Politico's 02/27/2022 article Pentagon wants Moscow back channels to prevent nuclear escalation includes the following:
When the Russian invasion began in earnest last week, U.S. forces in the region were immediately ordered to pull back from the war zone.
“As soon as the Russians did what they did, we had to get out of the way,” said one of the U.S. military officials in Europe directly involved in the planning.
That included redirecting a “pretty robust” operation of spy planes and drones flying over Ukrainian airspace, the official said.
Now, the U.S. Air Force is relying on high-flying aircraft over Ukraine such as the U-2 spy plane that can avoid most anti-aircraft missiles and drones because there is “a little bit more risk tolerance for that.”
“One of the things we don’t want to do,” the official said, “is provoke a conflict with the Russians directly.”
Question: Besides the "'pretty robust' operation of spy planes and drones flying over Ukrainian airspace" which "U.S. forces in the region were immediately ordered to pull back from the war zone"? Was there a substantial ground presence in Ukraine in addition to the presence in Ukrainian airspace?
I understand that having a US aircraft shot down by the Russian military is something that could lead to escalation, but were there other potential targets that needed to be "pulled back" as well?