The Biden administration will reportedly order in matter of hours that all American staff at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv must evacuate the country as it claims that Russia is likely to invade at any moment.
“U.S. officials say the State Department plans to announce early Saturday that all American staff at the Kyiv embassy will be required to leave the country ahead of a feared Russian invasion,” the Associated Press reported. “The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly, said a limited number of U.S. diplomats may be relocated to Ukraine’s far west, near the border with Poland, a NATO ally, so the U.S. could retain a diplomatic presence in the country.”
The move comes after the administration had already told the families of the staffers that they should leave.
“The risk is high enough and the threat is now immediate enough that prudence demands that it is the time [for Americans] to leave now,” National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said during a White House press briefing on Friday. “We are in the window when an invasion could begin at any time should Vladimir Putin decide to order it.”
PBS reported that the Biden administration believes that Putin has already decided to invade and that he has communicated those orders to the Russian military and that the invasion is likely to start next week. Russia is believed to have amassed approximately 130,000 soldiers near the Ukrainian border.
The report added:
Defense officials anticipate a bloody campaign that begins with two days of aerial bombardment and electronic warfare, followed by an invasion, with the possible goal of regime change.
Satellite images show that Russia has effectively surrounded Ukraine as “Russian-backed separatists in the country’s east are conducting military exercises, completing a near encirclement of Ukraine by hostile forces,” The New York Times reported. “To the south, the Russian Navy announced on Thursday the closure of large swaths of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov for live-fire exercises by its fleet that will effectively blockade Ukrainian ports.”
— AFP News Agency (@AFP) February 11, 2022
Critics have said that Russia’s increased aggression in the region and in other domains is a result of Putin sensing weakness from Biden.
Now, as the Biden administration tries to prevent war from breaking out in Europe, it will deploy thousands of additional U.S. soldiers to Eastern Europe.
“The United States will be sending 3,000 additional troops to Poland in the coming days to try and help reassure NATO allies,” four sources told Reuters on Friday. “The officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the U.S. troop deployment will come from the 82nd Airborne Division based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and not from within U.S. forces in Europe.”
This report has been updated to include additional information.
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