The United States has decided to temporarily withdraw its 160 military instructors from Ukraine for “personnel security,” Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby posts on Twitter.
According to him, the troops will be repositioned within Europe, but it was not clear exactly where. These are representatives of the Florida National Guard, who have been in Ukraine since November to provide advisory assistance to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. It is not yet clear what will happen to the small number of U.S. special forces currently stationed in Ukraine.
At the same time, the Pentagon says the withdrawal of U.S. troops will not change the United States’ determination to support Ukrainian armed forces.
In addition, the U.S. Department of State ordered diplomats who hold non-critical positions to leave the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv. Consular services at the embassy have been suspended since 13 February.
According to media reports, British troops helping with training in Ukraine are also leaving the country.
According to UK Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Armed Forces James Heappey, the small number of UK personnel sent to train Ukrainian troops on anti-tank missiles would be withdrawn, alongside about 100 helping with wider troop training as part of Operation Orbital.
Earlier, the governments of many countries recommended that their citizens leave Ukraine due to the high likelihood of a full-scale invasion by the Russian Federation. Among these countries were the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, Australia, the Netherlands, Montenegro, Israel, Latvia, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Sweden, and Kuwait. South Korea classified Ukraine as a territory with a red level of danger and banned its nationals from traveling to the country. Some countries express concern about the growing tension in the region and do not recommend tourism and other non-urgent trips to Ukraine.