Canada recommends that its citizens avoid travel to Ukraine over threat of Russian invasion
Canadian citizens have been advised to refrain from non-essential travel to Ukraine due to the ongoing threat of Russian invasion and the military buildup in and around the country, the Canadian government said in a travel advisory of Jan. 24.
Separately, the government recommended that its citizens avoid all travel to Crimea and the non-government controlled areas of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, since “our ability to provide consular assistance to Canadians there is extremely limited.”
The embassies of the United States and the United Kingdom on Monday announced the mandatory departure of embassy staff families, and voluntary departure for embassy staff themselves. However, both embassies have said they will remain open to provide consular services.
Since the end of October 2021, Russia has been massing troops close to the Ukrainian borders. Russia has since deployed more than 127,000 troops and offensive weapons near the Ukrainian border and in the temporarily occupied territories, according to the latest intelligence estimate, provided to CNN this week by the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.
International media have speculated that Russia may invade Ukraine in early 2022, in an operation that could involve up to 200,000 Russian soldiers.
The Kremlin says the troop movements are an internal affair of Russia.
At the same time, Moscow has repeatedly accused Ukraine of planning “provocations,” and alleged that Kyiv plans to regain control of the occupied Ukrainian territories by military means.
The Kremlin has failed to back up any of its allegations with evidence, however.
Russian troops have also been deployed to Belarus, as part of previously unscheduled military exercises. However, Russian equipment has been spotted along the Ukrainian-Belarusian border, far from the announced zone of the exercises.
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