Why U.S.’s Decision to Evacuate Embassy from Kyiv Is Nothing Like in Its Past Decisions

Tuesday, 15 February 2022

Last week, Western embassies evacuated their diplomats from Kyiv, sowing panic among many Ukrainians. But is that fear justified? Especially since the American media acknowledge that it is being done deliberately?

To find out when and how the U.S. evacuated its staff from different  conflict zones, read our article Nothing Like in Ukraine: When the U.S. Evacuated Their Embassies.

During the Russia-Georgia war, the American Embassy in Tbilisi functioned uninterruptedly even when the Russian troops invaded the country. 

Although in 1992 the newly-opened Embassy in Tajikistan temporarily evacuated its staff, the Ambassador left the capital only after violent clashes had broken out in its capital.

In Nigeria, where the Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram has intensified its attacks since 2014 and even took war-like actions against its government and citizens in 2015, the U.S. did not evacuate the Embassy or its Ambassador from Abuja. All it did was relocate its staff from its consular services to its biggest city Lagos in 2018.

Lebanon is another example. Despite the country being exposed to continuous security threats, violent protests, and Syria, the Department of State did not deem these factors to be as threatening as those observed in Ukraine.

Venezuela is even a more exemplary illustration. In 2017, the shootings engulfed the country, with helicopters opening fire on the Supreme Court. During the protests that year, more than 160 people died, including foreigners. Even though 25 people were shot dead in its capital Caracas, the Embassy was never evacuated. 

Following a military coup in Sudan this fall, the Department authorized the voluntary departure of American staff and their families. Again, we are talking about voluntary actions, meaning that the level of threat was considered to be lower than the one declared by the Department of State in Ukraine in January. 

Finally, in Mali, one of the most problematic places for "old Europe" where France and Russia are at hybrid war (the EP elucidated the matter in its article on Macron), the U.S. Embassy in Bamako is  still fully functional. It even carries out events such as entrepreneurial workshops.

What is happening in Ukraine is, therefore, a true exception. 

Read more in Mr. Sydorenko’s article Nothing Like in Ukraine: When the U.S. evacuated their Embassies.

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