United States Orders All But Key Personnel to Leave Embassy in Ukraine

Biden and Putin are talking to try to avert a potential invasion of Ukraine.

A boy plays with snow while local residents conduct military defense training in Kyiv, Ukraine, last month.Efrem Lukatsky/AP

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The State Department has ordered all but a “core team” to leave its embassy in Ukraine, the New York Times reports. The State Department is also telling US citizens to leave Ukraine immediately. The moves come as US officials warn that Russian President Vladimir Putin could order an invasion of Ukraine “at any time.”

Putin and President Joe Biden began talks on Saturday as part of an effort to avert a Russian invasion. Initially, US officials suggested that Putin would wait until the Olympics ended next week before attacking Ukraine to avoid antagonizing China, a key ally. They are now saying that an attack could happen during the Olympics.

Putin has denied that he plans to attack Ukraine, while also amassing more than 100,000 troops along the Russia-Ukraine border. Russian officials have accused American officials of waging a “large-scale disinformation campaign” about their alleged plans to attack Ukraine. 

If US officials are misreading Russia’s strategy, it wouldn’t be the first major intelligence failure in recent history. Shoddy intelligence reports led to a catastrophic invasion of Iraq that led to hundreds of thousands deaths, as well as the rise of ISIS. Last year, US intelligence officials failed to predict the imminent collapse of Afghanistan’s government. That has led to tens of thousands of Afghanis being stranded after helping the United States over the course of a two-decade war.

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

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Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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