Russia said it will soon evacuate its diplomatic staff from Ukraine to “protect their lives”, hours after lawmakers approved President Vladimir Putin’s request to use military force abroad, the foreign ministry said on Tuesday.
“To protect their lives and safety, the Russian leadership decided to evacuate the personnel of Russian foreign missions in Ukraine, which will be implemented in the very near future,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.
The ministry added that its embassy and consulates have been “subjected to repeated attacks,” and “Russian diplomats also became targets of aggressive actions,” adding that some received threats of “physical violence”.
“The Kyiv authorities did not react to what was happening… Ukraine has plunged deeper into chaos.”
Earlier on Tuesday, Russia’s parliament approved President Vladimir Putin’s request to use military force outside the country, formalizing the deployment of Russian troops to separatist regions in eastern Ukraine.
This comes a day after he recognized their independence, in a move that further heightened international fears that Russia will invade Ukraine at any moment and provoked the US and the European Union to start implementing sanctions against Moscow.
Currently, over 150,000 Russian troops have surrounded Ukraine from three sides.