CNN reported Tuesday that the Biden administration may consider evacuating Americans from Ukraine in case of a Russian offensive.
Six sources have told the network that the Pentagon is the leader of contingency planning.
Victoria Nuland, a State Department official, revealed the plan Monday during a Senate briefing. She also described a number of prepared sanctions that the Biden administration had issued.
John Kirby, Pentagon press secretary, stated that the Department of Defense was a planning organization. He said that they must be prepared for all contingencies. We think about many scenarios and do a lot. There is no signal of civilian evacuation in Ukraine and it would be incorrect to assume that the Pentagon is actively preparing for them.
Officials in the United States aren’t sure if Russian President Vladimir Putin intends to invade neighboring states.
“We don’t know that Putin has made up his mind to use force, but what we do know is that he’s putting the Russian military, the Russian security forces in a place where they could act in a pretty sweeping way,” CIA Director Bill Burns said at a Wall Street Journal CEO Council Summit on Monday.
Officials reassured the public that any possible evacuation from Ukraine would not be like the U.S. attempt to evacuate all Americans from Afghanistan earlier in the year.
The news comes just days after The Washington Post reported that U.S. intelligence had revealed that Russia was assembling 175,000 troops to fight a multi-front war against Ukraine. This could happen as early as next year.
According to the Brookings Institution, Russia had annexed Crimea from Ukraine in March 2014. This was in response to the chaos caused by Russian-speaking separatists in Donbas. Russia was expelled from the international Group of Eight (G8) after the annexation became illegal internationally.