ukraine: Ukraine declares emergency, drafts citizens for fight

Ukraine declared a state of emergency on Wednesday and told citizens in Russia to flee, while Moscow began evacuating its Kyiv embassy in the latest ominous signs for Ukrainians who fear an all-out Russian onslaught.
In addition to the 30-day state of emergency, the Ukraine government has announced compulsory military service for all men of fighting age. Ukraine has around 2,00,000 military personnel and Wednesday’s call up could see up to 2,50,000 reservists aged between 18 and 60 get their mobilisation papers.
Ukraine’s parliament also approved sanctions on Wednesday against 351 Russians, including lawmakers who supported recognising the independence of two separatistcontrolled territories in eastern Ukraine and the deployment of Russian troops there.
The sanctions impose restrictions including barring those sanctioned from entering Ukraine, and preventing their access to assets, capital, property and business licenses.
Moscow denies planning an invasion and has described warnings as anti-Russian hysteria. But it has also taken no steps to withdraw the troops deployed along Ukraine’s frontiers. On Wednesday, it took down flags from its embassy in Kyiv, having ordered diplomats to evacuate for safety reasons. Russia’s UN ambassador, meanwhile, urged nations to rein in what he called Ukraine’s ongoing violence and “blatant genocide” in Luhansk and Donetsk —eastern separatist regions of the country that Moscow has declared independent. Ukraine has denied any aggression.
These were just the latest in a series of signs of escalating tensions. Kyiv recalled its ambassador to Russia and considered breaking all diplomatic ties with Moscow; dozens of nations further squeezed Russian oligarchs and banks out of international markets; Germany halted a lucrative pipeline deal; the US repositioned additional troops to Nato’s eastern flank bordering Russia; and the US secretary of state Antony Blinken cancelled a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov. In a Russian village around 50km from the border, AFP reporters saw military equipment including rocket launchers, howitzers and fuel tanks mounted on trains stretching for hundreds of metres.
Meanwhile,Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday reiterated his call for talks with Putin. “This is a question of dialogue, not a question of condition,” he said. The Kremlin has previously brushed off such calls.

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