Ukraine said on Wednesday that it would introduce a state of emergency across the country, apart from the separatist regions of Luhansk and Donetsk, and called on its citizens to immediately leave Russia, as fears continued that all-out war was imminent.
The country’s parliament also backed a law to allow its citizens to carry firearms. Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky has also called up reservists to the army in the face of increasing risk of a full-blown Russian assault. Mr Zelensky also desperately called for “clear security guarantees” from Moscow.
“I have many times suggested that the President of Russia sit down at the negotiating table and speak,” he said.
Kiev also announced sanctions against 351 Russians, including MPs who supported recognising the independence of the two separatist-controlled territories in eastern Ukraine. The sanctions impose restrictions including barring people from entering Ukraine, and preventing their access to assets, capital, and property.
The moves came as the diplomatic window to avoid all-out conflict appeared almost closed as Europe, and potentially the world, faces its worst security security crisis in years.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned the General Assembly on Wednesday that if the conflict in Ukraine worsened, “the world could see a scale and severity of need unseen for many years.”
The crisis which has simmered for weeks took an apparent turn for the worse on Monday when President Putin…