– Families of US diplomats in Kiev were called to leave
The threat of a Russian military operation in Ukraine prompts Washington to call on the families of US diplomats to leave Kiev and advise its citizens against traveling to Russia.
The U.S. government on Sunday ordered the families of U.S. diplomats stationed in Kiev to leave the country “because of the continuing threat of Russian military action” and advised Americans against traveling to Russia.
Local staff and non-essential staff can leave the Kiev embassy if they wish, the State Department said in a statement. The U.S. State Department says U.S. citizens living in Ukraine should “consider now” leaving the country by commercial flights or other means of transportation.
“The security situation on Ukraine’s borders, including Russian-occupied Crimea and Russian-controlled Donetsk, is unpredictable and could worsen at any time,” the State Department said.
10,000 to 15,000 Americans in Ukraine
U.S. diplomats warn that “US citizens in Ukraine should be aware that a Russian military operation anywhere in Ukraine could severely affect the U.S. embassy’s ability to provide diplomatic services, including assistance to U.S. citizens leaving Ukraine.” The Department of Education has called on the American community in Ukraine on “what the US government can and cannot do to help you during a crisis abroad.”
“We believe a Russian invasion (…) could happen at any time,” a senior US official told reporters. “The United States will not be in a position to expel American citizens in this situation.”
The embassy is still open and the person in charge, Christina Quian, is “in Ukraine,” the official, who did not want to be named, added. He declined to comment on the number of Americans on Ukrainian soil, but US Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland estimated the number at 10,000 to 15,000 in early December.
Travel to Russia is not recommended
The U.S. government has advised U.S. citizens not to travel to Russia “because of tensions on the Ukrainian border.” The ministry justified the decision with “the possibility of persecution of American citizens”, particularly by the Russian police and “arbitrary use of local law.”
“Due to the Russian military presence and continued military exercises in the border areas of Ukraine, US citizens in the Russian Federation districts on the border with Ukraine should be aware that the situation at the border is unpredictable and tensions are rising,” the ministry said. . “Given the volatility of the environment, land travel from Russia to Ukraine in this region is not strongly encouraged for US citizens,” he concludes.
The State Department advises against all travel to Ukraine due to the possibility of Russian invasion, but Ukraine has not already encouraged US travelers due to the Govt.
The United States has already warned on Saturday that it does not plan to deport its compatriots in Ukraine, inviting Americans in the country to use commercial flights.
Westerners accuse Russia of stationing more than 100,000 troops on Ukraine’s border to invade the former Soviet republic. The White House has warned that Russia could launch its offensive “at any time.” The Kremlin denies any militant intent, but minimizes the expansion of agreements guaranteeing NATO expansion, especially Ukraine and its withdrawal from the Atlantic Alliance in Eastern Europe.