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US orders American diplomats, citizens out of Ukraine

US orders American diplomats, citizens out of Ukraine

Washington: The United States of America has announced that it will has given the order to allow it's Kyiv-based diplomats, their family members as well as US citizens to leave Ukraine as tensions mount over Russian troops on its eastern borders.

"Military action by Russia could come at any time," the U.S. Embassy said in a statement. Officials "will not be in a position to evacuate American citizens in such a contingency, so U.S. citizens currently present in Ukraine should plan accordingly," it added.

The US has now made it clear that it expects Moscow to order an invasion of Ukraine much like it did in the Crimean peninsula in 2014. Over 100,000 troops are massed on the borders with Ukraine, with Russia denying attempts of military incursion.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby on Friday said that the US was "going to make sure that we have options ready to reassure our allies, particularly on NATO's Eastern Flank." The remarks came after a New York Times report which said that President Joe Biden was considering putting troops on the ground.

"If there's another incursion and if they need that reassurance, if they need the capabilities to be bolstered, we're going to do that and we're going to make sure that we're ready to do that," Kirby said.

America has so far only sent military aid to Ukraine, a contentious issue with Russia which has sought reassurance that American weapons will not be used against it from Ukranian soil.

Adding further fuel to the fire, British intelligence agencies on Sunday alleged that Russia was in close contact with four former Ukranian diplomats who were residing in Russia and that it had plans to install one of them - Yevhen Murayev - at the head of a pro-Russia government in Ukraine's capital, Kyiv. The Russian Foreign Ministry rubbished these claims and countered that they were "disinformation".

The United States has sent military assistance to Ukraine but has so far held back from sending American personnel.

On Sunday, Germany Navy chief Vice Admiral Kay-Achim Schönbach tendered his resignation after making several controversial remarks on Ukraine and Russia during a visit to India. Schönbach was quoted as saying that Crimea was 'irrecoverable' and that perhaps Putin deserved a bit of the 'respect' he had been asking Western nations for.

Schönbach's remarks were condemned by Ukraine and the German government, which refuses to recognise Russian occupation of Crimea, distanced itself from his statements.

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