US draws down Ukraine embassy presence as war fears mount

WASHINGTON (AP) – The State Department is ordering the families of all American personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv to leave the country and allowing non-essential staff to leave Ukraine.

The move comes amid heightened fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine despite talks between U.S. and Russian officials.

The State Department stresses that the Kyiv embassy will remain open and that the departure of families and some non-essential personnel is not an evacuation.

At the same time, officials are warning all Americans against travel to Ukraine as well as to Russia, pointing in part to tensions between those two countries and, in Russia, because of potential harassment of U.S. citizens.