US embassy in Kyiv reopens after nearly three months of war

May 19, 2022: The US has reopened its embassy in Kyiv, the US Department of State announced, nearly three months after withdrawing American diplomats and suspending work in the Ukrainian capital in advance of Russia’s invasion.

“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,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement on Wednesday.

With the war in Ukraine continuing, Blinken said the US was applying “additional measures to increase the safety of our colleagues who are returning to Kyiv and have enhanced our security measures and protocols”.

US President Joe Biden has nominated Bridget Brink, a career US foreign service officer, to be ambassador to Ukraine. Brink knows the region well, most recently serving as ambassador to Slovakia.

Brink had served previously as a senior adviser and deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs at the US Department of State, where she focused on Eastern Europe and the Caucasus.

At her Senate confirmation hearing on May 10, Brink called the challenges facing Ukraine “enormous” and drew statements of support from both Democratic and Republican senators. Her confirmation is pending before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The US had ordered the families of all American staff at the embassy in Kyiv to leave the country on January 23 amid heightened concern that Russian troops, amassed on the Ukrainian borders, were about to invade.

Russia launched its all-out invasion on February 24 and attempted to take the capital, Kyiv. Days earlier, the remaining US embassy staff had been relocated to neighbouring Poland, a NATO ally.

The Russian invasion has since shifted to Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region, after its forces failed to seize Kyiv amid fierce Ukrainian resistance.

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