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Canada: Canada withdrawing families of diplomatic staff in Ukraine as tensions rise

"No options are excluded" to respond to a Russian attack in Ukraine, announces the White House

 © Sergey Pivovarov many Russian armed means are posted not far from Ukrainian borders (illustration). Reuters / Sergey Pivovarov The tension seems to rise again a notch in this war of declarations between Russia and the United States. "We are at a stage where Russia can launch an attack in Ukraine at any time," said the White House spokesperson on Tuesday, speaking of an "extremely dangerous situation".

A convoy of Russian armored vehicles moves along a highway in Crimea on Jan. 18, 2022. Russia has concentrated an estimated 100,000 troops with tanks and other heavy weapons near Ukraine in what the West fears could be a prelude to an invasion. © The Associated Press A convoy of Russian armored vehicles moves along a highway in Crimea on Jan. 18, 2022. Russia has concentrated an estimated 100,000 troops with tanks and other heavy weapons near Ukraine in what the West fears could be a prelude to an invasion.

The Canadian government says it's withdrawing the family members of diplomatic staff stationed in Ukraine amid heightened fears of a Russian invasion.

"The safety and security of Canadians, our personnel and their families at our missions abroad is our top priority," said Global Affairs Canada in a statement.

"Due to the ongoing Russian military buildup and destabilizing activities in and around Ukraine, we have decided to temporarily withdraw Canadian embassy staff's children under 18 years of age and family members accompanying them."

Ukrainian Canadians worry about Russia conflict: ‘I’m afraid for my family’

  Ukrainian Canadians worry about Russia conflict: ‘I’m afraid for my family’ Ukrainian Canadians with families back in Ukraine are worrying about their safety as Russian aggression near the borders is stoking fears of a possible invasion.“I'm afraid for my family because there is nowhere they can go and there's nothing much they can do to protect themselves,” the 27-year-old Edmonton resident told Global News.

The move comes a few days after the  United States and the U.K. recalled the families of their embassy staffers.

Russia has denied it is planning an assault, but has massed an estimated 100,000 troops near Ukraine in recent weeks.


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'Extremely concerned about the Russian aggression'

When asked about embassy staff and their families during a news conference on Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said contingency plans are in place.

"We are extremely concerned about the Russian aggression and the ongoing threat of further invasion into Ukraine," he said.

"The safety of Canadian diplomats and their families is, of course, paramount, and we will continue to be there for Ukraine and ensure the safety of Canadians and Ukrainians.

Ukraine's leaders have attempted to project calm and dispel fears an invasion is imminent, while the United States and its NATO allies are preparing for conflict.

On Monday Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that the situation was "under control," while Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov said that Russia's armed forces had not formed what he called battle groups, "which would have indicated that tomorrow they would launch an offensive."

That same day, NATO outlined a series of potential troop and ship deployments, with the U.S. saying it has ordered 8,500 troops to be on alert .

Ukraine: Beijing defends "the concerns" of Russia .
© Vincent Isore / Maxppp / IP3 Press / Maxppp L E Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, has defended, Thursday, the "reasonable concerns" of the Russia for his safety, during a telephone exchange with his American counterpart Antony Blinken about the Ukraine . "We call all parties to calm, to refrain from increasing tensions and rising the crisis in pin," said Wang Yi, according to a statement broadcast by his department.

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