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WASHINGTON – The State Department recommended Sunday that all U.S. citizens in Ukraine depart the country immediately, citing Russia’s extraordinary military buildup on the border.
“Our recommendation to U.S. citizens currently in Ukraine is that they should consider departing now using commercial or privately available transportation options,” a senior State Department official said Sunday evening on a call with reporters.
For months, the West has watched an extraordinary deployment of Russian forces and equipment to its border with Ukraine.
The buildup has evoked Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea, a peninsula on the Black Sea, which sparked an international uproar and triggered a series of sanctions against Moscow. The seizure of Crimea also saw Russia’s removal from the Group of 8, or G-8, referring to the eight major global economies.
“The security conditions, particularly along Ukraine’s border and in Russian-occupied Crimea and in Russia-controlled eastern Ukraine are unpredictable and can deteriorate with little notice,” added the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to share details.