As tensions in Ukraine rise due to a possible military conflict with Russia, the United States Embassy is officially advising all Americans in the Eastern European nation to leave the country either via commercial travel or private means.
The U.S. Embassy released a statement Wednesday morning telling Americans that “the security situation in Ukraine continues to be unpredictable due to the increased threat of Russian military action and can deteriorate with little notice.”
As a result, the government encouraged “U.S. citizens in Ukraine to consider departing now using commercial or other privately available transportation options.” The embassy also noted that “U.S. citizens wishing to depart Ukraine currently have multiple options via commercial flights from all Ukrainian international airports.”
“If you have difficulty securing a flight or need assistance to return to the United States, please contact KyivACS@state.gov for guidance,” the government advised. “The Embassy remains open and able to process U.S. passports and Consular Reports of Birth Abroad and can also provide repatriation loans for U.S. citizens who cannot afford at this time to purchase a commercial ticket to the United States. ”
On Tuesday, The Daily Wire reported that North Carolina Republican Congressman Ted Budd sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken demanding answers as to the American government’s plans to evacuate Americans in Ukraine who want to leave.
“Given the Biden administration’s failure to protect Americans during last year’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, the letter expresses rightful concern about the safety of American citizens abroad,” Budd said in a statement released with the letter.
“The letter expressed concern over the White House’s admission that the number of Americans in Ukraine is unknown,” The Daily Wire added.
“It is troubling that State Department officials and the White House recently admitted that the United States does not have a ‘solid number’ of Americans in Ukraine,” Budd wrote.
“When President Biden’s remarks about accepting a ‘minor incursion’ from Russia are taken into account, the American people are rightly concerned about the fate of citizens caught in the middle of this volatile situation,” he added.
On Sunday, the State Department advised all Americans to avoid travel to Ukraine due to “increased threats of Russian military action and COVID-19”:
“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.”
Likewise, the Biden administration ordered all U.S. Embassy staffers and their families to leave the country:
“The department told the dependents of staffers at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv that they must leave the country. It also said that non-essential embassy staff could leave Ukraine at government expense,” the Associated Press reported. “State Department officials stressed the Kyiv embassy will remain open and that the announcement does not constitute an evacuation.”
Wednesday’s announcement is the latest indication that the Ukraine situation is only escalating and the region could soon become dangerous for Americans.
This is a developing story; Stay tuned for updates.