The United States is relocating its Ukraine embassy operations from the capital Kyiv to the western city of Lviv, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Monday, citing a “dramatic acceleration in the buildup of Russian forces.”
The move comes as U.S. officials warned that Moscow was continuing to amass more than 100,000 troops near Russia’s border with Ukraine and in neighboring Belarus, and could at any time launch a devastating attack, including on Kyiv. Moscow denies Western accusations that it is planning an invasion.
“An incursion into Ukraine could entail massive violence, massive destruction, and the loss of life would not discriminate between Americans, Ukrainians” or others, State Department spokesman Ned Price told a news briefing.
Blinken said in a statement that the decision to move the embassy operations to Lviv – roughly 50 miles (80 km) from Ukraine’s western border with Poland – was taken out of concern for the safety of the staff.
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