United States Department of State give a warning Tuesday urged Americans in Ukraine to leave the country immediately, citing concerns that Russia would increase missile attacks.
The US Embassy in Kyiv said on its website: “The State Department has information that Russia is stepping up efforts to conduct attacks against Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure and government facilities. in the coming days”. “Russian attacks in Ukraine pose a continuing threat to civilians and civilian infrastructure.”
The embassy urges US citizens to depart “now” using available private ground transportation where possible.
The warning comes amid an outcry in Russia over the car bombing that killed a hardline Russian commentator on the outskirts of Moscow on Saturday. Hundreds of people lined up on Tuesday to pay their respects to Darya Dugina, 29, the daughter of Russian right-wing political philosopher Alexander Dugin, who is widely believed to be the intended target.
Ukraine banned large public gatherings that were scheduled for Wednesday, Ukraine’s Independence Day, marking its breakaway from the Soviet Union.
“The security situation across Ukraine is volatile and conditions may deteriorate without warning,” the US embassy statement said. “US citizens should remain vigilant and take appropriate steps to raise their security awareness.”
►No breakthrough came after the meeting between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, like the conflict with Russia reached the six-month mark with no end in sight.
► The 25th grain cargo ship has left Ukraine under an agreement with Russia brokered by Turkey and the United Nations to block Ukrainian ports, according to Agence France-Presse.
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Dennis Rodman has once again intruded into American diplomatic relations, this time in an attempt to free the imprisoned WNBA star Brittney Griner. He told NBC News he plans to travel to Russia to “help that girl.” However, his contributions to the negotiations – if Russia even chooses to pay attention to him – will be little, or even potentially damaging, to Griner’s case, experts say.
Rodman, the enigmatic three-time NBA champion and Hall of Famer, made his first foray into peace efforts with America’s adversaries by sticking with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un over basketball. The current task will be to negotiate with Russia to free Griner, who was convicted of drug charges and sentenced to nine years in prison earlier this month (She is currently appealing).
State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters that Rodman would not travel on behalf of the US government and that “anything other than further negotiations through the established channel would likely complicate and hinder liberating efforts.” Read more here.
– Chris Bumbaca, USA TODAY
Contribution: Associated Press