Amid soaring possibilities of a Russian attack on Ukraine, the Kyiv authorities have approved an evacuation plan on Saturday. According to a report by the TASS news agency, Kyiv mayor Vitaly Klichko said the approval came after the United States issued a fresh warning for their citizens on Friday. Earlier on February 11, the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken issued a security alert that calls on all American citizens to leave Ukraine. While announcing the alert, Blinken said Moscow could invade Ukraine during the current Beijing Winter Olympics and added that Americans should leave the Eastern European country immediately.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, the Ukrainian mayor said that the officials are working continuously to prevent an emergency situation in the country. According to him, the country has made a plan to counter the Russian aggression and added it would act in accordance with the plan. “City services are already working to prevent an emergency situation of a military nature. Our efforts are directed at preventing or overcoming possible provocations and withstanding a military attack. We act in accordance with a clear plan,” TASS news agency quoted Klichko as saying.

“An evacuation plan has been approved for the capital, determining the location of evacuation centres, the required number of vehicles and safe regions to accommodate the evacuees,” added Klichko.

Moscow commences major military drills with close ally Belarus

Meanwhile, while speaking to AP, an official on the condition of anonymity said a small number of officials may remain in the Ukrainian capital but the vast majority of the almost 200 Americans at the embassy will be sent out or relocated to Ukraine’s far west, near the Polish border. Earlier on Thursday, Moscow started major military drills with close ally Belarus, reported NBC News. The latest action from Russia came despite the Western countries pushing to sort out the issue diplomatically.

As per the media reports, at least tens of thousands of troops, weapons systems and other forces are conducting joint exercises near the Ukrainian border. Apart from assembling near the Ukrainian border, Russian warships arrived in the Black Sea for naval drills, a move that Kyiv labelled part of a “hybrid war.”

Though Moscow claimed the assembling of troops only meant for military and naval drills, the western countries raised concerns Moscow could use them to execute their plan. Irrespective of western claims, Russia asserted the military and naval drills would not continue after February 20. It is worth mentioning that the tension between Russia and Ukraine soared tremendously over the US intelligence reports that claim Russian forces have reportedly made all preparations to “invade Ukraine”. However, Russian President Vladimir Putin refuted the US intelligence reports and called the allegations “baseless” on multiple occasions.

(Image: AP)