The German Foreign Minister announced the expulsion of 40 Russian diplomats, saying that the country would strengthen its support for Ukraine.

Iran PressEurope: The ongoing diplomatic war between the West and Moscow has escalated dramatically following Russia's military operation in Ukraine, prompting a number of European countries to expel Russian diplomats.

Germany is expelling 40 staff members at the Russian embassy in Berlin with suspected links to spy agencies and persona non grata as a first response to the conflict in the town of Bucha, Ukraine.

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said in a statement that images of the victims show “the unbelievable brutality of the Russian leadership” and those who follow its propaganda. She added that there’s a fear similar photos might emerge from other areas in Ukraine occupied by Russian troops.

Baerbock said Germany would take further steps “with our partners” including “imposing harsher sanctions on Russia, decisively expanding support for Ukraine’s fighting forces and bolstering NATO’s eastern flank”.

Also, Lithuania said it was expelling the Russian ambassador and would close Russia’s consulate in the port city of Klaipeda. It said its envoy to Moscow “would return in the near future”.