The flag of the United States flew over the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv once again Wednesday — the first time in three months due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Diplomats will be working out of the embassy again, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, but he did not specify how many diplomats would return. Diplomats from the U.S., including acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Kristina Kvien, visited the embassy last week for the first time since its closure.
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“Today we are officially resuming operations at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv," Blinken said in a statement. "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. 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.”
The U.S. pulled most of its diplomats out of the country's capital days before Russia invaded and placed them in an embassy in Ukraine's western city of Lviv. But as the Russian threat grew, the diplomats and ambassadors were reassigned to Poland. Despite the evacuation, which was ordered to keep officials safe, diplomats remained focused on helping Ukraine, Blinken said.
When Russian forces withdrew from the capital last month, focusing instead on eastern Ukraine, multiple European countries, including the United Kingdom, Denmark, France, Italy, and Denmark, reopened their embassies. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged the U.S. to follow suit and reopen its embassy, prompting Blinken to visit the country.
Following the visit, Blinken announced that U.S. diplomats would return to Ukraine.
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Additional safety protocols and measures have been introduced to keep the diplomats safe, Blinken said, as the war in Ukraine continues, though it is unclear what the new safety protocols entail.