Ukraine asked its citizens to immediately leave Russia

Policemen and foreign tourists in Red Square in Moscow (EFE/EPA/YURI KOCHETKOV/File) (YURI KOCHETKOV/)

The Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged its citizens to get out of russia quicklygiven the risk of a military offensive by Moscow.

“The ministry recommends that Ukrainian citizens refrain from traveling to Russia and those who are already in Russia, immediately leave the territory.”, the ministry said in a statement.

The Ministry said that the growing threat of Russian “aggression” meant it would be increasingly difficult to provide consular services to Ukrainian citizens in Russia.

It is believed that between two and three million Ukrainians live in Russia today.

The order arrives at a time when Ukraine began to call up reservists to the armed forces, a day after Russia’s upper house of parliament gave permission to President Vladimir Putin to send “peacekeepers” to two breakaway regions from the east of the country.

Ukraine’s armed forces said in a statement on Facebook that reservists between the ages of 18 and 60 would be called up for a period of up to one year.

Ukraine has a reserve force of over 200,000 troops that is mainly composed of military personnel who served in the early years of the country’s eight-year war against Russian-backed separatists.

The decree signed by the president Volodymyr Zelensky says that former officers and non-commissioned officers “will serve in military units and according to specialization” that they had in the past.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visiting frontline positions in Ukraine's Donetsk region on December 6.  (EFE/EPA/Ukrainian Presidency Press)
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visiting frontline positions in Ukraine’s Donetsk region on December 6. (EFE/EPA/Ukrainian Presidency Press) (PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE HANDO/)

“If the reservist, for one reason or another provided by law, cannot be summoned, he must personally present an explanatory document”he added.

“Failure to appear or contempt for the summons may give rise to administrative and criminal sanctions”he warned.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Dmytro Kulebaalso reaffirmed his call on world powers to toughen its sanctions against Russia.

Western powers began announcing new sanctions on Tuesday aimed primarily at Russian banks.

“To prevent Putin from further aggression, we call on partners to impose further sanctions on Russia now.Kuleba said in a tweet.

(With information from AFP)

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