US orders families of embassy staff in Ukraine to leave country

Source: The Hill | January 23, 2022 | Jordan Williams

The State Department has ordered family members of government employees at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv to leave the country, while also allowing non-essential staffers to depart amid growing worries of a Russian invasion.

In an advisory, the agency authorized the voluntary departure of direct hire employees and ordered the departure of eligible family members due to “continued threat of Russian military action.”

“U.S. citizens in Ukraine should consider departing now using commercial or other privately available transportation options,” it adds. 

“U.S. citizens in Ukraine should be aware that Russian military action anywhere in Ukraine would severely impact the U.S. Embassy’s ability to provide consular services, including assistance to U.S. citizens in departing Ukraine,” it continued.

Senior State Department officials briefing reporters on Sunday said the authorized voluntary departure applies to non-emergency U.S. government employees, who now have the option to leave the country if they so choose. Family members, however, will be required to leave the country. 

The officials didn’t give estimates on how many U.S. citizens were in Ukraine because the agency said it doesn’t maintain those numbers.


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