US embassy in Kyiv orders non-emergency staff to leave Ukraine

According to SPIEGEL information, both the US secret service CIA and the US military informed the Federal Government and other NATO states over the course of Friday that, based on new information, there were fears that the attack could take place as early as next Wednesday, February 16.

According to several diplomats and military officials, the United States gave many details about the secret briefings. Routes for the Russian invasion were specifically described, as well as individual Russian units and what tasks they were to take on. February 16 was given as the possible date for the start of the invasion.

President Biden spoke with President Vladimir Putin today to make clear that if Russia further invades Ukraine, the U.S. and our allies will impose swift and severe costs on Russia. President Biden urged President Putin to engage in de-escalation and diplomacy instead.

The White House

US embassy in Kyiv orders non-emergency staff to leave Ukraine

Do not travel to Ukraine due to the increased threats of Russian military action and COVID-19; those in Ukraine should depart immediately via commercial or private means. If remaining in Ukraine, exercise increased caution due to crime, civil unrest, and potential combat operations should Russia take military action. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

On February 12, 2022, the Department of State ordered the departure of most U.S. direct hire employees from Embassy Kyiv due to the continued threat of Russian military action. U.S. citizens should not travel to Ukraine, and those in Ukraine should depart immediately using commercial or other privately available transportation options. The Department previously authorized the voluntary departure of U.S. direct hire employees and ordered the departure of eligible family members on January 23, 2022.

As of Sunday, February 13, 2022, the Department of State will suspend consular services at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv. The Embassy will maintain a small consular presence in Lviv, Ukraine to handle emergencies, but will not be able to provide passport, visa or routine consular services. U.S. citizens may seek these services at U.S. Embassies in neighboring countries. U.S. citizens seeking emergency assistance in Ukraine should complete this online form and the State Department will respond.

U.S. citizens who decide to remain in Ukraine and who do not depart immediately as advised, should also complete this online form so that we may better communicate with you.

There are continued reports of a Russian military build-up on the border with Ukraine, indicating potential for significant military action against Ukraine. The security conditions, particularly along Ukraine’s borders, in Russia-occupied Crimea, and in Russia-controlled eastern Ukraine, are unpredictable and can deteriorate with little notice. Demonstrations, which have turned violent at times, regularly occur throughout Ukraine, including in Kyiv.

U.S. citizens in Ukraine should be aware that the U.S. Government will not be able to evacuate U.S. citizens in the event of Russian military action anywhere in Ukraine. Military action may commence at any time and without warning and would also severely impact the U.S. Embassy’s ability to provide consular services, including assistance to U.S. citizens in departing Ukraine. For more information, please review what the U.S. government can and cannot do to assist you in a crisis overseas.

Crimea – Do Not Travel

Russia occupies and has attempted to annex Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula, and there is extensive Russian Federation military presence in Crimea. Occupation authorities continue to abuse and arbitrarily imprison foreigners and the local population, particularly individuals who are seen as opposing Russia’s occupation of the peninsula. The U.S. government prohibits its employees from traveling to Crimea and is unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Crimea.

Donetsk and Luhansk – Do Not Travel

Russia-led forces control areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, where the ongoing armed conflict has resulted in more than 14,000 deaths. Individuals, including U.S. citizens, have been threatened, detained, or kidnapped for hours or days after being stopped at checkpoints controlled by Russia-led forces. The U.S. government restricts U.S. direct hire employees from traveling to the eastern parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts and adjacent regions, which limits the ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in these regions.

Crime targeting foreigners and property is common. Politically targeted assassinations and bombings have also occurred. There are reports of violent attacks on minority groups and police by radical groups.

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