State Department tells Americans in Ukraine 'depart now,' U.S. won't evacuate citizens

"Military action may commence at any time and without warning," the agency warned.
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U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine, Jan. 24, 2022
U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine, Jan. 24, 2022
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

The U.S. State Department issued an updated warning on Thursday telling American citizens in Ukraine to "depart now via commercial or private means" due to the threat of a Russian incursion.

"U.S. citizens in Ukraine should be aware that the U.S. government will not be able to evacuate U.S. citizens in the event of Russian military action anywhere in Ukraine," the State Department wrote.

"Military action may commence at any time and without warning," the agency warned, noting that the security conditions are "unpredictable and can deteriorate with little notice."

On Jan. 23, the State Department ordered the families of embassy personnel to evacuate the country and embassy employees were given authorization to voluntarily leave.

"Do not travel to Ukraine due to the increased threats of Russian military action and COVID-19; those in Ukraine should depart now via commercial or private means," the government warns. "If remaining in Ukraine, exercise increased caution due to crime, civil unrest, and potential combat operations should Russia take military action."

U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents in Ukraine are asked to fill out a form to communicate with the State Department.

People who are unable to afford a ticket out of the country are able to apply for a federal loan to do so.

President Joe Biden directed the military to assist those fleeing Ukraine if Russia invades, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.

The United States has given $200 million in security aid to Ukriane, but it is unclear how much the assistance will help.

Earlier this week, a U.S. official told NBC News that an invasion would cause 50,000 civilian casualities within weeks, and Kyiv could be captured in as quickly as 48 hours.