Immediately: Statement by US President Joe Biden

The last day in Ukraine has been critical in the escalating crisis between Ukraine and Russia, which is occupying the whole world. This afternoon (Friday) alarms were sounded in the Donetsk region, which is controlled by pro-Russian separatists, and their leader even announced that Ukraine was planning an attack – so they should evacuate to Russia immediately. The Ukrainians refuted the allegations, claiming that Moscow was “spreading misinformation.”

These are the main events – minute by minute:

23:00 US President Joe Biden concludes talks with NATO heads of state.

22:06 Ukraine’s military intelligence tweeted that it had information that mines had been planted in a number of social infrastructure facilities in Donetsk controlled by separatists by Russian special forces: “These measures are intended to undermine the situation in our country’s temporarily occupied territories and create a basis for accusing Ukraine of terrorist acts.”

22:05 Britain has announced the temporary evacuation of its embassy in Kiev, which will meanwhile move from Lviv. In doing so, Britain joins the United States, which moved the embassy to Lvov a few days ago.

19:38 – According to a report in Foreign Policy, the US has obtained intelligence that Russia is building lists of political figures in Ukraine and high-profile political opponents who will be targeted for arrest or assassination in the event of an invasion.

18:08 A violent explosion occurred near a government building in Donetsk. Photos uploaded to social media show the building was damaged, and local police confirmed a car exploded near the building, but no casualties were reported.

17:24 The IFAX news agency reported that evacuation from eastern Ukraine had begun, and first buses began arriving in the Rostov region, where they were preparing to receive the evacuees.

16:36 Alarms sounded in Donetsk.

16:30 Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov commented on the report on the evacuation from eastern Ukraine, claiming he had no details on the situation and that he did not know the move was coordinated with Russia.

15:44 Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kolba has vehemently rejected what he called “Russian disinformation” about his country intending to attack separatists: “We are not carrying out or planning any action in the Donbass. We are fully committed to a diplomatic solution to the crisis.”

15:20 In the shadow of rising tensions and fears that Russia will try to “engineer” a cause for war that justifies an invasion of Ukraine, pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk Oblast have reported the mass evacuation of some 700,000 civilians to Russia under the pretext of Ukrainian aggression. Their leader, Dennis Poishlin, even stepped up and said that unfortunately a war would break out in the Donbas area.

He said Russia had agreed to provide housing for citizens leaving the region and that priority would be given to children, women and adults. At the same time, the Russian Ministry of Finance announced that anyone evacuated from Donetsk and Luhansk to the city of Rostov would receive 10,000 rubles, about 400 shekels – according to a report by the Russian news agency RIA.

The US State Department has claimed that the separatists’ announcement is a “cynical” move on the part of Moscow. “It is cruel to use humans as bullets to distract the world from the fact that Russia is building its forces in preparation for an attack,” an American official told reporters in Munich.

07:00 For the second night in a row, pro-Russian separatists claimed to have been attacked by the Ukrainian army. They claim several villages in the east of the country have been bombed with artillery in at least two cases.

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