Americans Trapped in War Between Russia and Ukraine Won't be Rescued by the U.S. Military, White House says

Americans Trapped in War Between Russia and Ukraine Won't be Rescued by the U.S. Military, White House says

On Friday, the White House delivered its sternest warning to American civilians in Ukraine: Get out now because the U.S. military will not assist in your rescue if Russia invades.

At a press briefing on the latest tensions in the Middle East, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said, "We can't predict the future, of course, and we don't know exactly what's going to happen. But the risk now appears high."

Over the last two months, Ukrainian officials have been preparing for another possible military conflict with Russia.

U.S. and NATO officials have repeatedly warned Russian leaders that any new invasion into Ukraine would have "severe consequences," including economic and political sanctions. Joe Biden has also said he won't get involved in a direct military fight with Russia.

White House officials believe that an invasion "could begin at any moment," contrary to past reports that said Russia wouldn't consider a military advance until the end of the month. 

However, Sullivan points out that they aren't sure if Russian President Vladimir Putin has decided.

Kyiv says Russia isn't ready to launch a "massive" attack, a Ukrainian official told Military Times.

According to the official, no changes have been made other than increasing the number of battalion tactical groups around Ukraine and keeping diplomatic and political pressure on. As reasons, he cited whether that doesn't allow armor vehicles to move, U.S. and allied diplomacy, regional military movements, and internal Russian discord and fear of war.

In recent weeks, the White House has sent about 3,000 American troops into the region. Also, four Navy destroyers have been deployed to support NATO allies in the 6th Fleet area.

According to Sullivan on Friday, Americans in Ukraine should not consider those moves to guarantee that they will be able to evacuate safely if Russia attacks.

State Department officials ordered U.S. embassy staff out of Ukraine amid safety concerns. The U.S. Embassy in Kiev is now assisting American citizens experiencing difficulty leaving the nation, as reported to White House press secretary Jen Psaki.

The U.S. government doesn't require Americans to register their movements with officials, so it doesn't know precisely how many Americans are in Ukraine right now. He warned, however, that all citizens of the country are at risk.

"If Russia attacks Ukraine, it's likely to start with aerial bombing and missile strikes, and they'll kill civilians no matter where they come from," he said. 

Once military action got underway, no one could rely on air, rail, or road transportation.

As he assembles more than 100,000 troops near the Ukrainian border, Putin insists that he does not have plans on invading Ukraine and that the military moves are designed to counter growing NATO threats on the Russian border.