Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: U.S. Orders Most Embassy Staff Out of Ukraine

The U.S. said intelligence indicates Russia may attack Ukraine before the Beijing Winter Olympics end on Feb. 20. Presidents Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin will speak on Saturday, as will the countries’ top diplomats. The U.S. State Department has ordered “non-emergency U.S. employees” at the embassy in Kyiv to depart, and consular services at the embassy will be suspended as of Sunday. (https://finance.yahoo.com/news/lavrov-blinken-talks-kyiv-embassy-082132075.html) A small consular presence will continue in Lviv, in far western Ukraine, to handle emergences. Saturday’s order covers most direct-hire U.S. employees. Some countries are advising their citizens to leave Ukraine. Russia says it’s “optimizing” staff at its Ukrainian missions.

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