also released a statement on social media written in Greek and condemning the attack.

“It is not just the people of Ukraine who are in mourning today because of the war caused by Russia, but all the people of Europe. Tonight, with grief, we think of Greece who unjustly lost 10 members of its community who lived in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol,” Macron wrote on Twitter.

In response to the deaths, Greece lodged a demarche with the Russian Ambassador to Greece, Andrey Maslov, on Sunday.

The Russian embassy in Athens in a statement expressed “deep sorrow” over the deaths, but insisted that Russia was “exclusively” targeting military units and installations in Ukraine.

Refugees and solidarity with Ukraine:

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues, support for Ukraine is growing in Greece with hundreds of Ukrainians holding protests outside the Russian Embassy in Athens and the Consulate in Thessaloniki.

The Greek Parliament, the fountain on Omonia Square in central Athens and the building of Technopolis in the district of Gazi were also illuminated in the colours of the Ukrainian flag on Friday night, as a sign of solidarity to Ukraine.

Omonia fountain.

Mitsotakis also announced that Greece is ready to accept refugees from the Greek communities of Ukraine.

“Greece will stand by the Greek communities in Ukraine and especially the community in Mariupol. If there are Greeks who want to leave Ukraine we will warmly welcome them,” Mitsotakis told Greek President, Katerina Sakellaropoulou, in a meeting at the Presidential Mansion.

According to Keep Talking Greek, the first refugees from Ukraine arrived in Thessaloniki early on Sunday morning.

READ MORE: Greece affirms solidarity with diaspora in Ukraine amid tensions with Russia.

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