US Diplomats Told to Flee

US Diplomats Told to Flee

( – The State Department has ordered most US diplomats to leave Ukraine, as fears mount that Russia could invade as early as Wednesday. Weeks of diplomacy have failed so far, and a new war in Europe now looks like a real danger.

On February 12, the US Embassy in Ukraine announced that it was evacuating most of its direct-hire employees and moving the embassy itself from Kyiv – which is in the east of the country, and vulnerable to a Russian attack – to the western city of Lviv, close to the Polish border.

Meanwhile, Russia is also evacuating diplomats, calling it a “certain optimization” of embassy staffing. Foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova claimed the move was because Russia fears provocations by Ukraine or other countries.

Russian President Vladimir Putin insists he has no intention of invading Ukraine, but in the last few months, he has moved major forces to the border. US intelligence sources now estimate there are 130,000 Russian troops within striking distance of Ukraine, organized into at least 60 powerful combined-arms battle groups. The Russian army has also been issuing medical supplies and other materials that are usually kept in reserve for actual combat operations. If Putin’s troop movements are a bluff, it’s a very detailed one. Ukraine is on high alert and is giving basic military training to civilians.

Foreign leaders, including French President Emmanuel Macron, continue to negotiate with the Kremlin, but no progress is being made. With the US and Russia both now withdrawing diplomats, it’s clear hopes for peace are fading.

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