According to the Department of State estimates, about 6.6 thousand U.S. citizens live in Ukraine on a permanent basis, including people with citizenship of both countries

The White House stressed that the administration still has no plans to carry out a mass and centralized evacuation of Americans from Ukraine due to the threat of a Russian invasion. However, the recommendations given by the Department of State, which are, however, optional for execution, are unambiguous: the diplomatic department advised U.S. citizens a few weeks ago to leave the country whose security is now threatened by Russia.

Answering a journalist’s question about what could happen to Americans in the event of an invasion who do not follow the recommendations and remain in Ukraine, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki stressed that Washington and its allies “do not yet know whether President Putin has made a decision to invade,” refusing to comment on the latest reports of the American intelligence community.

However, as Psaki recalled, the Department of State and President Joe Biden have been trying for several weeks to convey a warning about the security threat to all Americans permanently residing in Ukraine. According to approximate estimates of the Department of State, about 6.6 thousand U.S. citizens, including people with dual citizenship, currently live in this country.

“People should understand that the United States does not usually conduct mass evacuations. Of course, the situation in Afghanistan was unique for many reasons, including because it was the end of a 20-year war. We were ending the war; we were not trying to prevent the war, as in this case,” Psaki said. “There are a number of ways in which Americans can leave Ukraine [privately], and we encourage them to do just that.”

Psaki stressed that the current recommendations of the Department of State are much more similar to the recommendations issued for U.S. citizens living in Ethiopia or Kazakhstan, where “security-threatening circumstances have arisen on the ground in recent months.” Drawing parallels with Afghanistan, according to Psaki, is inappropriate in the case of Ukraine.

However, if the invasion does take place, then American diplomatic missions, not only in Ukraine, but also in neighboring countries, “are always available to U.S. citizens if they need help,” Jen Psaki said.