Americans in Ukraine are being evacuated out of the war-ravaged nation by a Florida-based nonprofit group as Russian forces target Kyiv, officials said.
More than 30 Americans had been safely evacuated out of Ukraine’s capital as of early Friday by the Tampa-based Project Dynamo, a spokesman for the group confirmed to The Post.
One busload of evacuees was roughly 12 miles outside of the Romanian border, spokesman James Judge said. Three other vehicles were also transporting US civilians after departing Kyiv early Friday, but heavy traffic on roadways out of Ukraine is making the trek difficult, he said.
“The borders are jammed up right now, tons of vehicles are trying to get out of Ukraine,” Judge said Friday. “The roads are jammed. It may take all night, but we’re going to keep working to get people out.”
The first evacuation began minutes after Russia invaded Ukraine, including strikes on Kyiv late Wednesday, Judge said.
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Roughly 300 requests for evacuation out of Ukraine had been received by the group as of Friday, totaling roughly 1,000 American citizens and lawful permanent residents.
“Those are our main focus and priority,” Judge said.
The courageous rescue effort by the volunteer group founded last August to get Americans safely out of Afghanistan received a surge in calls for help since Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine.
The group started inserting team members into Ukraine in January to start planning rescue operations after President Joe Biden’s administration made clear the government would not be rescuing American stuck in the country, Judge said.
Coordination for the rescue operation then intensified last week after the US State Department evacuated diplomatic personnel and left the US Embassy, according to the Tampa-based nonprofit.
“This is what Dynamo does and does better than anyone else,” Judge said in a statement Thursday. “They get Americans out of harm’s way, and we have been watching it play out today in real-time. It is not without risk, however, and we are praying they will successfully make it safely out of the country in the next few hours.”
The group’s moniker is a nod to the codename issued to the British evacuation operation of Dunkirk, France, in 1940 during World War II.