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Thousands of Britons told to leave Ukraine now amid threat of invasion by Russia

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housands of Britons are being urged to flee Ukraine immediately over growing concerns that Russia could launch an invasion in the coming days.

The Foreign Office updated its advice on Friday evening to urge UK nationals to “leave now while commercial means are still available”.

The order was issued as intelligence and advice from experts on the ground suggested an increased threat level, with an invasion at some point deemed highly likely, the PA news agency understood.

It came after Boris Johnson voiced fears for the security of Europe during a call with Western leaders including US President Joe Biden.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said an invasion could come “at any time”, with Russian President Vladimir Putin having amassed an estimated 130,000 troops on the border with Ukraine.

Mr Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan said an attack before the end of the Winter Olympics on February 20 was a “credible prospect”, assigning it a “very, very distinct possibility”.

He said new Russian forces were arriving at the border and are in a position to “mount a major military operation in Ukraine any day now”, which could include a “rapid assault on the city of Kyiv” or on other parts of the country.

Speaking from the White House, Mr Sullivan said Russia could choose “in very short order to commence a major military action against Ukraine”, but stressed the US does not know whether Mr Putin has made a final decision.

Mr Sullivan said the “threat is now immediate enough” to urge Americans to leave Ukraine “as soon as possible and in any event in the next 24 to 48 hours”.

In a call lasting around 80 minutes, Downing Street said Mr Johnson urged Nato allies to make it clear to Moscow there is a “heavy package of economic sanctions ready to go”.

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