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Ukraine mobilizes all military reserves

The decision comes after Russia's parliament approved the deployment of troops in the country

Published: Updated:

Ukraine is calling up all military reservists, the head of the national security and defense council said Sunday, according to Agence France-Presse.

The council ordered the defense ministry to “call on all those that armed forces need at the moment across Ukraine,” Andriy Parubiy said.

The mobilization is to “ensure the security and territorial integrity of Ukraine,” he added.

The decisions followed a vote by Russia’s upper house of parliament on Saturday which authorised President Vladimir Putin to deploy troops in Ukraine.

‘We are on the brink of a disaster’

Meanwhile, Ukraine's Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk warned that his crisis-hit country was on the “brink of disaster,” accusing Russia of declaring war in a bleak appeal to the international community.

“This is the red alert, this is not a threat, this is actually a declaration of war to my country,” Yatsenyuk told reporters in English.

“If President Putin wants to be the president who started a war between two neighboring and friendly countries, between Ukraine and Russia, he has reached his target within a few inches. We are on the brink of the disaster,” he added.

A threat for peace in Europe

Also on Sunday, NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen urged Russia to stop its military activity and threats against Ukraine, saying Moscow's action threatened “peace and security in Europe.”

“Russia must stop its military activity and its threats,” he said in a brief statement, before opening crisis talks with NATO's 28 ambassadors, according to AFP.

“Today we will discuss the implications for European security,” he added.

Speaking as Ukraine's interim authorities accused Russia of triggering “a red alert” with what was “actually a declaration of war,” Rasmussen said he had convened the North Atlantic Council “because of President Putin's threats against this sovereign nation.”

“What Russia is doing now in Ukraine violates the principles of the United Nations Charter. It threatens peace and security in Europe. Russia must stop its military activities and its threats.”

“We support Ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty. We support the right of the people of Ukraine to determine their own future without outside interference.”

'Humanitarian catastrophe'

Some 675,000 Ukrainians left for Russia in January and February this year, Russia’s border guard service said, according to Reuters.

Signs of a “humanitarian catastrophe” are notable, Russian state news agency Itar-Tass was quoted as saying.

“If 'revolutionary chaos’ in Ukraine continues, hundreds of thousands of refugees will flow into bordering Russian regions,” Itar-Tass said.

(With AFP)