US embassy families to be evacuated from Ukraine amid Russia threat: report
- US embassy families have reportedly been ordered to leave Ukraine starting Monday
- US citizens in Ukraine will also be urged to evacuate this week
- The development comes amid rising tensions between US and Russia over Ukraine
With tensions between Ukraine and Russia rising, families of diplomats working at the US embassy in Ukraine have been ordered by the US State Department to evacuate as early as Monday, federal officials told Fox News in an interview.
The officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, further said that other Americans residing or on vacation in Ukraine would be urged to evacuate in the coming week via commercial flights "while those are still available."
The development comes at a time when tensions between the US and Russia are on the rise. Russia has reportedly deployed over 100,000 troops along the Ukraine border and are regularly conducting reconnaissance flights in Ukrainian airspace.
Russia, which claims that it has no intentions of invading Ukraine, has also asked the US and its NATO allies for security guarantees to ensure that Ukraine and Georgia do not join NATO now or in the future.
The US, however, sees Russia's actions as an act of aggression that needs to be checked and has repeatedly warned Moscow that any attempts to undermine Ukraine's sovereignty would result in a severe retaliation.
As part of US efforts to aid Ukraine in the defence of its territories, Washington has up to $75 million in lethal aid to Ukraine. The first instalment of that package, roughly 200,000 pounds of small arms ammunition, arrived in Kiev on Friday.
The arrival of the package was accompanied by a flurry of tweets from US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who pledged to provide US support to Ukraine amid the threat of invasion from Russia. Blinken not only said that he "endorsed" sending US arms and ammunition to Ukraine, but also pledged to provide "longstanding" support to the Eastern European country.