U.S. Reopens Kyiv Embassy

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The U.S. reopened its embassy in Kyiv on Wednesday, three months after it first shuttered operations as Russia prepared to invade Ukraine.

Embassy staff first moved to Lviv on February 14 before relocating to Poland on February 21. Staff remained in Poland for two months before returning to Lviv two weeks ago.

“Today we are officially resuming operations at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement on Wednesday. “The Ukrainian people, with our security assistance, have defended their homeland in the face of Russia’s unconscionable invasion, and, as a result, the Stars and Stripes are flying over the Embassy once again.”

He added: “We stand proudly with, and continue to support, the government and people of Ukraine as they defend their country from the Kremlin’s brutal war of aggression.”

Blinken said the U.S. has “put forward additional measures to increase the safety of our colleagues who are returning to Kyiv and have enhanced our security measures and protocols.”

Embassy spokesperson Daniel Langenkamp told Reuters that a small number of diplomats will return to staff the mission initially, though consular operations will not resume immediately, he said. A no travel advisory from the State Department is still in effect across Ukraine.

Kristina Kvien, the U.S. chargé d’affaires to Ukraine and highest-ranking American diplomat in the country, first returned to Lviv two weeks ago, saying she wanted to send a message that the Russian invasion had “failed” and the government is “still functioning.”

France, Germany and Britain have all moved to reopen their embassies in Kyiv in the last month as well.

Meanwhile, a number of American officials have visited Kyiv to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, including Blinken, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

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