The State Department reopened the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv on Wednesday, more than three months after operations halted ahead of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement that Ukraine’s astonishing initial success in countering Moscow’s push into the capital enabled the embassy to reopen.
“Today we officially resume operations at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv,” Blinken said. “The people of Ukraine, with our security assistance, defended their homeland from the unreasonable invasion of Russia, and as a result, the stars and stripes once again fly over the embassy.”
A State Department official told the Post that the United States Marine Corps currently does not have members deployed to protect embassy personnel – as is the norm at US embassies elsewhere in the world. world.
“There’s no [a Marine Security Guard] detachment currently in Kyiv, but the Department plans to assign an MSG detachment at a later date,” the official said.
The State Department official further said that in-person consular services, “including services for U.S. citizens and visa services,” are still “suspended until further notice.”
The embassy announced it would close on February 14 – 10 days before Russia invaded – as US intelligence believed Russian President Vladimir Putin was set to order the attack.
“As we take this momentous step, we have proposed additional measures to increase the safety of our colleagues returning to Kyiv and have strengthened our security measures and protocols,” Blinken said.
“We are determined to meet the challenges ahead,” he added. “The war is raging. Russian forces inflict death and destruction on Ukrainian soil every day.
Russian troops poured into Ukraine after Russia recognized the independence of two pro-Moscow breakaway states that broke with kyiv in 2014. But forces loyal to the government of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky blocked a swift takeover of the former Soviet republic.
In early April, Russia withdrew its troops from northern Ukraine, including areas around kyiv, to refocus on seizing the southern and eastern parts of the country. But this month, Ukrainian troops pushed back invading forces from the northeast to the Russian border near Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city.
Despite Ukraine’s unexpected success, Russia has scored some victories, including the surrender this week of a group of Ukrainian soldiers locked up for three months in a steel mill in Mariupol. Breaking the stalemate allows Russia uninterrupted control of Ukrainian territory along the Sea of Azov leading to the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia annexed following a disputed referendum in 2014.