US and allies discussing potential for Ukraine government in exile: report
The U.S. and their European allies have begun discussions about the potential for Ukraine’s government in exile as Russia’s war on the country intensifies.
U.S. officials told CNN on Sunday that discussions have ranged from supporting Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky and his government moving operations to the western city of Lviv, or setting up a government in neighboring Poland if elected leaders are forced to flee.
Previous assessments that Lviv might be relatively safe from Russia aggression due to its strategic location in the west have lost traction as Russia’s apparent desire to overtake the entire country comes into focus.
“All the signs are that [Putin] is going to continue,” a senior Western intelligence official told CNN. “And I think the scraping the bottom of the barrel in some of these other places is indicative that now they really have to go all in, literally, not just figuratively, to make sure that they can proceed to take the whole country.”
Officials also said that Zelensky, who remains in the capital city of Kyiv, has rejected any conversation other than efforts to boost his country’s fight against Russia.
The Ukrainian president has amplified his calls for a no-fly zone in recent days, though President Biden and U.S. lawmakers have resisted such a move, as it would likely mean direct contact with Russian military forces.
The UN’s refugee agency shared on Thursday that more than one million Ukrainian citizens have fled the country since the invasion.
A number of Western countries have moved their diplomatic operations in Ukraine to Lviv, a centuries-old city about 40 miles from the border with Poland.