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US Secretary of Defense says it’s obvious Russia has made a decision and is getting into position to carry out an attack

A total of 10,356 people crossed from Ukraine’s Donbass region to Russia on Saturday as of 10:00 a.m. local time, Russian news agency RIA Novosti reports following the decision of the self-proclaimed Russian-backed republics to organize an evacuation. of civilians.

There is no way for CNN to independently verify the number.

RIA Novosti said 4,527 citizens of the Russian Federation, 5,806 citizens of Ukraine and 23 other foreigners crossed, according to what it called “a source familiar with the situation”. Russian agencies can quote police and security officials anonymously, and CNN has not been able to independently verify these statements.

Earlier on Saturday, Deputy Head of Russia’s Emergency Situations Ministry Viktor Yatsutsenko said: “Seven regions of Russia are ready to receive refugees. These are the Krasnodar Territory, Kursk, Voronezh, Belgorod, Orel, Bryansk and Moscow regions”, in addition to the Rostov region which borders Ukraine.

He said that in total, these regions are ready to receive more than 28,900 people, RIA reported.

Russian news agency TASS reported on Saturday that “all border checkpoints in the Rostov region only work for entry into Russia.”

“All checkpoints have been transformed only for entry into the Russian Federation,” an official with the FSB’s internal security service said, according to TASS.

The evacuation orders were issued on Friday by the leaders of the Donetsk and Luhansk republics, who said they were needed due to an impending Ukrainian military offensive.

Ukrainian officials have repeatedly denied such plans.

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