Britain begins withdrawing embassy staff and families from Ukraine and issues travel warnings


Britain has begun withdrawing embassy staff and some of its dependents from Kiev amid heightened tensions on the Russian-Ukrainian border.

The Foreign, Commonwealth of Development (FCDO) confirmed the move on Monday. He also advised on all trips to the three disputed border areas, and all but essential trips to other parts of Ukraine.

It was after Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab stated that Russia would invade Ukraine “at great risk”.

The U.S. Department of State also ordered the families of U.S. government officials at the embassy in Kiev to leave the Ukrainian capital and approved the voluntary departure of non-essential civil servants on Sunday night.

The FCDO said the withdrawal was in response to “increasing threats from Russia.”

“The British Embassy remains open and continues to perform important tasks,” he said. Update of the latest travel advice Said.

Russia has gathered tens of thousands of troops on the border with Ukraine. The FCDO said that “a pattern of Russia’s military buildup near the eastern border of Ukraine and in the illegally annexed Crimea” began in late March 2021 and there is “continuing uncertainty about Russia’s intentions.” Stated.

The FCDO advised against all trips to Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts on the eastern border of Ukraine, and the annexation of Russia to Crimea. He also advised against non-essential trips to other parts of Ukraine where the situation is “generally calm” in the case of escalation of rapidly changing events.

Those in need of travel are instructed to “think” their departure plans and monitor the situation on a regular basis.

“If military action resumes somewhere in Ukraine, the embassy in Ukraine’s ability to support the consulate will be significantly reduced,” the FCDO warned.

The Russian parliament will vote for a proposal by members of the Russian Communist Party asking the Kremlin to recognize the independence of the disputed Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

With the support of the Kremlin, who was cautious about the proposal, the move may see heightened tensions in the region, but Russia will face disciplinary economic sanctions.

United Russia lawmaker Alexander Borodai, a former self-proclaimed “prime minister” of Donetsk during the 2014 conflict, expressed his support for the proposal. “War will be a direct necessity,” he told Reuters if the proposal was passed.

Melanie Sun contributed to this report.

Lily Chow

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Lily Zhou is a freelance writer who mainly covers the British news of The Epoch Times.