Beijing’s top envoy in Kyiv has warned that a planned evacuation of its citizens in Ukraine had to be delayed and urged people to take all safety precautions in “a period of high security risks”. The Chinese embassy earlier said it would arrange chartered flights out of Kyiv and asked those who wanted to leave to register on its website. But in a 10-minute video message posted on the embassy’s WeChat account on Sunday, ambassador Fan Xianrong warned of a grave security situation for Chinese in the country and said those evacuation plans might not go ahead due to growing safety concerns. “In the days to come, the situation is expected to deteriorate further . At present, the fierce battle between the warring sides of Ukraine and Russia is still going on, and there will be many unpredictable changes,” he said. There are nearly 6,000 Chinese nationals in Ukraine, including students, businesspeople and migrants, according to the embassy. Fan appealed for calm and understanding from those who wanted to return to China, acknowledging that it was natural for everyone, including Chinese diplomats, to feel “a little scared and worried”. But he said he would not “leave his compatriots alone”. “What I can tell you clearly is that as long as the safety conditions are met and everyone’s safety is guaranteed, we will make appropriate arrangements,” he said. But with “missiles in the air”, “explosions and guns on the ground from time to time” amid fierce battles between Russian and Ukrainian troops, “how is it possible to guarantee the safety [of evacuation operations] in this situation? If you really want to leave under such circumstances, how can your family not feel worried? So we must wait until it is safe to go,” Fan said. Ukrainians in China: far from home but close to the conflict He called on Chinese to be fully aware of “a lot of security risks” they were facing, especially with some Ukrainians possibly becoming “anxious and impulsive” and “more likely to take extreme action than usual” over comments or gestures deemed unfriendly. The diplomat stressed that it was a “period of high security risk” and urged the Chinese to “show friendliness and rationality” towards Ukrainians and “not to provoke them”. He urged the Chinese stranded in the war zones to “strictly abide by all safety precautions” and local curfew regulations and stay away from windows during bombings, avoid turning on the lights and go out as little as possible. Chinese citizens should also “not quarrel with locals, not take videos out of curiosity, and in particular stay away from all military personnel and facilities”. China is walking a fine line on the war in Ukraine . While it has said Ukraine’s sovereignty should be respected, it has so far refused to describe Russia’s aggression as an “invasion” or condemn Russian President Vladimir Putin for launching the conflict. In the lead up to the invasion, China – unlike many Western countries – did not ask its citizens to consider leaving Ukraine. In its first security alert hours after Russia launched its attack on Ukraine, the embassy initially urged its citizens to stay home or display the Chinese flag on their cars as a precaution if they had to go outside. However, some Chinese people in Ukraine have reported being threatened or attacked by locals because of their nationality. After drawing fierce online criticism at home over the “insensitive” advice that may have put its own citizens in danger, the embassy put out another notice on Friday urging Chinese nationals to avoid identifying themselves in public.