Biden and Putin to speak as Ukraine tensions soar:

US and Russian presidents will communicate as Western international locations warned that a strugglefare in Ukraine ought to ignite at any moment.

US President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin are set to speak as US warns Russia may want to assault Ukraine ‘any day’ [File: Eric Baradat and Pavel Golovkin/various sources/AFP]

US President Joe Biden is set to speak with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Saturday after the United States warned that a Russian invasion of Ukraine could begin in days.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he will speak to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Saturday, adding that Washington and its allies would swiftly impose severe economic sanctions if Russia invades Ukraine.

Meanwhile, the United Kingdom has told its citizens in Ukraine not to expect a military evacuation if a Russian invasion ensues, after warning them to leave the country on Friday.

Hello, and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the Ukraine-Russia crisis. I am Linah Alsaafin with the latest updates.

Ukraine says ‘critically important to remain calm’

Ukraine urged its citizens to keep calm and avoid panicking in the face of mounting worries that Russia was preparing to invade.

“At the moment, it is critically important to remain calm, to consolidate inside the country, to avoid destabilising actions and those that sow panic,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

“The armed force of Ukraine are constantly monitoring the situation and are ready to rebuff any encroachment on its territorial integrity and sovereignty.”

Western intelligence warn Kyiv could be ‘possible target’ of invasion

Al Jazeera’s Natacha Butler said intelligence sources from western powers are saying Russian forces “could be considering surrounding the capital Kyiv”.

“Here in the capital city, authorities are reopening bomb shelters that were built during the Cold War by the Russians,” she said, speaking from Kyiv. “Those bomb shelters would be ready, says the mayor of Kyiv, should they be needed.”

Butler said the residents of the city know that the situation is “extremely tense” and that there is a sense that it could be “a lot more critical than before”.

More than 30 Russian ships start drills near Crimea – RIA

More than 30 ships from the Russian Black Sea fleet have started training exercises near the Crimea peninsula as part of wider navy drills, RIA news agency reported.

RIA said that more than 30 Russian ships have left the ports of Sevastopol and Novorossiisk “in accordance to the plans of the drills” near Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014.

RIA said the aim of the drills was the defence of the coast of Crimea, the outposts of the Black Sea fleet as well as the economy sector and naval communications.

Biden and Putin to speak as Ukraine warnings mount

Presidents Biden and Putin are set to maintain talks on Saturday as Washington precise more and more more brilliant debts of a likely assault on Ukraine.

Putin asked for the phone name to take region on Monday, a White House legitimate said, however Biden desired to behavior it sooner.

Putin, jostling for impact in post-Cold War Europe, is searching for protection ensures from Biden to dam Kyiv’s access into NATO and missile deployments close to Russia’s borders.

Washington regards a few of the proposals as non-starters however has driven the Kremlin to speak about them mutually with Washington and its European allies.

Blinken says he’ll talk to Russia’s Lavrov

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken says he’ll talk to his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov approximately Russia’s reaction to US proposals to clear up the disaster.

“If Russia is clearly interested by resolving this disaster of its very own making thru international relations and dialogue, we’re organized to do that,” he stated in a information convention in Fiji.

“But it should take vicinity withinside the context of de-escalation. So far, we’ve best visible escalation from Moscow.”

2 hours ago (08:eleven GMT)

UK tells its residents in Ukraine now no longer to assume army evacuation

British nationals who pick out to live in Ukraine ought to now no longer assume a army evacuation if warfare with Russia ensues, junior defence minister James Heappey instructed Sky News.

“British nationals ought to go away Ukraine right now with the aid of using any manner viable and that they ought to now no longer assume, as they noticed withinside the summer time season with Afghanistan, that there might be any opportunity of a army evacuation,” he stated.

On Friday, the United Kingdom authorities cautioned British nationals to go away Ukraine right now at the same time as business manner had been nonetheless to be had and cautioned in opposition to all similarly journey to the country.

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