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Americans are being evacuated from war-torn Ukraine as Russia eyes Kyiv


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.”

Bryan Stern, left, co-founder and head of on-the-ground operations of Project Dynamo, poses outside the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv.
Bryan Stern, left, co-founder and head of on-the-ground operations of Project Dynamo, poses outside the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv.
via REUTERS
People fleeing the conflict arrive at the border crossing in Medyka, southeastern Poland on Feb. 25.
People fleeing the conflict arrive at the border crossing in Medyka, southeastern Poland on Feb. 25.
AP
A Ukrainian firefighter walks between at fragments of a downed aircraft seen in in Kyiv.
A Ukrainian firefighter walks between at fragments of a downed aircraft seen in in Kyiv.
AP

The first evacuation began minutes after Russia invaded Ukraine, including strikes on Kyiv late Wednesday, Judge said.


Get the latest updates in the Russia-Ukraine conflict with the Post’s live coverage.


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.

A map showing the different Ukrainian cities threatened by Russian forces.
A map showing the different Ukrainian cities threatened by Russian forces.
A body of a killed soldier lies on the ground in Kyiv.
A body of a killed soldier lies on the ground in Kyiv.
AP
People sit in a bus as they arrive at the border crossing between Poland and Ukraine on Feb. 25.
People sit in a bus as they arrive at the border crossing between Poland and Ukraine on Feb. 25.
REUTERS

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.

Aftermath of an overnight shelling at a residential area in Kyiv.
Aftermath of an overnight shelling at a residential area in Kyiv.
EPA
A woman feeds a child as people fleeing Ukraine arrive in Slovakia on Friday.
A woman feeds a child as people fleeing Ukraine arrive in Slovakia on Friday.
EPA
People queue to donate blood for the army at the Blood Service Center in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv.
People queue to donate blood for the army at the Blood Service Center in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv.
AFP via Getty Images

“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.

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