United States Orders All But Key Personnel to Leave Embassy in Ukraine

Biden and Putin are talking to try to avert a potential invasion of Ukraine.

A boy plays with snow while local residents conduct military defense training in Kyiv, Ukraine, last month.Efrem Lukatsky/AP

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The State Department has ordered all but a “core team” to leave its embassy in Ukraine, the New York Times reports. The State Department is also telling US citizens to leave Ukraine immediately. The moves come as US officials warn that Russian President Vladimir Putin could order an invasion of Ukraine “at any time.”

Putin and President Joe Biden began talks on Saturday as part of an effort to avert a Russian invasion. Initially, US officials suggested that Putin would wait until the Olympics ended next week before attacking Ukraine to avoid antagonizing China, a key ally. They are now saying that an attack could happen during the Olympics.

Putin has denied that he plans to attack Ukraine, while also amassing more than 100,000 troops along the Russia-Ukraine border. Russian officials have accused American officials of waging a “large-scale disinformation campaign” about their alleged plans to attack Ukraine. 

If US officials are misreading Russia’s strategy, it wouldn’t be the first major intelligence failure in recent history. Shoddy intelligence reports led to a catastrophic invasion of Iraq that led to hundreds of thousands deaths, as well as the rise of ISIS. Last year, US intelligence officials failed to predict the imminent collapse of Afghanistan’s government. That has led to tens of thousands of Afghanis being stranded after helping the United States over the course of a two-decade war.

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Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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