One hundred and sixty Florida National Guard troops have been ordered to leave Ukraine as tensions with Russia continue.
They have been stationed there since November and are being deployed elsewhere in Europe. Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby tweeted that the order was made in “an abundance of caution,” adding that the United States remains committed to supporting Ukrainian armed forces.
Kirby spoke with the press about what the Biden Administration plans to do if Russian President Vladimir Putin invades Ukraine.
.@SecDef has ordered the temporary repositioning of @FLGuard troops out of Ukraine. Abundance of caution, safety and security of our personnel his paramount concern. We remain committed to our relationship with the Ukrainian armed forces.
— John Kirby (@PentagonPresSec) February 12, 2022
“If President Putin decides to take military action, we will swiftly impose severe economic sanctions in coordination with allies and partners around the globe. We’ll bolster Ukraine’s ability to defend itself. We will reinforce our allies on the eastern flank of NATO,” said Kirby.
Tensions between Russia and Ukraine have been mounting for years and have come to a head in recent months, with Russia increasing its military presence at the border with Ukraine.
Putin spoke over the weekend with President Biden, a day after Biden warned a Russian invasion could “come soon.” Putin also recently spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Shulz as western efforts to prevent a Russian invasion continue.
Countries worldwide continue efforts to ease tensions and prevent an all-out war in Ukraine.