The U.S. Embassy in Kyiv has asked the State Department to authorize the departure of all non-essential staff and their families, CNN reported on Jan. 22, citing multiple sources familiar with the matter.
The move comes amid an escalation of Russia’s aggressive rhetoric against Ukraine.
The Kremlin is stepping up threats of war and massing troops around Ukraine’s borders. According to Western and Ukrainian intelligence, Russia may be preparing a further invasion of Ukraine.
The U.S. has told the Ukrainian government that the evacuation of diplomats’ families is likely to start next week, a source close to the Ukrainian government told CNN.
President Volodymyr Zelensky has told U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken that the evacuation would be an “overreaction,” CNN reported.
Ukraine’s President’s Office did not respond to the Kyiv Independent’s request for comment. A State Department official told CNN that the department would not comment on private discussions.
CNN also reported in December that the U.S. was working on contingency planning to evacuate Americans from Ukraine.