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Crisis deepens? Russia starts pulling diplomatic staff from Ukraine

The Tass (Russia's news agency) report said the embassy in Kyiv confirmed the evacuations have begun. An Associated Press photographer in Kyiv saw the flag was no longer flying over the embassy building in Kyiv.

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday recognised two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine as independent
  • He ordered the Russian army to launch what Moscow called a peacekeeping operation into the area
  • This led to the escalation of tension in the region with the West imposing a series of sanctions on the Soviet nation.

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Crisis deepens? Russia starts pulling diplomatic staff from Ukraine

Moscow: Russia's state Tass news agency reported on Wednesday that Russia has started evacuating personnel from all of its diplomatic facilities in Ukraine. Moscow has an embassy in Kyiv and consulates in Kharkiv, Odesa and Lviv. The Tass report said the embassy in Kyiv confirmed the evacuations have begun. An Associated Press photographer in Kyiv saw the flag was no longer flying over the embassy building in Kyiv.

"Our first priority is to take care of Russian diplomats and employees of the Embassy and Consulates General. To protect their lives and safety, the Russian leadership decided to evacuate staff of Russian missions in Ukraine, which will be implemented in the very near future," Russia's foreign ministry had said in a statement on Tuesday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday recognised two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine as independent and ordered the Russian army to launch what Moscow called a peacekeeping operation into the area. This led to the escalation of tension in the region with the West imposing a series of sanctions on the Soviet nation.

US President Joe Biden announced financial sanctions as punishment for what he called ‘the beginning of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.’ The sanctions will hit Russian financial institutions and oligarchs. He said the US would impose ‘full blocking’ on two large Russian financial institutions and ‘comprehensive sanctions’ on Russian debt.

“That means we've cut off Russia's government from Western finance,” Biden said. “It can no longer raise money from the West and cannot trade in its new debt on our markets or European markets either.” Biden promised that more sanctions would be coming if Putin proceeds further.

The European Union announced sanctions taking aim at the 351 Duma legislators who voted in favour of recognizing separatist regions in Ukraine, as well as 27 other Russian officials and institutions from the defence and banking world. They also sought to limit Moscow's access to EU capital and financial markets. Outside the EU, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson named five Russian banks and three wealthy individuals whom the UK hit with sanctions on Tuesday.

Not just the nations of the European Union or the US, even Japan imposed sanctions on Russia. Japan's sanctions include prohibiting the issuance of Russian bonds in Japan and freezing the assets of certain Russian individuals as well as restricting travel to Japan, Fumio Kishida, Japan's Prime Minister said. "Russia's actions very clearly damage Ukraine's sovereignty and go against international law. We once again criticise these moves and strongly urge Russia to return to diplomatic discussions," he said.

(With Agency inputs)

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