Kyiv, 23 February 2022 (TDI): Ukraine has declared a nationwide emergency and advised its nationals to leave immediately in anticipation of a Russian invasion.

The declaration of nationwide emergency came in the wake of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recognition of eastern Ukraine’s dual breakaway regions and instructing Russian troops to “uphold peace” there.

Consequently, the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine declared a state of emergency in all territories barring Luhansk and Donetsk. Ukraine’s forces since 2014 have been at war with the pro-Russian separatists in the regions mentioned above.

Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian President, stated that he was mulling to cut all diplomatic ties with the Russian Federation over recognizing the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics.

The United States and western allies also declared a new set of sanctions on Russia after Putin recognized Donetsk and Luhansk as independent territories. Likewise, Ukraine’s military leadership has begun calling up reserve personnel from ages 18-60 for one year due to the tense situation.

In a statement, the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine also urged its citizens presently residing in Russia to depart because of the increased tensions between the two countries and the recent developments.

In case of an all-out conflict, among other things, provision of consular assistance to Ukrainians residing in Russia might be restricted. According to an estimate, approximately 2.5 million Ukrainian citizens live in Russia.

Expecting the Russian invasion, many embassies of the Western countries have relocated from Kyiv to Lviv, a city near the border with Poland.

Russia also started evacuating all its diplomatic facilities in Ukraine today. Furthermore, Russia’s Foreign Ministry had also earlier communicated that Russian diplomatic staff had received threats and were constantly under attack.