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Ukraine declares state of emergency, tells citizens to get out of Russia

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is calling up thousands of reserve troops in preparation for war.

Published: February 23, 2022 7:18am

Updated: February 23, 2022 8:18am

Ukraine has declared a state of emergency and began Wednesday to mobilize reservists in anticipation of war with Russia.

Some special restrictions announced by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will be put in place to keep the country calm and protect its economy as the Russian threat grows  and as Ukrainian citizens have been told to leave Russia immediately.

The declaration follows Russian President Vladimir Putin taking first steps in what appears to be a plan to invade Ukraine.

The Russian leader earlier this week recognized parts of eastern Ukraine as pro-Russian, separatist regions and began moving troops there – in a show of force and in opposition to what he considers Western encroachment in Ukraine and other former Soviet bloc countries. 

The emergency powers enacted Wednesday, which allow more local authorities to dictate restriction like curfews and on things like transportation, will last 30 days and can be extended for another 30 days.

Some Ukrainian lawmakers are encouraging the country's leaders to impose martial law, which would include bans on meetings, movements, and political parties.

Zelensky has been holding off on calling up the troops in an attempt to avoid a panic that would trigger economic repercussions. But as Putin's threats become more hostile, Zelesnky was left without a choice.

Ukraine's standing military numbers about 200,000 uniformed troops and the initial call-up of reservists would apply to about 36,000 combat trained service members.

There are currently close to 190,000 Russian troops lining Ukraine's borders, in what the U.S. believes is preparation for an imminent full-scale invasion that may target the capital of Kyiv.

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