The U.S. was evacuating State Department personnel from Ukraine due to security concerns on Monday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced after Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized two breakaway “republics” in the country’s east.
Driving the news: The U.S. last week moved embassy operations from Kyiv to Lviv, western Ukraine. Blinken said he was “again taking action for the safety and security of U.S. citizens, including our personnel.” “For security reasons, Department of State personnel currently in Lviv will spend the night in Poland,” he added in his statement.
- Putin’s actions Monday, including ordering Russian troops to conduct operations in the occupied Ukrainian territories, marked “a major escalation” in the crisis and “another indication that Russia is seeking war, not diplomacy,” a State Department spokesperson said in an emailed statement.
- The U.S. and its allies were “committed to finding a diplomatic resolution” in the coming hours, however, “diplomacy cannot succeed unless Russia changes course,” the spokesperson added — as the UN Security Council prepared to hold an emergency meeting on the matter.
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