US State Department orders families of embassy personnel in Ukraine to LEAVE Monday as soon as possible
BREAKING: US State Department ‘orders families of embassy staff in Ukraine to LEAVE Monday as soon as possible’
- The US State Department has ordered the families of US embassy staff living in Ukraine to begin evacuating as soon as possible Monday, officials said.
- The department is also expected to tell Americans in the country next week to depart on commercial flights “while still available.”
- The order comes after US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met in Geneva on Friday.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has predicted a ‘large-scale’ war with Russia if the superpower tries to occupy the industrial city of Kharkiv
- Blinken said there were “no breakthroughs” in talks with the United States’ former Cold War rival in an effort to avert an impending war with Ukraine.
The US State Department has ordered families of staff at the US embassy in Ukraine to begin evacuating as soon as possible on Monday, officials said.
The department is also expected to tell Americans in the country next week to depart on commercial flights “while they are still available,” an official told Fox News.
The order comes after US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met Friday in Geneva for crunch talks over the crisis in Ukraine.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has predicted a “large-scale” war with Russia if the superpower tries to occupy the industrial city of Kharkiv – which he says is a target due to its large Russian-speaking population.
Blinken said there were “no breakthroughs” in talks with the United States’ former Cold War rival in an effort to avoid an impending war with Ukraine.
Kharkiv, in eastern Ukraine, is the former Soviet republic’s second largest city with a population of about 1.4 million, and Zelenskiy believes it is a “viable” target for Vladimir Putin.
Blinken’s insistence on a “severe” response came a day after President Joe Biden was widely criticized for saying retaliation would depend on the details — and that a “minor raid” could spark dissension among Western allies.
On Thursday, Biden warned that any Russian troop movement across the border into Ukraine would constitute an invasion and that Moscow would “pay a heavy price” for such action.
After meeting with President Volodymyr Zelensky Blinken warned that Russia could attack Ukraine at “very short notice” during remarks at the US embassy in Kiev on Wednesday.
Blinken met with President Volodymyr Zelensky earlier this week when the Biden administration said it would provide an additional $200 million in defensive military aid to the country amid growing fears of a Russian invasion.
Blinken told the staff of the embassy in Kiev: ‘We know that there are plans to further expand that (Russian) force in the very short term.’
“That gives President Putin the capacity, also in the very short term, to take further aggressive action against Ukraine,” Blinken said.
He also claimed that a peaceful, diplomatic solution was still the priority, but emphasized that the situation was completely reactive to the actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“I very much hope that we can keep this on a diplomatic and peaceful path, but ultimately that will be President Putin’s decision,” Blinken said.