road blocks in bucharest

Multiple countries tell citizens to leave Ukraine 

A dozen of nation told their citizens to leave Ukraine. The Italian Embassy in Ukraine issued a warning on Monday (Oct. 17) to citizens of the country about the danger of traveling to Ukraine and recommended them to leave its territory. China, Belarus and India, have also already urged their citizens to leave Ukraine as soon as possible.

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs called on Chinese nationals to “enhance safety precautions and evacuate” out of Ukraine due to the “grim security situation” in the war-torn country. “The Embassy will assist in organizing the evacuation of people in need,” according to the message posted by Belfast-based Chinese diplomat Zhang Meifang on Twitter. 

Serbia announced that its embassy in Ukraine was closing temporarily “until the conditions for returning to Ukraine are met.”  A note posted to the embassy’s website reiterated, “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Serbia reminds all interested parties that on February 13th it issued the recommendation to the citizens of the Republic of Serbia residing in Ukraine to consider the possibility of temporarily leaving the territory of that country.”

Earlier on Monday, Russia attacked Ukrainian cities with drones and targeted infrastructure across the country in the second wave of air strikes in a week. Ukraine said the attacks were carried out by Iran-made “suicide drones”, which fly to their target and detonate. Iran repeated on Monday its denial that it is supplying the drones to Russia. Russia’s defence ministry said it had carried out a “massive” attack on military targets and energy infrastructure across Ukraine using high-precision weapons.

The strikes took place one week after Russia unleashed its heaviest aerial bombardment of Kyiv and other cities in months.

Last week, Belarusian Defense Minister Viktor Khrenin warned that NATO member states are preparing for war by equipping their infrastructure and their forces. Belarus, a close Russian ally, said on Sunday (Oct. 16) just under 9,000 Russian troops would be stationed on its territory as part of a “regional grouping” of forces to protect its borders.

Belarusian Defense Ministry claimed on Monday that the West is preparing offensive groups in the Baltics.

With reporting by Reuters, DW, Baha