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US pulls embassy relatives from Ukraine as it delivers ‘lethal aid’ to Kiev

WASHINGTON has ordered the relatives of it embassy staff to leave Ukraine as it delivered 90 tons of “lethal aid” for front-line defenders, ratcheting up pressure on Russia.

The US issued the instructions, saying that a Russian invasion could come “at any time” despite Moscow’s insistence that it plans no military action in Ukraine.

The State Department also advised against travel to Russia or Ukraine due to the rising tensions “and potential for harassment” of US citizens.

“There are reports Russia is planning significant military action against Ukraine,“ a spokesman said, although he provided no evidence for the claim.

US officials have said that if Russia invades, they “will not be in a position to evacuate US citizens in such a contingency.”

Western powers have continued to portray Russia as an aggressor despite the US leading the drive to war. 

On Sunday Russia accused intelligence service of running “psy-ops” through the media to soften public opinion for war.

Moscow hit out at the British Foreign Office which suggested it was planning to install a pro-Russian puppet government in Ukraine.

Russia says that its troop deployment, which remains inside its own borders, about 100 miles from Ukraine, was a response to Nato’s continued eastward expansion.

On Sunday, Ukraine’s Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov welcomed  the second consignment of weapons as part of a $200 million (£148.3m) military aid package approved by the US in December.

“The second bird in Kiev,” he said 90 tons of “lethal security assistance” arrived in the country.

“And this is not the end,” the minister said.

Hawkish US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that European allies were prepared to make a “united response” if Russia invades Ukraine.

He ruled out further sanction, saying if that were triggered now it would lose the “deterrent effect.”

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