Ukraine crisis: Families of US diplomats should leave Kiev

Status: 01/24/2022 01:12 a.m

The US State Department has ordered families of diplomats to evacuate the US embassy in Kyiv as tensions mount over Ukraine. Employees who are not immediately needed should also leave the country.

The US State Department has ordered the families of US diplomats in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev to leave the country. The reason for this is the “continued threat of a Russian military operation,” the ministry said. Local employees of the US embassy can therefore “voluntarily” leave the country. Other US citizens living in Ukraine should “now consider” leaving Ukraine by commercial flights or other means of transportation.

This move had been speculated for a few days. On Saturday, the US State Department said that there was “nothing to announce” about the evacuation of families of embassy staff. The ministry also stressed that US citizens in Ukraine could not face a government-sponsored evacuation operation if attitudes toward embassy staff and families changed. “Commercial flights are currently available to support departure,” it said.

Federal Foreign Office monitors security situation “very carefully”

Despite the tense situation, the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin says it does not intend to withdraw personnel from Ukraine. “We are very closely monitoring the security situation for the staff at our diplomatic missions in Ukraine, and we are also in close contact with our partners in the EU and at international level,” it said on Saturday.

Russia has massed more than 100,000 troops on the Ukrainian border in recent weeks. The West therefore fears a major Russian attack on the neighboring country. Moscow denies any invasion plans.

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