US orders families of embassy staff in Ukraine to leave the country amid ‘increased threats of Russian military action’

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Washington: The United States updated its travel advisory for Ukraine on Sunday urging American citizens to leave the country and allowing the departure of some embassy employees.

“On January 23, 2022, the Department of State authorized the voluntary departure of U.S. direct employees and ordered the departure of eligible family members from the Embassy in Kyiv due to the continued threat of Russian military action. U.S. citizens in Ukraine should consider leaving now using commercial or private transportation,” the State Department said in a notice Sunday.

This notice indicates that Russia is planning significant military action against Ukraine.

“Security conditions, particularly along Ukraine’s borders, in Russian-occupied Crimea and in Russian-controlled eastern Ukraine, are unpredictable and can deteriorate without notice. Demonstrations, sometimes violent, occur regularly throughout Ukraine, including in Kyiv.” The State Department said U.S. citizens in Ukraine should be aware that Russian military action anywhere in Ukraine would have serious implications for the U.S. Embassy’s ability to provide consular services, including assistance to U.S. citizens leaving Ukraine.” The State Department urged U.S. citizens not to travel to the country amid “tension” along the border with Ukraine.

“Do not travel to Ukraine due to increased threats of Russian military action and COVID-19. Exercise extra caution in Ukraine due to crime and civil unrest. Some areas are at increased risk. Read l full travel advisory.” The advice comes as several countries, led by the United States, have accused Russia of gathering troops near the Ukrainian border in alleged preparation for an invasion. Moscow has said it has no intention of invading Ukraine while stressing that it has the right to move forces into its own territory.

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Published on: Monday, January 24, 2022, 08:05 IST

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