In a span of a couple of weeks, we’ve seen two reports of diplomatic posts requesting the State Department to go on evacuation status leaked to the press. This has occasionally happened in the past, of course, but only in isolated cases. The most notable happened at some posts in one region in March 2020 where the missions’ Emergency Action Committees (EAC) recommended an “ordered departure” for their posts and a top bureau official reportedly talked the ambassadors out of requesting it.
Were these requests from Kyiv and Beijing leaked because the EACs/ACOMs were dissuaded from making formal requests in the first place, which then avoided a formal response from the bureaus/DOS, or were these leaked to ensure that the requests are now public record, ramping up the pressure on State to agree to the requests? The EACs typically make recommendations in these cases and the departures are then requested by the chief of mission (COM). Final approval is by the Under Secretary for Management (M).
In the case of US Embassy Kyiv, the request made the news on January 21, and the State Department made it official on January 23. In Mission China’s case, the request made the news on January 26. As of this writing, the China travel advisory remains at Level 3, and no authorized departure has been announced as of this writing. The new US Ambassador to China was sworn-in on January 27.
The US diplomatic mission in China has formally requested the State Department grant diplomats "authorized departure," allowing them and their families to leave the country amid increasingly strict Covid-19 containment measures, sources say https://t.co/iuN6nbJWnf
— CNN International (@cnni) January 26, 2022
42 ppl have tested positive in the closed-loop system.
— Kristie Lu Stout✌🏽 (@klustout) January 26, 2022
BREAKING: State Department orders diplomats' families to leave U.S. embassy in Kyiv amid Russia tensions. https://t.co/h4srE9E9JN
— ABC News (@ABC) January 23, 2022
#Exclusive US embassy in Kyiv requested today that State Dept authorize departure of nonessential staff & families from the embassy.
US has informed Ukraine that they are “likely to start evacuations as early as next week” of families of diplomats @kylieatwood @NatashaBertrand
— Matthew Chance (@mchancecnn) January 22, 2022