U.S. troops withdraw from Ukraine amid warnings of an imminent Russian invasion

U.S. troops withdraw from Ukraine amid warnings of an imminent Russian invasion

U.S. forces are withdrawing from Ukraine as U.S. officials grow increasingly concerned about an impending Russian invasion.

In a statement released Saturday morning, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said 160 soldiers from the Florida National Guard, the only known U.S. forces in the country, are being moved elsewhere in Europe.

These forces, assigned to the 53rd Infantry Combat Brigade, were part of a pre-planned training mission with Ukrainian forces, mainly operating far from the country's borders where Russian President Vladimir Putin has amassed some 130,000 soldiers. U.S. forces from different units have been in rotation to train the Ukrainian army since 2015, with Florida soldiers arriving in November as Russian troops piled in.

Biden vowed that U.S. forces would not fight in Ukraine, which is not a member of NATO. But the news comes as thousands of American soldiers, along with pressures from other European powers, including the United Kingdom and France, are massing to bolster NATO's eastern flank.

The Biden administration continues to escalate its warning of the possibility of war.

A senior State Department official declared that it was time for Americans to leave Ukraine, saying that routine embassy services, such as assistance in issuing passports, in Kyiv would be suspended on Sunday as the senior staff was evacuated.

"It seems increasingly likely that this situation is heading toward active conflict...there are limits efforts to what we can do in a war zone," the senior State Department official told reporters.

On Friday, President Joe Biden ordered an additional 3,000 paratroopers from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to Poland. Together with the original 1,700 mobilizations earlier this month, these forces are expected to be deployed within a few days. Nearly 1,000 American soldiers from the 2nd Cavalry Regiment, Stryker Squadron based in Germany, are deploying to Romania.

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