Project Dynamo, a private organization committed to evacuating Americans in danger, is coming to the rescue of Americans seeking to leave Ukraine, according to Tampa Bay’s Fox 13. The nonprofit is made up of volunteers, many being current and former military members “with experience in special operations and intelligence.” Project Dynamo has been planning their work in Ukraine since January, and intensified their efforts after the U.S. State Department evacuated diplomatic personnel and the U.S. Embassy in mid-February. They reported having “boots on the ground” in Kyiv just days before Russia’s military invasion on Thursday.
Fox 13 reports, “after a month of warning U.S. citizens to leave Ukraine immediately, the U.S. says it will not be sending troops to rescue Americans fleeing the country out of concerns that such military action could escalate to an all-out war.” Project Dynamo is urging any American trying to leave the country to register with them immediately, anticipating a possible disturbance to communication lines.
The volunteers working with Project Dynamo are not far from danger as one operator was reported feeling the explosions near Kyiv on Thursday. A spokesman for the organization, James Judge, said that they are “currently conducting the very first rescue of Americans, approximately 28 that we’re actively working as we speak.”
Project Dynamo has recent experience evacuating Americans as they operated in Afghanistan months ago when Kabul fell to the Taliban. The organization is running a high-risk operation “with no ties to the U.S. government,” relying only on “extraordinary civilians…attempting to do the impossible.” As the chaos ensues and tensions escalate in Ukraine, Project Dynamo remains committed to their mission getting Americans out of Ukraine and to safety.