US advises citizens against travel to Russia amid tensions on Ukraine border

Ukraine Russia crisis: Russia has deployed 100,000 troops along the Ukrainian border, along with tanks, fighting vehicles, artillery and missiles. The West fears that this could lead to war and has launched intense diplomatic efforts to convince Kremlin.
An instructor trains members of Ukraine's Territorial Defense Forces, volunteer military units of the country's armed forces, in Kyiv.(AP Photo)
An instructor trains members of Ukraine's Territorial Defense Forces, volunteer military units of the country's armed forces, in Kyiv.(AP Photo)
Published on Jan 24, 2022 07:59 AM IST
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By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

The United States has warned its citizens against travelling to Russia in the wake of tensions on the border with Ukraine. Russia has amassed 100,000 troops near the Ukrainian border, a move which the US-led countries say is a prelude to war.

"Do not travel to Russia due to ongoing tension along the border with Ukraine," a statement from the US State Department said, adding that Americans could also face "harassment" and that the embassy would have "limited ability to assist US citizens."

The families of American diplomats in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv have been ordered to leave the country “due to the continued threat of a Russian invasion”.

Along with troops, Russia has also deployed tanks, fighting vehicles, artillery and missiles on its border with Ukraine.

Intense diplomatic efforts have been launched to convince Russia to tone down its aggressive posturing but they have yielded little results.

The Kremlin has so far denied any intentions to invade its neighbour - but is making de-escalation conditional on treaties guaranteeing non-expansion of Natos, especially to Ukraine, and a withdrawal of the alliance from Eastern Europe.

On Sunday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken dismissed the idea of slapping punitive sanctions on Moscow before any potential invasion, saying they should be used as a means of "dissuading" an attack.

However, British Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab warned Russia of “severe consequences” if it tries to invade Ukraine or install a puppet regime there.

The minister made the accusation while speaking to Sky News on Saturday, also saying that Russian intelligence officers had been in contact with a number of former Ukrainian politicians as part of plans for an invasion.

The New York Times said that US President Joe Biden was mulling plans to send 1,000 to 5,000 troops to Eastern European countries, with the possibility of increasing the number should tensions flare further.

The United States has described the alleged plotting over Ukraine as deeply concerning, and US officials said they were bracing for Russian action.

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