Ukraine declares state of emergency
Ukraine declared a state of emergency on Wednesday and told its citizens in Russia to flee, while Moscow began evacuating its Kyiv embassy in the latest ominous signs for Ukrainians who fear an all-out Russian military onslaught.
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Shelling intensified at the line of contact in eastern Ukraine, where Russian President Vladimir Putin recognised the independence of two Moscow-backed rebel regions this week and has ordered the deployment of Russian troops as “peacekeepers”.
But there was still no clear indication of whether he plans to follow that up with a massed assault on Ukraine involving the tens of thousands of troops he has gathered near his neighbour’s borders.
The uncertainty and a mostly incremental first volley of sanctions on Russian interests by Washington and its allies have roiled financial markets. Oil prices reversed earlier losses on Wednesday. However, global stocks broke a four-day slide and demand for safe-haven assets waned as Western leaders and Ukraine awaited Putin’s next move.