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Tipsheet

As Putin Invades, State Department Evacuates Ukraine

(Drew Angerer/Pool via AP)

After recently moving staff and diplomats from the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv to the Ukrainian city of Lviv, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced late Monday night personnel is evacuating to Poland. The statement comes just hours after Russia President Vladimir Putin invaded the country from the east. 

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"Today the Department of State is again taking action for the safety and security of U.S. citizens, including our personnel. For security reasons, Department of State personnel currently in Lviv will spend the night in Poland.  Our personnel will regularly return to continue their diplomatic work in Ukraine and provide emergency consular services. They will continue to support the Ukrainian people and the Ukrainian government, coordinating on diplomatic efforts," Blinken released in a statement. "The United States’ commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russia’s aggression is unwavering.  The fact that we are taking prudent precautions for the sake of the safety of U.S. government personnel and U.S. citizens, as we do regularly worldwide, in no way undermines our support for, or our commitment to, Ukraine.  Our commitment to Ukraine transcends any one location."

"We strongly reiterate our recommendation to U.S. citizens to depart Ukraine immediately.  The security situation in Ukraine continues to be unpredictable throughout the country and may deteriorate with little notice.  There is a strong likelihood that any Russian military operations would severely restrict commercial air travel.  Russian troops have continued to move closer to the border in what looks like plans for an invasion at any moment," Blinken continued. "There have been reports of increased ceasefire violations in Kharkiv, Luhansk, and Donetsk in recent days.  And Russia has ordered troops to deploy into the so-called DNR and LNR regions of Ukraine.  U.S. citizens who choose to remain in these areas despite our advice to depart Ukraine immediately should remain vigilant and alert to their surroundings.  In the event of an attack, U.S. citizens should seek shelter in a hardened structure and monitor major news outlets for guidance on when it is safe to move."

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The move comes just six months after the Biden administration fled Afghanistan, leaving behind thousands of Americans and abandoning the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. Many of them are still trapped in the country. 

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