Democrat President Joe Biden’s administration has reportedly indicated that it will not be able to evacuate U.S. citizens from Ukraine amid rapidly deteriorating conditions as Russia appears likely to invade at any moment.
“Given that the President has said military action by Russia could come at any time, the U.S. government will not be in a position to evacuate U.S. citizens.” Biden’s State Department said, according to Fox News correspondent Jennifer Griffin. “So U.S. citizens, currently present in Ukraine should plan accordingly.”
From State Dept call: “Given that the President has said military action by Russia could come at any time. The US government will not be in a position to evacuate US citizens. So US citizens, currently present in Ukraine should plan accordingly.” Arrange commercial flights.
— Jennifer Griffin (@JenGriffinFNC) January 24, 2022
The news came as the Biden administration ordered the families of all American personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine on Sunday to immediately leave the country.
“The security conditions, particularly along Ukraine’s borders, in Russia-occupied Crimea, and in Russia-controlled eastern Ukraine, are unpredictable and can deteriorate with little notice. Demonstrations, which have turned violent at times, regularly occur throughout Ukraine, including in Kyiv,” the department said. “Do not travel to Ukraine due to the increased threats of Russian military action and COVID-19. Exercise increased caution in Ukraine due to crime and civil unrest. Some areas have increased risk.”
A separate report on Sunday indicated that Biden was considering deploying U.S. forces to Eastern Europe in an apparent attempt to not appear weak, although many experts warn that it is too little too late.
Biden’s is considering the deployment of “several thousand U.S. troops, as well as warships and aircraft, to NATO allies in the Baltics and Eastern Europe, an expansion of American military involvement amid mounting fears of a Russian incursion into Ukraine,” The New York Times reported. “The move would signal a major pivot for the Biden administration, which up until recently was taking a restrained stance on Ukraine, out of fear of provoking Russia into invading.”
The report said that senior military officials told Biden that he could deploy up to 5,000 U.S. troops to the region with the ability to ramp that number up “tenfold if things deteriorate.” Biden is expected to make a decision as early as this week about what course of action he will take.
“After years of tiptoeing around the question of how much military support to provide to Ukraine, for fear of provoking Russia, Biden officials have recently warned that the United States could throw its weight behind a Ukrainian insurgency should [Russian President Vladimir] Putin invade Ukraine,” the report added. “And the deployment of thousands of additional American troops to NATO’s eastern flank, which includes Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, Biden administration officials said, is exactly the scenario that Mr. Putin has wanted to avoid, as he has seen the western military alliance creep closer and closer to Russia’s own border.”
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This report has been updated to include additional information.