Filipinos in Ukraine told to remain vigilant

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) advised Filipinos in Ukraine to remain vigilant and maintain contact with Philippine authorities as the crisis between the European nation and Russia further worsen.

DONETSK, DONETSK PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC – FEBRUARY 22, 2022: Donetsk residents celebrate recognition of independence of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics by Russia. Russian President Putin signed decrees recognizing independence of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics on February 21, 2022. Taisiya Vorontsova/TASS (Photo by Taisiya VorontsovaTASS via Getty Images)

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday approved a “special military operation” in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region and that he had asked Ukrainian troops to put down their arms.

As events rapidly unfold, Ukrainian authorities declare a nationwide state of emergency in the country.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said the Philippine Embassy in Warsaw has been on “high alert” and the DFA continues to make arrangements with other countries for the safe exit of Filipinos who want to go home.

At least 181 out of the estimated 350 Filipinos in Ukraine have so far coordinated with the Philippine Embassy in Warsaw, which holds jurisdiction over Ukraine.

On Thursday morning, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba wrote on Twitter that Russia had launched a “full-scale invasion” of Ukraine and several cities are under strikes, a move he described as a “war of aggression”

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen called on Russia to withdraw its military and fully respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity, adding that the European Union will swiftly adopt “further restrictive measures” against Moscow.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, on the other hand, appealed on Russia to pull back his army and prevent war from happening.

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