US orders families of embassy staff to leave Ukraine as fears of war with Russia mount
The State Department on Sunday ordered the families of all American personnel at the US Embassy in Ukraine to leave the country amid heightened fears of a Russian invasion.
The department told the dependents of staffers at the U. Embassy in Kiev that they must leave the country. It also said that non-essential embassy staff could leave Ukraine at government expense.
The move came amid rising tensions about Russia's military buildup on the Ukraine border that were not eased during talks Friday between secretary of state Antony Blinken and Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov in Geneva.
State Department officials stressed the Kiev embassy will remain open and that the announcement does not constitute an evacuation. The move had been under consideration for some time and does not reflect an easing of US support for Ukraine, the officials said.