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The “imminent” threat of Russian military action in Ukraine, according to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, justifies the evacuation of personnel at the US embassy in Kyiv.

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His remarks came after Ukraine’s president urged calm, claiming that panic was the country’s greatest foe.

Over a dozen countries have urged their citizens to flee Ukraine.

Moscow, which has more than 100,000 troops near the border, has denied any intention of invading.

Yuri Ushakov, the Kremlin’s top foreign policy advisor, dismissed US warnings of an attack, saying “hysteria has reached its peak.”

On Saturday, there were more attempts to de-escalate tensions in the region.

President Joe Biden warned Russian leader Vladimir Putin over the phone of “swift and severe costs” if Russia sent troops in.

Meanwhile, UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace compared recent Western diplomatic efforts to avert an invasion to appease Nazi Germany.

Mr. Wallace told the Sunday Times newspaper that “there’s a whiff of Munich in the air,” referring to a failed agreement with Hitler to prevent World War II.

Mr. Wallace also stated that an attack was still highly likely and could occur “at any time.”

Several countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States, and Germany, have urged their citizens to leave Ukraine immediately.

On Saturday, the United States evacuated the majority of its embassy personnel in Kyiv, and Canada and Australia followed suit.

All three countries have instead relocated their operations to the western city of Lviv, near the Polish border, though the UK ambassador has stated that she will remain in Kyiv with a core team.

According to Mr. Blinken, the risk of military action is “high enough, and the threat is imminent enough,” that evacuation is “the prudent thing to do.”

Earlier, however, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged calm, saying, “Right now, the people’s biggest enemy is panic.”

Mr. Zelensky stated that he had yet to see solid evidence of an impending invasion from Western powers.

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According to reports, there are no signs of panic in Kyiv or other major Ukrainian cities.

Ukrainians are beginning to take Russia’s threat more seriously and are taking their own precautions.

As a precaution, the mayor’s office in Kyiv has created an emergency evacuation plan for the city’s three million residents.

The White House has warned that an invasion could occur at any time and could begin with aerial bombing.

As Russia has continued to deploy troops along Ukraine’s eastern border, tensions have steadily risen.

It has also conducted its largest naval drills in years in the Black Sea, accusing Ukraine of obstructing its access to the sea.

The crisis has erupted eight years after Russia annexed Ukraine’s southern Crimean peninsula.

Since then, Ukraine’s military has been at odds with Russian-backed insurgents in eastern areas close to Russia’s borders.

The Kremlin has stated that it cannot accept Ukraine, a former Soviet republic with deep social and cultural ties to Russia, joining the Western defense alliance Nato, and has demanded that this be ruled out.

The US has rejected this, arguing that Ukraine, as a sovereign nation, should be free to choose its own security alliances.

 

 

 

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