US draws down Ukraine embassy presence as war fears mount

The State Department ordered families of all American personnel at the U.S. embassy in Ukraine to leave the country. Tensions are rising over Russia's military buildup on the Ukraine border.

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World News

January 24, 2022 - 9:09 AM

Ukrainian service members walk in a trench on their position on the front line with Russia-backed separatists near the small town of Svitlodarsk, in Donetsk region, on Dec. 18, 2021. Photo by (Anatolii Stepanov/AFP/Getty Images/TNS)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The State Department on Sunday ordered the families of all American personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine to leave the country amid heightened fears of a Russian invasion.

The department told the dependents of staffers at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv that they must leave the country. It also said that non-essential embassy staff could leave Ukraine at government expense.

The move came amid rising tensions about Russia’s military buildup on the Ukraine border that were not eased during talks Friday between Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Geneva. 

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