Our reporters are on both sides of the Russia-Ukraine border as shelling intensifies in eastern Ukraine and thousands of civilians board buses to evacuate. Follow live.

Saturday, February 19, 2022 2:57 PM EST

Several thousand people have crossed into Russia after Kremlin-backed leaders of the two separatist republics in Ukraine declared an evacuation of women and children, claiming that the Ukrainian government is about to launch an attack.

Kyiv has denounced the separatist claims as baseless provocation, and many of their moves are seen as a deliberate effort to create panic.

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