The US State Department has ordered all family members of diplomats and non-emergency personnel at the US embassy in Kiev to leave Ukraine.
Due to "the continued threat of Russian military action," US citizens in Ukraine "should consider departing now using commercial or other privately available transportation options," the US State Department said in an updated travel advisory issued Sunday evening.
"Do not travel to Ukraine due to the increased threats of Russian military action and Covid-19. Exercise increased caution in Ukraine due to crime and civil unrest. Some areas have increased risk," the Level 4 advisory reads further.
A senior State Department official spoke of "precautionary measures" in a conference call with reporters.
The State Department did not say how many staff in the US embassy would be affected by the changes.
When asked about the timing of the decision, the State Department referred to the warning from the White House last week that Russia could invade Ukraine at any time. Moscow has repeatedly rejected this notion.
US citizens were also advised not to travel to the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea or the pro-Russian breakaway provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine.
Also, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice for Ukraine, indicating a very high level of Covid-19 in the country.