White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Monday told Americans to leave Ukraine amid Russian aggression.
“We are conveying to American citizens that they should leave now,” Psaki doubled down during the White House’s daily press briefing.
Psaki would not comment on whether Americans remaining in Ukraine were on their own.
Meanwhile, a source close to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told BuzzFeed on Monday that Americans were less safe from Democrat-controlled cities than they are in the Ukrainian city of Kyiv.
“The fact that the US was the first one to announce this is extremely disappointing and quite frankly these Americans are safer in Kyiv than they are in Los Angeles … or any other crime-ridden city in the US,” the source reportedly said.
Over the weekend, Biden authorized the departure of U.S. embassy employees in Ukraine and ordered their family members to leave the country amid threats of Russian aggression.
Biden also sent “lethal aid” to Ukraine and deployed the USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier to the Mediterranean. NATO also deployed ships and fighter jets to the region.
REPORTER: "Has President Biden made a final decision about deploying more troops to Eastern Europe?"
PSAKI: "We have been…refining plans for all scenarios.” pic.twitter.com/8ixEvnSxbo
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) January 24, 2022
On Monday, the Pentagon announced about 8,500 U.S. troops would remain on alert to deploy to eastern Europe.
Psaki’s comments come as President Biden pivoted last week from domestic challenges of inflation, high crime, and coronavirus chaos to foreign policy matters.
Telling reporters he may permit Russia to make a “minor incursion” into Ukraine, Biden also predicted Russian President Vladimir Putin would invade Ukraine.
Russia and Ukraine have contested land claims dating back decades.
Russia is threatening Ukraine with its military as it works with Germany to sell oil via the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, circumventing Ukrainian energy markets.
Germany, a NATO member, has reportedly denied pleas from the Biden administration to oppose Russian aggression towards Ukraine. But those pleas have gone unheard.