Ukraine calls departure of US Embassy diplomats and families ‘premature’

24 January, 01:19 PM
The U.S. embassy in Kyiv office (Photo:Michael Bociurkiw/Twitter)

The U.S. embassy in Kyiv office (Photo:Michael Bociurkiw/Twitter)

Ukraine's Foreign Ministry has called the U.S. decision to evacuate the families of embassy staff from Ukraine "premature."

"While we respect right of foreign nations to ensure safety & security of their diplomatic missions, we believe such a step to be a premature one & an instance of excessive caution," Ukraine's Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko wrote on Twitter on Jan. 24.

The U.S. Embassy in Kyiv stated that they had issued voluntary evacuation orders for embassy staff, and mandatory evacuations for staff families on Jan. 24, though the Embassy stressed than it would be continuing business as normal despite the evacuations.

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Since late October, Russia has been massing troops at the Russian-Ukrainian border.

As of early December, about 100,000 Russian soldiers were deployed near the Russian-Ukrainian border and in the temporarily occupied territories in the Donbas, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said in Ukraine’s parliament on Dec. 3.

International media have speculated that Russia may invade Ukraine in early 2022, in an operation that could involve up to 200,000 Russian soldiers.

The Kremlin says the troop movements are an internal affair of the Russian Federation.

At the same time, Moscow has repeatedly accused Ukraine of planning “provocations,” and alleged that Kyiv plans to regain control of the occupied territories by military means. The Kremlin has failed to back up any of its allegations with evidence, however.

Russian troops have also been deployed to Belarus, as part of previously unscheduled ‘military exercises.’ However, Russian equipment has been spotted along the Ukrainian-Belarusian border, far from the announced zone of the ‘exercise’ area.

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