As Ukraine shoots down 6 Russian planes


Abiodun OBA


Nigerians in Ukraine have been called upon to remain calm and be responsible for their own personal security.

The Nigerian Embassy in Ukraine in a statement on Thursday following the declaration of State of Emergency and Martial Law by the Ukrainian government over the invasion by Russia, advised those who want to relocate to a safe place to ensure that they validate all their resident documents for ease of return to Ukraine when they desire.

The statement read, “The attention of the Embassy has been drawn to a declaration of State of Emergency, and Martial Law on the entire territory of Ukraine, except the Donestk and Luhansk regions by the government of Ukraine, effective from mid-night of February 23, 2022, for a period of 30 days as well as the latest development on the Ukraine-Russia crisis.

“With this, regional (OBLAST) Commissions are to decide on the necessary security measures to adopt in strengthening the protection of public order and facilities for the safety of the citizenry and the running of the economy in their domain. It can be restriction of movement, an additional inspection and verification of certain documents of individuals among others. These are preventing measures aimed at ensuring that the country remains calm and the economy continues to function uninterrupted while it lasted.

“In view of the development, the Embassy urges Nigerian nationals resident in Ukraine to remain calm but be very vigilant and responsible for their personal security and safety.

“The Embassy wishes to add that should any Nigerian national consider the situation as emotionally disturbing, such national may wish to relocate to anywhere considered safe by private arrangements. They should, however, ensure that they do all the needful to validate all their resident documents for ease of return to the country when desired.

“In addition, in case of students seeking such temporary relocation, they are enjoined to seek proper clearance and guarantee from their respective institutions, authorities/agents on the way forward in respect to their studies during the period and/or thereafter.

“For those who still consider it appropriate to remain in the country, be assured that the Embassy remains open for its consular duties and responsibilities at all times. It will always avail you updates when necessary.”

Meanwhile, hours after President Vladimir Putin authorised what he called ‘a special military operation in the east’, General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Thursday said it has shot down six aircraft and a helicopter.

Oleksiy Arestovych, one of the advisers in Ukrainian President’s Office, has argued that more than 40 soldiers and up to 10 civilians have been killed during Russian invasion. “As far as I know, at the moment there are a few civilian deaths — up to ten”.

Reacting to Ukrainian claim that she shot down its six plane, the Russian military had denied the claims, according to state news agency TASS.

In her response according to CNN, the European Union Commission President Ursula von der Leyen promised to “weaken Russia’s economic base and its capacity to modernize” following the “barbaric attack” by Moscow against Ukraine.

“We will freeze Russian assets in the European Union and stop the access of Russian banks to European financial markets,” Von der Leyen told reporters on Thursday.

“We condemn this barbaric attack and the cynical arguments that are being used to justify it.”

“Harshest” sanctions: Von der Leyen said she will present “massive and strategic” sanctions against Russia for approval later today.

“These sanctions are designed to take a heavy toll on the Kremlin’s interests and their ability to finance war. And we know that millions of Russians do not want war,” she said.

“We will not allow President [Vladimir] Putin to replace the rule of law, by the rule of force, and ruthlessness,” she said, “Ukraine will prevail.”

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