Despite Ukraine and NATO agreeing that the threat of a Russian invasion is "low", the US State Department has cranked up the propaganda dial to '11' on the amplifier of fearmongering by issuing a "Level 4: Do Not Travel" advisory for US citizens in, or considering traveling to, Ukraine.
As a reminder, on Sunday Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba urged his fellow citizens to ignore "apocalyptic predictions" that a Russian invasion is imminent. Kuleba sought to calm his country by further saying, "Different capitals have different scenarios, but Ukraine is ready for any development." It reaffirms President Volodymyr Zelensky's words from a week ago saying there are "no tanks in the streets" and that foreign media must stop stoking unnecessary panic.
NATO's most senior military officer said Monday that in his assessment, Russia has yet to place enough of a troop force near Ukraine at this point for any kind of large-scale invasion...
Admiral Rob Bauer, NATO’s most senior military officer, said that Russia will have assembled enough military forces to potentially stage an operation against Ukraine at the end of February. But he added that officials cannot determine Putin’s intention or plans regarding Kyiv and that NATO doesn’t currently envision a direct threat to alliance members.
"Up until now, we don’t see an intent, we don’t expect an attack on NATO soil by Russia -– either directly or via Belarus," he said Monday at a news conference in Vilnius.
But, none of that matters to the US State Department:
Do not travel to Ukraine due to the increased threats of Russian military action and COVID-19; those in Ukraine should depart now via commercial or private means. If remaining in Ukraine, exercise increased caution due to crime, civil unrest, and potential combat operations should Russia take military action. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.
On January 23, 2022, the Department of State authorized the voluntary departure of U.S. direct hire employees (USDH) and ordered the departure of eligible family members (EFM) from Embassy Kyiv due to the continued threat of Russian military action. U.S. citizens should not travel to Ukraine, and those in Ukraine should depart now using commercial or other privately available transportation options.
There are continued reports of a Russian military build-up on the border with Ukraine, indicating potential for significant military action against Ukraine. The security conditions, particularly along Ukraine’s borders, in Russia-occupied Crimea, and in Russia-controlled eastern Ukraine, are unpredictable and can deteriorate with little notice. Demonstrations, which have turned violent at times, regularly occur throughout Ukraine, including in Kyiv.
U.S. citizens in Ukraine should be aware that the U.S. government will not be able to evacuate U.S. citizens in the event of Russian military action anywhere in Ukraine. Military action may commence at any time and without warning and would also severely impact the U.S. Embassy’s ability to provide consular services, including assistance to U.S. citizens in departing Ukraine. For more information, please review what the U.S. government can and cannot do to assist you in a crisis overseas.
The Department asks all U.S. citizens in Ukraine to complete an online form so that we may better communicate with you. This is especially important if you plan to remain in Ukraine.
Crimea – Do Not Travel
Russia occupies and has attempted to annex Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula, and there is extensive Russian Federation military presence in Crimea. Occupation authorities continue to abuse and arbitrarily imprison foreigners and the local population, particularly individuals who are seen as opposing Russia’s occupation of the peninsula. The U.S. government prohibits its employees from traveling to Crimea and is unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Crimea.
Donetsk and Luhansk – Do Not Travel
Russia-led forces control areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, where the ongoing armed conflict has resulted in more than 14,000 deaths. Individuals, including U.S. citizens, have been threatened, detained, or kidnapped for hours or days after being stopped at checkpoints controlled by Russia-led forces. The U.S. government restricts USDH from traveling to the eastern parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts and adjacent regions, which limits the ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in these regions.
Crime targeting foreigners and property is common. Politically targeted assassinations and bombings have also occurred. There are reports of violent attacks on minority groups and police by radical groups.
So, after seeing inflation hit a 40 year high (after saying he would control it) and various establishment types starting to flip-flop on the most draconian and anti-science COVID containment policies, President Biden needs something, anything, to get his approval rating back above 40 (a record low for him)... and it appears that 'fear' is the unifier of choice. in this case of Russia.
Biden followed this warning up with an interview with NBC News’ anchor Lester Holt, saying that "American citizens should leave now."
“It’s not like we’re dealing with a terrorist organization. We’re dealing with one of the largest armies in the world. It’s a very different situation and things could go crazy quickly.”
Holt asked Biden what scenario could prompt him to send troops to rescue Americans fleeing the country. Biden replied:
“There’s not. That's a world war when Americans and Russia start shooting at one another.”
"We’re in a very different world than we’ve ever been," he added.
Be afraid. Be very afraid.