Canadians in Ukraine should leave while they still can, the federal government warns

The federal government is advising Canadians in Ukraine to leave the country as soon as possible in view of the threat of a Russian military invasion.

The warning was contained in an email Global Affairs Canada sent to Canadians in Ukraine this week.

“If you are in Ukraine, you should leave while commercial means are available,” the email reads.

“Our embassy’s ability to provide consular services in Ukraine could be severely limited. You should not rely on the Canadian government to help you leave the country.”

The email was sent to the 780 Canadians in Ukraine who are registered on the government’s Canadian Abroad Registration Service, which notifies Canadians internationally of emergencies.

The Globe and Mail was the first to report on the updated advisory.

It contains more detailed warnings about the consequences of a possible Russian invasion.

“Russian military action in Ukraine could disrupt transport routes and services across the country. Flights could be interrupted or canceled at short notice, which would result in a delay in departure,” the email said.

It warns Canadians in Ukraine of the potential for widespread disruption to essential services, including electricity; water and food; Telecommunications; Emergency services; and medical care.

Canadians who decide to remain in Ukraine are advised to “review their personal security plans and be ready to seek local protection if necessary”.

According to Ukrainian and Western intelligence officials, Russia has massed more than 100,000 troops along its border with Ukraine in preparation for a possible invasion that could begin sometime this winter.

Russia has denied any plans for immediate military action, but the Kremlin has repeatedly objected to NATO’s expansion into Ukraine and has also called for the withdrawal of NATO troops from a number of countries in Eastern Europe.

Canada has been advising against non-essential travel to Ukraine since mid-January.

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