US, Britain Order Diplomats to Evacuate Ukraine amid fears of Russian ‘lightning war’.
24 January 2022
The United States and Britain have ordered some diplomats and their family members stationed in Kyiv to leave Ukraine amid fears of an imminent Russian invasion.
In a briefing with reporters, senior State Department officials said on Sunday that they had ordered all family members of the U.S. Embassy personnel in Kyiv, and some diplomats to leave Ukraine.
The State Department also urged American citizens in the country to depart as soon as possible, saying an invasion could come “at any time”.
“These decisions were made out of an abundance of caution due to continued Russian efforts to destabilise the country”, said a senior State Department official over the weekend.
Britain has also taken precautionary steps, ordering around half of the staff working in Kyiv to return to the UK. Prime minister Boris Johnson warned on Monday that Russia had amassed enough troops for a “lightning war that could take out Kyiv”.
According to British intelligence, there are currently 60 Russian battle groups along the border with Ukraine, totalling more than 106,000 troops, or roughly one-tenth of all its active duty soldiers.
Last Friday, the White House said it had evidence that Russia was sending undercover operatives into Ukraine to conduct false-flag operations against its own proxy-forces, staging a pretext for a full-scale invasion.
Denmark announced on Monday that it will send a frigate to the Baltic Sea and deploy four F-16 jets to Lithuania, whilst Spain has sent the frigate Blas de Lezo from Ferrol on its Atlantic coast to the Black Sea, several weeks ahead of schedule.
The US President is still weighing options, including deploying 5,000 troops to Eastern Europe.
On Friday, The US embassy in Kiev tweeted that Ukrainian forces had already received 200,000-pounds of lethal aid directed by President Biden.
Neighbouring Belarus’ President Alexander Lukashenko took a firm stance against the US and its allies, warning that he would deploy “an entire contingent” of his forces to the southern border in response to troop build-ups.
Writer: Luc Hillion
Photo Credits: Reuters Photo