Russia-Ukraine war news: Live updates

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European nations are bracing themselves for an influx of Ukrainian refugees in the upcoming weeks.

Irish Deputy Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said Tuesday that he expects 40,000 Ukrainian refugees to arrive by the end of April — which would represent a “1 or 2 percent” increase in the country’s population. Ireland has received more than 10,000 refugees who have registered for international protection, Varadakar said Tuesday, according to CNN.

Such an influx could strain Irish education, health care, housing and public finances, Varadkar said. His government has identified about 500 buildings that could be used to house some of the refugees, according to the Irish Times.

Meanwhile, France announced Tuesday that it had launched a national plan to prepare housing for at least 100,000 Ukrainians.

“More and more of them [Ukrainians] are finding refuge in France or transiting through our territory,” French Prime Minister Jean Castex told reporters Tuesday, according to CNN.

More than 26,000 refugees have arrived in France since the beginning of the war, and 10,500 have obtained temporary residency under a recently activated E.U. temporary protection policy, Castex added.

Countries bordering Ukraine, such as Moldova and Poland, have taken most of the influx, which has prompted international organizations including the World Health Organization to ask European nations for help.

On Tuesday, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the U.N. International Organization for Migration said some European Union member states have agreed to receive refugees under a pilot program to prioritize the most vulnerable. The organizations are working with several countries to identify and transfer the most vulnerable Ukrainian refugees in Moldova — including people with disabilities, older people, those with severe medical conditions and mothers with young children, the UNHCR said in a statement Tuesday.

Austria has volunteered to admit 2,000 such refugees, the UNHCR said.

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