In a message that harkens back to Joe Biden’s disastrous withdrawal of US military forces from Afghanistan, the administration warns citizens that the federal government “will not be in a position” to help them evacuate from Ukraine if Russia invades.
In response to the Russian positioning of troops and equipment along the Ukrainian border and stalled diplomatic efforts, the State Department has ordered the evacuation of family members of all diplomats deployed in the country. It has authorized the departure of some other government employees.
On Sunday, the State Department updated the current travel advisory status of “Do Not Travel” to Ukraine by advising US citizens that the government would be unavailable to help with evacuation in a Russian invasion.
The advisory told citizens to “plan accordingly,” including commercial transportation to leave Ukraine. The State Department echoed the same advisory in a press conference call, emphasizing that the Embassy in Kyiv has already had family members evacuated.
Media commentators have reacted harshly to the lack of effort by the Biden Administration to get Americans who might be trapped in war zones to safety while there is time. The comparisons to the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan are also being made, remembering the hundreds or thousands of Americans left stranded behind Taliban lines.
Institute for the Study of War Chief of Staff Jennifer Cafarella referred to the news with, “Twice in less than six months.”
Reporting based on UK intelligence indicates that Russian President Vladimir Putin plans to install a government in Ukraine that is obedient to the Kremlin. Former member of the Ukrainian parliament Yavheniy Murayev has been identified as the leading candidate to be Putin’s choice to lead some new government.
The Biden Administration has reportedly ordered up to 8,500 US troops to be on alert in Eastern Europe to anticipate potential action in Ukraine. Meanwhile, officials in Ukraine have expressed dismay at Biden’s weak statements in a press conference last week at which he seemed willing to accept some “minor incursion” by Russian forces. Biden was slammed for giving Putin a “green light” to invade when he pleases.