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International airlines cancel flights to Ukraine, fearing Russian violence

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Photo by TIZIANA FABI/AFP via Getty Images

Airlines are canceling and diverting flights to Ukraine as the international community increasingly dears an imminent Russian invasion.

Notably, the Dutch airline KLM a subsidiary of Air France KLM has ceased service to Ukraine. Reuters reports that the Dutch airline announced that it would no longer be chartering flights to Ukraine shortly after the government of the Netherlands told Dutch citizens to leave Ukraine as soon as they possibly can.

Germany’s largest commercial airline and the second-largest airline in Europe, Lufthansa, began rescheduling flights to Kyiv in late January, citing the ongoing “problems” preventing airline staff from staying overnight in the Ukrainian capital.

Reuters reports that the United States Federal Aviation Administration has also instituted a ban on U.S. airlines flying over specific parts of Ukraine’s eastern region.

The Associated Press reports that SkyUp, a Ukrainian charter airline, said that a flight from Madeira, Portugal to Kyiv was diverted to the capital city of Moldova after the plane’s lessor banned flights into Ukrainian airspace.

In 2014, a Malaysia Airlines flight, providing service from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was shot down over eastern Ukraine. Ukrainian and Dutch officials accused Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine of shooting down the jet with a surface-to-air missile manufactured by the Russians.

There were no survivors.

On Saturday, President Joe Biden had an hourlong phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Biden allegedly told Putin that there would be “widespread human suffering” should Russia invade Ukraine.

Biden also reportedly told Putin that Western nations were committed to finding a diplomatic way to end the ongoing debacle but that they stand ready for military intervention should it become necessary. Biden said the West is “equally prepared for other scenarios” should diplomacy fail.

The United States and its allies in NATO currently have no plans to send troops to Ukraine.

Russian leadership continues to deny that it intends to invade Ukraine, but it continues to amass military forces along the Ukrainian border. Russian troops have also been sent to Belarus to conduct military exercises.

The United States believes that Russia has amassed enough firepower along the Ukrainian borders that they could invade the country on short notice.

Should armed conflict occur following a Russian invasion of Ukraine the aftermath will affect far more than just Russia and Ukraine.

Western nations in NATO and the European Union are prepared to issue sanctions on Russia which will kneecap its economy and greatly impact the distribution of energy supplies throughout the continent.

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