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Most U.S. embassy diplomats continue to work in Kyiv

Most employees of the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv continue to work despite the State Department's decision allowing U.S. government employees to leave Ukraine.

According to Ukrinform, CNN correspondent Natasha Bertrand CNN, who covers U.S. national security issues in the White House, announced this on Twitter.

"A vast majority of US personnel at the US Embassy in Kyiv are staying at the post and are not taking advantage of voluntary departure, a source familiar told CNN Tuesday. Families still ordered to leave," she wrote.

The head of the Ukrainian President's Office, Andriy Yermak, responded to her post, thanking U.S. diplomats for such a show of support.

"Thank you, dear American friends. We very much appreciate your choice to stay and support us, despite having to be separated from your loved ones. Such a display of support speaks volumes about the bonds between the United States and Ukraine," Yermak wrote.

The U.S. Department of State on January 24 authorized the voluntary departure ("authorized departure") of U.S. government employees and ordered the departure of family members ("ordered departure") of U.S. government employees at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv.

Authorized departure gives these employees the option to depart if they wish; their departure is not required. Ordered departure for family members requires that family members leave the country.

The Department of State made the decision "out of an abundance of caution due to continued Russian efforts to destabilize the country and undermine the security of Ukrainian citizens and others visiting or residing in Ukraine."

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