Feb. 25 (UPI) — The U.S. Embassy in Ukraine warned Americans in the country to seek shelter during the “highly volatile” invasion of the country.”
The security situation throughout Ukraine remains highly volatile, and conditions may deteriorate without warning. U.S. citizens should remain vigilant and know the location of your closest shelter or protected space,” the embassy tweeted.
Embassy officials said in a statement that it has issued a Level 4: Do Not Travel advisory to U.S. citizens “due to armed conflict and COVID-19.”
“U.S. citizens in Ukraine should depart immediately if it is safe to do so using any commercial or other privately available ground transportation options,” the statement reads.
The embassy said that the U.S. government “will not be able to evacuate U.S. citizens from Ukraine.”
However, people requiring assistance can receive consular services such as repatriation loans and visa and passport services in neighboring countries.
The Chinese embassy in Ukraine encouraged its citizens in the country to “avoid disputes” with Ukrainians while reversing previous guidance to display a Chinese flag on cars when driving in Ukraine, The New York Times reported.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said late on Friday that Russian troops had targeted orphanages and schools while moving toward Kyiv. He also warned that Russia would try an assault on Kyiv overnight night and that “each civilian should be as careful as possible.”
Gunfire was heard in Kyiv around 5:45 a.m. local time while the mayor of Vasilkiv, about 22 miles south of the capital, was withstanding heavy fighting with more than 200 injuries, CNN reported.
Late Friday, President Joe Biden issued a memorandum granting Secretary of State Antony Blinken authority to fulfill requirements of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 “in order to provide immediate military assistance to Ukraine.”
According to the memorandum, Blinken will determine whether the U.S. will provide up to $250 million to help Ukraine’s military.