The U.S. State Department now warns against travel to Ukraine in the latest update to its Travel Advisory list.
The State Department said in a December 20 statement that it strongly recommends U.S. citizens “do not to travel to Ukraine due to COVID-19 and to reconsider travel due to increased threats from Russia.”
“U.S. citizens should be aware of reports that Russia is planning for significant military action against Ukraine,” said a State Department official. “U.S. citizens are also reminded 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.”
The department said that U.S. citizens choosing to travel to Ukraine should be aware that Russian military action anywhere in Ukraine would severely impact the U.S. Embassy’s ability to provide consular services, including assistance to U.S. citizens in departing Ukraine.
Western intelligence services as well as Ukraine’s think an incursion or invasion could happen some time in early 2022.
“The most likely time to reach readiness for escalation will be the end of January,” says Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksiy Reznikov.
US intelligence says as many as 175,000 Russian troops could become involved as early as January, and CIA Director William Burns believes President Putin “is putting the Russian military, the Russian security services in a place where they could act in a pretty sweeping way”.