Families of US embassy staff in Ukraine will be ordered by the State Department to evacuate as soon as Monday, according to reports as Russian warfare continues to rise.
Other Americans in Ukraine next week will be urged to flee the threatened country via commercial flights, federal officials told Fox News on Saturday – “while still available,” an ominous one said.
The looming evacuation orders came as Ukraine accepted 200,000 pounds of US small arms and ammunition Friday night – the first installment of up to $ 75 million in lethal assistance promised by the United States to counter Russia’s threatening build – up of troops along Ukraine’s eastern border.
“The shipment – and $ 2.7 billion USD since 2014 – shows the US commitment to help Ukraine strengthen its defenses in the face of growing Russian aggression,” the US Embassy in Kiev tweeted late Friday – together with pictures of large pallets of military green containers unloaded at an airport.
The delivery came amid a series of tweets from Foreign Minister Antony Blinken promising US support for his beleagured ally – a few days after President Joe Biden triggered alarms with direct comments that minimized a possible Russian invasion.
“I’m #StandWithUkraine,” blinked tweeted Saturday. “@StateDept stands with Ukraine. The United States stands with Ukraine.”
Blinken also thanked the three Baltic nations who plan to send their stockpiles of US-made Javelin anti-tank weapons and Stinger air defense systems to Kiev to help with Ukraine’s defense efforts.
“I accelerated and endorsed, and we fully support transfers of defense equipment” from NATO allies Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, spark tweeted. “We pay tribute to them for their many years of support for Ukraine.”
Blinken’s remarks came just hours after his 90-minute meeting in Geneva with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov ended in a stalemate as Lavrov continued to insist Russia has no plans to attack.
The Kremlin has warned against NATO’s efforts to strengthen Ukraine’s arsenal – but continues to rally up to 100,000 troops in the region.
The Russian military has deployed advanced fighter jets in Belarus, just north of Ukraine, and is raising fears in the Pentagon that Kiev is “now at the crossroads,” a U.S. official told Fox News. Russian troops have drilled with allies there – and the Belarusian border is only 56 miles from Kiev at its nearest location, the Sunday Times of London reported.
Russia’s military is overpowering Ukraine so much that the weapons made available are mostly symbolic, the magazine reported, referring to Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Jimmy Carter’s late adviser, who once said: “Without Ukraine, Russia will stop being an empire, but with Ukraine subordinate and then subordinate to Russia. automatically becomes an empire. “
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said earlier this week that shipments of weapons “do nothing to reduce tensions.”
The bite was gathered Saturday with advisers at Camp David, the president’s retreat.
The United States has rejected Moscow’s demand for a promise that Ukraine will never be allowed to join NATO, and a promise that the Western European allies will withdraw their forces from Central and Eastern Europe.
Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, 45, said the United States passively “accepted.”[ing] Putin’s agenda. Like a frightened schoolboy who has been bullied by an upper-class man. “
“Time and time again, the West is falling into Putin’s traps,” the imprisoned activist wrote in a letter smuggled out of prison to Time. “He makes some insane, ridiculous demands, like the latest ones, about how he and Biden should sit down in a smoky room and decide Europe’s fate, as if we were back in 1944. And if the United States does not. He agrees. ‘pulls something’. ”
With Post wires