Kenya’s Message to Citizens Stuck in Ukraine Amid Heightened Crisis

The Kenyan government has issued an advisory to nationals stuck in Ukraine amid heightened insecurity due to invasion by Russia.

Kenya, through its embassy in Ukraine, has advised Kenyans in Ukraine to consider leaving the country.

“Following the escalating tensions and the attack on Ukrainian territory by the Russian Federation on 24th February 2022, all Kenyans living or studying in Ukraine are hereby advised to urgently consider leaving Ukraine and stay away until further notice,” the notice reads.

“Those wishing to remain are strongly advised to exercise increased caution.”

Earlier, Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Ambassador Kamau Macharia said experts are assessing the situation in the two European countries before taking action.

He noted that so far the government has seen no direct threat to Kenyans.

The minister, however, indicated that those who feel uncomfortable are encouraged to leave.

“Kenyans have been advised that if they do not feel comfortable they should leave of their own free will. They need to judge the circumstances and decide. Only parts of the country are affected by warfare,” Macharia told a local media.

Kenya’s Honorary Consul in Ukraine reports that there were 18 Kenyans with permanent registration and 183 with temporary registration as of January this year.

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A majority of Kenyan nationals stuck in Ukraine are students.

Ukraine says that more than 137 people have been killed so far in the recent attacks by Russia.

Multiple cities and bases in Ukraine were on Thursday hit with airstrikes following orders by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.

Yesterday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the victims include civilians and military personnel.

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“They’re killing people and turning peaceful cities into military targets. It’s foul and will never be forgiven,” Zelenskyy said, referring to Russian forces.

Russia attacked Ukraine following Putin’s earlier demands for an end to NATO’s eastward expansion.

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In a televised interview on Thursday, Putin justified the invasion saying the attack was needed to protect civilians in eastern Ukraine. Ukraine and its allies have dismissed the claim as false and a pretext for a wider invasion.

Putin accused the United States and its allies of ignoring Russia’s demands for Ukraine to be barred from joining NATO and for security guarantees.

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Written by Wycliffe Nyamasege

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