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Tampa-Based Nonprofit Project DYNAMO First To Begin Rescuing Americans From Ukraine

A group of 23 evacuees were headed by bus to a country neighboring Ukraine.

A Tampa-based nonprofit specializing in extricating Americans from hostile regions around the world said it began rescue operations in Ukraine minutes after Russia invaded the country.

Project DYNAMO said it began planning for rescue missions in January after President Joe Biden indicated the U.S. wouldn’t be able to conduct rescue missions if the country were invaded. Biden encouraged Americans in Ukraine to leave in the days and weeks leading up to the invasion. Last week, the U.S. State Department evacuated diplomatic personnel from its embassy in Kyiv and planning rescue operations began in earnest.

“Right now, our team is working to get the first group of nearly two dozen American citizens and residents out of Ukraine,” James Judge, a Project Dynamo spokesperson said. “They are currently traversing the Ukrainian countryside and trying to make their way to an American embassy in a neighboring country. The evacuation began minutes after our team on the ground physically felt the nearby explosions in Kyiv.”

Judge said DYNAMO has received a “significant uptick” in applications of Americans desperate to flee the country. He said the group still is accepting applications on its website.

“This is what DYNAMO does and does better than anyone else,” Judge said. “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.”

According to DYNAMO, a group of 23 evacuees were headed by bus to a country neighboring Ukraine. From there, they will be transported to the U.S.

After months of speculation and bluffing about tamping down tensions, Russian President Vladimir Putin Thursday launched an invasion of Ukraine. Putin warned foreign countries attempting to interfere would face “consequences you have never seen.”

Russia, which has a much more robust military than Ukraine, has thus far been met with more resistance than anticipated. Sen. Marco Rubio said the people of Ukraine’s refusal to capitulate is an inspiration to the world. One Ukrainian woman was seen on video walking up to a Russian soldier, standing face-to-face and telling him he should “put sunflower seeds in your pocket so they grow when you die.”

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