The U.S. Secretary of Defense ordered the temporary relocation of employees of the Florida National Guard from Ukraine, Pentagon Spokesman John Kirby said.
He noted that the decision was dictated by concern for the safety of employees and was taken “as a precaution.”
“We remain committed to our relationship with the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” Kirby added on Twitter.
160 employees of the Florida National Guard have been in Ukraine since November. “They are leaving Ukraine and will be transferred to other locations in Europe,” the Pentagon said in a statement.
On Saturday, the U.S. Department of State also ordered the evacuation of employees of the American diplomatic mission in Kyiv, who do not hold critical positions, in connection with the build-up of the Russian military presence on the border with Ukraine. Also on Saturday, Australia announced the evacuation of its diplomatic mission in Kyiv and the temporary transfer of the embassy’s activities to Lviv.
Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands on Saturday joined the countries that called on their citizens to leave Ukraine. Washington said on Friday that a Russian invasion, including an air attack, could happen at any time.