US State Department urges Americans to depart Ukraine 'now'******
This image released by the US Department of Defense shows a US Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons departing Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, on February 11, 2022, for Fetesti Air Base in Romania.
The US State Department on Thursday urged Americans currently in Ukraine to leave the country "now," citing what it said was "increased threats of Russian military action" against Ukraine.
"Do not travel to Ukraine due to the increased threats of Russian military action and COVID-19; those in Ukraine should depart now via commercial or private means," read an updated advisery posted on the website of the US State Department.
The United States has been releasing intelligence which it claims is proof that Russia is prepared to mount a military aggression against Ukraine any time now, but Moscow has accused Washington of "hysteria" over tensions near Ukraine.
Direct engagements between the United States and Russia have yielded little substantial progress, with the Kremlin saying the White House failed to address its key security concerns.
Multiple media outlets reported that US President Joe Biden will talk to Russian President Vladimir Putin over telephone on Saturday, moving up a Kremlin-proposed schedule from Monday.