Ukraine’s MFA advises citizens to leave Russia immediately
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine in a travel advisory published on Feb. 23 called on all Ukrainians in Russia to immediately leave the territory of the Russian Federation.
The recommendation was made after the Kremlin's decision to recognize their proxy statelets and send troops to the non-government-controlled parts of Ukraine’s Donbas.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs recommends that citizens of Ukraine refrain from (making) any trips to the Russian Federation, and those who are in the country should immediately leave its territory,” the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said.
The Foreign Ministry said that ignoring these recommendations would significantly complicate the provision of adequate protection for Ukrainian citizens residing in the Russian Federation.
The Foreign Ministry approached Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky about cutting off diplomatic ties with Russia on Feb. 22, according to the president. Meanwhile, the Russian government stated that it will evacuate its diplomats from Ukraine that same day.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Feb. 21 recognized the independence of the two Russian self-declared statelets in the non-government-controlled parts of Ukraine’s Donbas region, and immediately ordered Russian troops into Ukrainian territory on a self-proclaimed “peacekeeping” mission – in fact an invasion of Ukraine. This signifies Russia’s withdrawal from the Minsk Agreement peace process, Ukrainian officials say.
Putin proceeded with these decisions amid combat escalation in the Donbas provoked by Russia, and the threat of a further invasion of Russian troops into Ukraine.
The international community has condemned the Kremlin's decision, while the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, and the European Union have announced a first wave of sanctions in response to Russia's violation of international law.
On Feb. 22, the upper chamber of the Russian parliament granted Putin the power to use Russian armed forces abroad.
Late on Feb. 22, President Zelensky posted a new address to Ukrainians and signed a decree calling up all military reservists into service. According to him, there is no need for general mobilization as of yet.
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