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U.S. Embassy in Ukraine Tells Citizens to 'Consider Departing Now'

A woman pushes a stroller past the U.S. embassy in Kyiv. Sergei Supinsky / AFP

The U.S. embassy in Ukraine on Wednesday urged its citizens in the ex-Soviet country to "consider departing now" as fears grow over a possible Russian invasion.

"The U.S. embassy urges U.S. citizens in Ukraine to consider departing now using commercial or other privately available transportation options," the embassy said in a statement, warning that the security situation "can deteriorate with little notice."

Kyiv and the West have accused Russia of massing tens of thousands of troops on the Ukrainian border in preparation for a possible invasion. 

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said Wednesday the United States believes Russian President Vladimir Putin remains poised to use force against Ukraine "perhaps (between) now and the middle of February" despite a pressure campaign to stop him.

"U.S. citizens wishing to depart Ukraine currently have multiple options via commercial flights from all Ukrainian international airports," the embassy said.

Washington had earlier authorized the "voluntary" departure of non-essential embassy staff.

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