Russian Officials Reportedly Evacuated From Ukraine, but Russia Is Still Denying It

( – Tensions are at an all-time high in Ukraine as Russia appears to be preparing for an assault on the much smaller country. Russia has been moving troops into position along the borderlands in recent weeks. The recent departure of Russian diplomats expands those concerns exponentially.

A recent article from the New York Times (NYT) claims that Russia began removing its officials from Ukraine, where it has consulates and embassies. The NYT piece noted that 18 Russian officials left the country by bus on January 5, with around 30 others leaving just days later. The removal of Russian citizens and officials from Ukraine has only heightened tensions in the region, but Russia insists that it hasn’t issued such an order.

Moscow stated to Russian media that the NYT’s article was untrue, claiming its embassies were fully functional and in normal operation. If the NYT publication is accurate, it could signify that Russia is serious about Ukraine not joining the European Union or the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Or it could be a move from Russia to prevent injuring its own in an attack on Ukraine.

Rising tensions are further complicated by the fact that talks between Russia, Ukraine, NATO and the US were unsuccessful. Is Russia just playing hardball to get what it wants, or will the massive country take Ukraine by force? What could this mean for the US and the rest of the world?

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