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Putin Wants To ‘Completely Destroy Ukraine’: Lviv Mayor Warns Of Russian Threat

On Tuesday, the mayor of Lviv told Fox News that Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to “completely destroy Ukraine.”

“You must know Russia was, is, and will always [a] source of threat for Ukraine and democratic countries in [the] world,” Lviv’s mayor Andriy Sadovyi told Fox News’ Lucas Tomlinson.

Numerous countries and organizations — including the United States — have moved officials from Ukraine’s capital Kyiv to Lviv, in response to the growing Russian threat.

The Hill reported that NATO had moved staff to Lviv, as well as Brussels, Belgium.

“NATO and allied countries are monitoring and assessing the situation very closely, and continue to take all the necessary measures. The safety of our personnel is paramount, so staff have been relocated to Lviv and Brussels,” the NATO official said in a statement. “The NATO offices in Ukraine remain operational. We continue to call on Russia to de-escalate and choose the path of diplomacy.”

The British government also announced that it would be relocating its embassy staff from Kyiv to Lviv.

“The British Embassy office in Kyiv is temporarily relocating. Embassy staff are operating from the British Embassy office in Lviv,” the British government stated

Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid also instructed the Israeli embassy in Kyiv to move to consular offices in Lviv in western Ukraine, according to The Jerusalem Post.

“The consular offices in Lviv have been providing Israelis with travel documents already since Thursday and will continue to assist Israeli citizens in exiting through Ukraine’s land borders,” the outlet reported.

This follows news that the White House is officially calling the movement of Russian forces into Ukraine an “invasion,” setting up the possible implementation of strict U.S. sanctions on Russia.

The White House on Monday appeared hesitant to use the strict economic levers that President Joe Biden had promised should Russia invade Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin unilaterally recognized the independence of separatist regions in Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts on Monday, ordering Russian troops into the areas on a ‘peacekeeping” mission,’” The Daily Wire reported. “The White House strengthened its language on the events Tuesday morning.”

“We think this is, yes, the beginning of an invasion, Russia’s latest invasion into Ukraine,” principal Deputy National Security Adviser Jon Finer said, according to the Associated Press. “An invasion is an invasion and that is what is underway.”

The Biden administration responded to the Russian invasion of Donetsk and Luhansk with sanctions on the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics as recognized by the Kremlin.

“President Biden will soon issue an Executive Order that will prohibit new investment, trade, and financing by U.S. persons to, from, or in the so-called DNR and LNR regions of Ukraine,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement Monday. “This E.O. will also provide authority to impose sanctions on any person determined to operate in those areas of Ukraine.”

Ian Haworth is an Editor and Writer for The Daily Wire. Follow him on Twitter at @ighaworth.

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