Americans in Ukraine should plan their way out of Ukraine. Despite the fears of a Russian invasion anytime soon, the government has no evacuation plans for its citizens.
US State Department Issues Advisory, Cuts Embassy Staff
Out of “an abundance of caution,” the US State Department reduced its US embassy staff in Kyiv, Ukraine.
In addition, the embassy will now start flying home nonessential personnel and dependents. The agency is reducing its headcount in the country amid fears of an imminent Russian attack on the country.
The State Department also encouraged Americans in Ukraine to consider leaving the country via commercial flights. “These are prudent precautions that in no way undermine our support for, our commitment to Ukraine,” said a senior official.
In particular, the agency based its recommendation on Russia’s continued military buildup on the border. They said that this is the right moment to leave the country.
US Government Will Not Evacuate Americans In Ukraine
However, the US government will not undertake an evacuation to help its citizens leave Ukraine. Despite its constant warnings that Russia is planning military action against the country, the State Department did not disclose any plans to help get Americans in Ukraine out.
In fact, they also advised its citizens that the reduction of staff will also “severely impact the U.S. Embassy's ability to provide consular services” to Americans.
Additionally, a State Department spokesperson said during that weekend that no evacuation plans are in the works.
The spokesperson said that this is not like the Afghanistan situation in which a government evacuation materialized. Instead, the State Department said that Americans in Ukraine just book a flight themselves.
“American citizens should not anticipate that there will be U.S. government-sponsored evacuations. Currently, commercial flights are available to support departures,” the spokesperson said.
Ukrainian Officials Upset At Travel Advisory
The State Department’s sudden change in its embassy status upset many Ukrainian officials. Many believe that the Russians actually plan to attack their country.
They believe that while Russia is continually saber-rattling, it won’t go so far as to attack them. However, they did acknowledge that their neighbor’s actions are part of their attempts to destabilize Ukraine.
However, the US insists that even with the drawdown, the US will continue to provide its assistance to Ukraine. “The U.S. embassy in Kyiv is going to continue to operate in an uninterrupted way to support Ukraine at this critical moment,” the senior State Department official said.
Watch the CNN News video reporting that the US reduces staff at the embassy in Ukraine:
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