US Ambassador in Ukraine Says Diplomats Evacuated Out of Caution

The United States ordered an evacuation of families of diplomats from Ukraine out of ‘abundance of caution,’ the embassy’s charge d’affairs, Kristina Kvien, said, reiterating Washington’s belief that Russia could attack any day now if it chose.

Even though Canada, Australia the United Kingdom, and Germany have since followed suit in various forms, most of the EU countries do not believe such a step is warranted, and EU diplomats warned that such measure could be interpreted as a sign that the West accepts a scenario of a possible Russian invasion.

Pointing that there’s nothing to suggest an immediate Russian attack, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell also called on the US on Monday to ‘stay calm’, noting at the same time that any withdrawal of foreign embassy personnel is sowing panic.

As Moscow masses over 100,000 troops near Ukraine’s borders, allegedly creating a threat of a possible Russian invasion, the US State Department ordered on Sunday diplomats’ families to leave and authorized non-emergency staff to depart if they choose- a move that Ukraine’s government has criticized as premature and excessively cautious.

Ukrainian officials, in general, are more skeptical that Russia will really go through with a major attack have been increasingly vocal in contesting the picture of an imminent attack coming from the US.

Kvien underscored that she believes Ukraine’s government and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy view the Russian threat seriously, but Zelenskyy has already urged Ukrainians not to panic, claiming the threat of Russian invasion is not worse now than when the conflict began in 2014.

US strong beliefs are supported by a $200 million security aid package it approved to help Ukraine deter Russia and defend itself and, the third batch of which- consisting of 276 Javelin anti-tank missiles, over 800 SMAW-D “bunker buster” missiles, 170, 000 rounds of 50-caliber ammunition and bomb disposal suits -.arrived in Ukraine on Tuesday.

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