Nonprofit involved in Afghan evacuations prepares for rescue operations in Ukraine

Associated Press/Czarek Sokolowski

A nonprofit organization that was involved in the emergency evacuations out of Afghanistan last year said Friday it is laying the groundwork for rescue operations in Ukraine ahead of a possible Russian invasion. 

Last month, Project Dynamo began gathering resources and surveying a pre-deployment site if Americans get stuck in Ukraine during an incursion. 

The White House on Friday doubled down on its calls for U.S. citizens to leave Ukraine, saying an attack by Russia could come at any time. 

“Everyone is on edge right now dealing with this crisis, but none more so than our government employees and their families currently in Ukraine,” said Bryan Stern, co-founder of Project Dynamo. “We’re working to get ahead of the situation, so that way if things go south, we’ll be ready to act immediately to get every U.S. citizen and resident back stateside and out of harm’s way.”

During the Afghanistan evacuations, the Florida-based nonprofit rescued more than 200 American citizens and lawful permanent residents, as well as approximately 2,000 more Afghans. 

Project Dynamo says the situation in Ukraine is different because the group has more time to prepare for the evacuations, unlike the sudden fall of Kabul. The group said their primary focus is still on Afghanistan, although they are ready to assist in Ukraine. 

Russia currently has around 140,000 troops on the Ukrainian border, along with large amounts of military equipment. 

“I’m not going to get into intelligence information, but if you look at the disposition of intelligence forces … the Russians are in a position to be able to mount a major military action in Ukraine any day, and for that reason we believe that it is important for us to communicate to our allies and partners, to the Ukrainians and to the American citizens who are still there,” White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Friday.

Tags afghan war afghan withdrawal Afghanistan fall of kabul Jake Sullivan Russia Russia-Ukraine conflict Russian irredentism Taliban Ukraine Ukraine-Russia border Ukraine-Russia conflict War in Afghanistan

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