According to U.S. officials, the State Department ordered U.S. Embassy families to evacuate Ukraine as quickly as possible.
The department is also expected to tell Americans in the country next week to leave via commercial flights ‘while those are still available,’ an official told Fox News.
The order comes after U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met in Geneva on Friday for crunch talks over the Ukraine crisis.
Volodymyr Zeleskiy, Ukrainian President, predicted that Russia would wage a large-scale war if it attempted to seize Kharkiv (an industrial hub in Kharkiv). He claims Kharkiv has a Russian-speaking majority and is therefore a potential target.
Blinken claimed that the negotiations with America’s former Cold War adversary were not successful in order to avoid an impending conflict with Ukraine.
Kharkiv in Eastern Ukraine is the second largest city of the ex-Soviet republic, with an estimated population of 1.4 million. Zelenskiy considers it a feasible target for Vladimir Putin.
Blinken insisting on a “severe” response was a day after President Joe Biden received widespread criticism for saying that retaliation will depend on the details and that a “minor intrusion” could cause discord among Western allies.
Biden warned that Russian troops crossing Ukraine’s borders would be considered an invasion, and Moscow would have to pay a heavy price for this.