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US, UK, Norway urge citizens to leave Ukraine amid imminent invasion by Russia

Britain and Norway have joined the US in urging their nationals in Ukraine to leave the country as soon as possible amid fears of a Russian invasion.

Their decision comes as Washington warned that a Russian invasion of Ukraine could come within the week, with national security adviser Jake Sullivan saying all the pieces were in place for a major military operation that could start “rapidly” and possibly before the end of the Games on Jan. 20.

TOPSHOT – US President Joe Biden speaks before signing executive orders on health care, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, on January 28, 2021. – The orders include reopening enrollment in the federal Affordable Care Act. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

He conceded however that the US did not have definitive information that an invasion has been ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“We continue to see signs of Russian escalation, including new forces arriving at the Ukrainian border,” he added, ramping up the urgency of earlier U.S. warnings. “As we’ve said before, we are in the window when an invasion could begin at any time should Vladimir Putin decide to order it.”

He reiterated the call issued a day earlier by President Joe Biden that US nationals leave Ukraine as soon as possible.

Britain and Norway issued similar calls on Friday with the UK’s Foreign Office advising “against all travel” to the eastern European country.

“British nationals in Ukraine should leave now while commercial means are still available,” it added.

“Since January 2022, the build-up of Russian forces on Ukraine’s border has increased the threat of military action,” it stressed, adding that “any Russian military action in Ukraine would severely affect the British Embassy Kyiv’s ability to provide any consular assistance”.

It urged anyone choosing to remain in the country to “remain vigilant throughout due to potential combat operations” and to ensure their travel documents are up to date.

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