Western armed alliance moves its personnel from Kiev to Lviv, city on Polish border and some to Belgium's capital Brussels where NATO's headquarter's is located.

NATO's personnel relocation decision comes amid fears of Russia's Ukraine invasion threat.
NATO's personnel relocation decision comes amid fears of Russia's Ukraine invasion threat. (Reuters)

NATO is relocating staff from Ukraine's capital Kiev to Lviv, in the west of the country, and to the Belgian capital Brussels for their safety, an alliance official has said.

"The safety of our personnel is paramount, so staff have been relocated to Lviv and Brussels. The NATO offices in Ukraine remain operational," the official told AFP on Saturday, without giving numbers.

Several Western countries have already moved diplomats from Kiev to Lviv, located near the border with Poland, in anticipation of Russian military action.

Brussels hosts NATO's headquarters.

"Every indication indicates that Russia is planning a full-fledged attack against Ukraine," NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said on Saturday.

"We all agree that the risk of an attack is very high," he told German broadcaster ARD on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference.

The United States leads the NATO, and US President Joe Biden on Friday said he was "convinced" Russia was going to invade Ukraine within the week, and have its forces target Kyiv.

READ MORE: Ukraine leader Zelenskyy to Russia's Putin: 'Let's meet'

Germany: The threat is real

Germany's foreign minister warned on Saturday against trying to guess or assume Russia's decisions on Ukraine, toning down the rhetoric after Washington's fierce warnings of an imminent invasion.

"We do not know yet if an attack has been decided on," Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference, adding that the "threat against Ukraine is very real".

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, attending the same conference, also pushed back against Washington's dire predictions.

"We do not think that we need to panic," Zelensky told an audience of top-level officials and security experts from around the world.

READ MORE: Russia test-fires hypersonic missiles as tensions soar over Ukraine

Ceasefire violations

Almost 2,000 ceasefire violations were registered in eastern Ukraine by monitors for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe on Saturday, a diplomatic source told Reuters on Sunday.

The Ukrainian government and separatist forces have been fighting in eastern Ukraine since 2014. 

An upsurge in shelling has thrust the region to the centre of tensions between Moscow and the West over a Russian military buildup near Ukraine.

A map breaking down the breaches showed the heaviest fighting now in the northwestern section of the Luhansk region, about 20 kilometres (12 miles) southeast of the government-held city of Severodonetsk.

The shelling in the eight-year conflict spiked sharply this week, as fears mount that Russia is paving the way for an invasion of Ukraine designed to reverse its pro-Western course.

Ukraine's Interior Minister Denys Monastyrskiy experienced the clashes first-hand on Saturday, ducking for cover as mortar shells fell within a few hundred metres of him while he toured the frontline with reporters.

READ MORE: Harris: Russia to face unprecedented sanctions if it invades Ukraine

Source: TRTWorld and agencies