The U.S. State Department has authorized the departure of non-essential employees and the family members of diplomats stationed at the Kyiv embassy, on Jan. 23, citing potential Russian military escalation.
“There are reports Russia is planning significant military action against Ukraine," the statement reads. "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."
The State Department also advised all U.S. citizens to leave the county immediately. According to a Kyiv Independent source, who wasn’t authorized to speak to the press, it is understood that Ukraine hosts over 20,000 U.S. citizens, including dual nationals.
"U.S. citizens in Ukraine should consider departing now using commercial or other privately available transportation options," the statement reads.
According to the latest intelligence data, Moscow has concentrated over 120,000 troops in regions surrounding Ukraine, and also deployed a large number of combat-ready weaponry and military hardware from its distant districts.
The ongoing diplomatic effort led by the West has had no positive effect so far, while the Kremlin continues with its extreme warlike rhetoric, particularly accusing Ukraine of discriminating against the Russian-speaking population and NATO of posing a grave security threat to Russia.
U.S. President Joe Biden said on Jan. 19 that he thought that Russia would invade Ukraine, giving the strongest acknowledgment of the threat of invasion so far.
“I’m not sure that (Russian President Vladimir Putin) is certain what he’s going to do. My guess is he will move in. He has to do something,” Biden said at a press conference on the occasion of his one year in office.