The State Department announced Sunday evening that if Russia invades Ukraine, the U.S. government won't be able to get Americans trapped behind enemy lines out of the country.
“Given that the President has said military action by Russia could come at any time. The U.S. government will not be in a position to evacuate U.S. citizens. So U.S. citizens, currently present in Ukraine should plan accordingly," a State Department official said on a call with reporters, advising Americans to book commercial flights as soon as possible.
Last week the White House indicated it does not know how many Americans are in the country and therefore, may not be able to get them out.
?? Fox's @JacquiHeinrich asks how many Americans are currently in #Ukraine and if there's an evacuation plan in place.— John Cooper (@thejcoop) January 21, 2022
Jen Psaki: "We don’t put a chip in Americans when they go around the world and track their movements." pic.twitter.com/V1IDSuX5uI
As reported, the State Department issued an official warning Sunday evening for Americans not to travel to Ukraine and for Americans in the country to depart.
Ukraine: The Department advises U.S. citizens not to travel to Ukraine, and on Jan 23 authorized the voluntary departure of employees and ordered the departure of family members from Emb. Kyiv due to the continued threat of Russian military action. https://t.co/hGRw3HxbLL pic.twitter.com/UAcHLdm7lu— Travel - State Dept (@TravelGov) January 24, 2022
In August the Biden administration abandoned thousands of Americans behind enemy lines in Afghanistan. At the time, officials at the Defense and State Departments claimed they did not know the exact number of Americans who were stranded after the last U.S. military plane departed the airport in Kabul. A number of permanent legal residents are still trapped as the Taliban continues to rule the country.