US orders family members of embassy staff to leave Ukraine

Villagers, dressed as soldiers, guard a check point during Malanka celebrations near the village of Krasnoilsk, Ukraine, Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022. (ETHAN SWOPE / AP)

WASHINGTON – The US State Department on Sunday ordered eligible family members of staff at its embassy in Ukraine to leave the country. 

The State Department said in a statement that it authorized the voluntary departure of US direct hire employees and ordered the departure of eligible family members from Embassy Kyiv. 

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“US citizens in Ukraine should consider departing now using commercial or other privately available transportation options,” it said. 

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The authorized voluntary departure applies to non-essential US government employees, who now have the option to leave Ukraine if they wish, reported local media.