US directs embassy staff members' family to leave Ukraine

WASHINGTON The US State Department has directed eligible family members of its embassy staff in Ukraine to depart the country.

According to US  news report, the State Department authorised the voluntary departure of US direct hire employees and ordered the departure of eligible family members from Embassy Kyiv on Monday. "US citizens currently residing in Ukraine should consider departing immediately via commercial or other privately available modes of transportation," it stated.

The authorised voluntary departure applies to non-essential US government employees, who now have the option of leaving Ukraine if they so desire, according to local media reports.

State Department officials stated that the actions were taken "out of an abundance of caution," but that the US would "not be in a position" to evacuate US citizens in the event of a Russian invasion of Ukraine. Russia has stationed approximately 100,000 troops near the neighbouring country's border.

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