The U.S. has warned that a Russian invasion of eastern Ukraine could trigger one of the world’s biggest ever refugee crises A state of emergency was declared by the Ukrainian government and approved by parliament as 200,000 military reservists were called up, border zones were restricted and three million Ukrainians were told to leave Russia.
The whole country was placed on a war footing with Kiev acknowledging for the first time that an attack could now take place anywhere, at any time. Linda Thomas-Greenfield, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, told a security council meeting in New York that a Russian invasion into eastern Ukraine could displace up to five million people.
She said an invasion could cause famine in other countries with a rise in bread prices expected given Russia and Ukraine produce around 30 percent of wheat exports globally. She said: ‘Russia’s actions could cause a spike in food prices and lead to even more desperate hunger in places like Libya, Yemen and Lebanon.
‘The tidal waves of suffering this war will cause are unthinkable.’ Her warning came before explosions were heard in the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, mounting fears that shelling is underway. Residents in the city have reportedly been woken up by blasts 30 miles from the Russian border.