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Ukraine crisis – live: UK withdraws some embassy staff from Kiev as fears of Russian invasion escalate

US orders withdrawal of Ukraine embassy staff family members amid tension in the region

The UK has begun to move embassy staff and their families out of Ukraine as fears mount about a Russian invasion.

On Sunday, the US state department ordered the family members of its embassy staff in Ukraine to leave the country, citing the “increased threats of significant Russian military action”.

American diplomats are also allowed to leave the country if they want to, although they are not yet being ordered to do so. Non-essential embassy staff and US citizens have been urged to leave, and a state department official told AFP that if there was an invasion the US government “will not be in a position to evacuate US citizens”.

The UK has also begun to withdraw some embassy staff and family members from Kiev in “response to growing threat from Russia”.

A short update, posted to the Foreign Office website on Monday, said that some staff are leaving the embassy, although it will remain open and operational.

The announcement comes as UK ministers held top-level discussions about how a potential Russian invasion would affect gas and petrol prices in Europe.

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Russia moves troops to Belarus for military exercises near Ukraine’s border

Russia is moving forces, armoured personnel carriers and fighter jets into Belarus, one of Ukraine’s neighbouring countries, to carry out joint military exercises in the next few weeks.

Ukraine’s border with Belarus is just a few hours north of Kiev and military analysts are concerned that the move could disguise an attack on the country’s northern border.

The joint military exercises with Belarus, names United Resolve, will be held in the west of the country, near the borders of Nato members Poland and Lithuania, and its southern border with Ukraine, leader Alexander Lukashenko said.

Holly Bancroft24 January 2022 09:10


Ministers warned about record gas prices if Russia invades Ukraine

Senior UK government officials have warned that Russia could “weaponise” its natural resources by restricting supplies of gas to the European continent, The Times reported.

Although Britain doesn’t import significant amounts of Russian gas, any restriction in supply to Europe could expose the UK to record-breaking wholesale prices.

A significant slice of Britain’s gas supply comes from imports of liquefied natural gas, which arrives by sea. Ministers have been told that these supplies could be particularly vulnerable to rising prices if Russia decides to reduce its supply.

Holly Bancroft24 January 2022 08:48


Read the full statement on US withdrawing personnel and citizens from Ukraine

Holly Bancroft24 January 2022 08:26


UK Foreign Office withdraws embassy staff from Kiev over Russia fears

Some staff at the UK embassy in Kiev, and their family members, are being withdrawn from the country in response to the “growing threat from Russia”, the Foreign Office has said.

A short update on the Foreign Office website, uploaded on Monday, said: “Some Embassy staff and dependants are being withdrawn from Kyiv in response to growing threat from Russia. The British Embassy remains open and will continue to carry out essential work”.

The FCDO advises against all travel to the regions of Donetsk oblast, Luhansk oblast and Crimea. They also advise against all but essential travel to the rest of the country.

Read the breaking news story here:

Holly Bancroft24 January 2022 08:20


US orders families of embassy staff to leave Ukraine as fears of war with Russia mount

The State Department on Sunday ordered the families of all American personnel at the US Embassy in Ukraine to leave the country amid heightened fears of a Russian invasion.

Holly Bancroft24 January 2022 08:14

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