The Russian foreign ministry said it has decided to evacuate Russian diplomatic personnel from Ukraine, pointing at threats it has received.
The ministry said Tuesday Russian diplomats in Ukraine have received multiple threats, adding that they will be evacuated “in the nearest time.”
The move follows Russia’s recognition of Ukraine’s rebel regions and the Russian Parliament’s vote to grant President Vladimir Putin permission to use military force in Ukraine.
Russian lawmakers on Tuesday authorized President Vladimir Putin to use military force outside the country – a move that could presage a broader attack on Ukraine after the U.S. said an invasion was already underway there.
Several European leaders said Russian troops rolled into rebel-held areas in eastern Ukraine after Putin recognized their independence. But it was unclear how large the deployment is and Ukraine and its Western allies have long said Russian troops were fighting in the region, allegations that Moscow always denied.
Members of Russia's upper house, the Federation Council, voted unanimously to allow Putin to use military force outside the country – effectively formalizing a Russian military deployment to the rebel regions, where an eight-year conflict has killed nearly 14,000 people.