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Thousands of Ukrainians march as government urges calm amid fears of invasion

Several thousands of Ukrainians marched through the center of Kyiv Saturday in a show of unity amid fears a Russian invasion is imminent, Reuters reports.

In a statement earlier on Saturday, Ukraine’s foreign ministry said that armed forces stand ready to repel any attack and asked citizens to stay calm.

“It is now critical to remain calm and united within the country, and avoid actions that undermine stability and sow panic,” the statement said.

On Friday, the U.S. urged its citizens to leave the country within 24 to 48 hours, because it said a Russian ground invasion could be imminent. Citizens from other countries, including the U.K., Latvia, Denmark and Japan, received similar directions.

Meanwhile, leaders are ramping up talks with Russian counterparts: U.S. President Joe Biden is expected to speak to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday, and U.S. State Secretary Antony Blinken has said he’ll also talk to Russia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Sergei Lavrov. French President Emmanuel Macron has also announced he’s planning further talks with Putin.

This article has been updated.

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