Ukraine declares state of emergency, tells it’s citizens to leave Russia immediately

Ukraine has declared a state of emergency in the country and advised its estimated 3 million citizens living in Russia to leave the country, the latest signal that Kyiv believes Moscow may be planning a full scale invasion into Ukraine.

In a statement on Wednesday, February 23, the Ukrainian foreign ministry urged its citizens to refrain from travel to Russia and for those already in the country to leave as soon as possible.

“Due to the increased Russian aggression against Ukraine, which, among other things, may lead to a significant restriction of the ability to provide consular assistance on the territory of the Russian Federation, the ministry of foreign affairs recommends that Ukrainian citizens refrain from any travel to the Russian Federation, and those who are in this country immediately leave its territory,” the ministry statement said.

The ministry also warned that it would have limited resources to help Ukrainians who remain in Russia in case of a major diplomatic rupture between both countries .

“We emphasise that ignoring their recommendations will significantly complicate ensuring proper protection of Ukrainian citizens in the Russian Federation,” the note read.

An estimated 3 million Ukrainian citizens live in Russia as at 2019.

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