On February 14, reports came in stating that the United States has decided to relocate its embassy in Ukraine. The shift would be from Kyiv, the capital city to Lviv, the western city. The reason was cited by US as “dramatic acceleration in the build up of Russia forces.” The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken said on Monday.
Essentially, the State Department directed the staff towards destroying all computer workstations, network equipments and phone systems, as the first step for relocation. The report by Wall Street Journal was one of the first regarding the embassy shift.
The cause of the relocation:
When US officials warned the authorities that they are expecting Moscow to amass higher than 100,00 troops, the relocation was in order. The troops were incoming near the Russia-Ukraine border and in neighbouring country, Belarus. This could be launched any moment and could prove to be a devastating attack in Kyiv and other places. However, Russia denied all accusations of an attack made by the West.
Such an incident could include massive destruction and violence, for the attackers would not differentiate between Ukrainian and American lives. Blinken stated another reason for the relocation as elimination of the concern of Lviv being on the west, where Ukraine shares a border with Poland.
Blinken assured that the relocation of the embassy would “in no way” demean US’s support for the “sovereignty and territorial integrity” of Ukraine. The relationship between the Ukrainian Government and US Diplomats would remain the same as before.
The course of the relocation:
During the course of the relocation, a systematic deterioration of diplomatic relations was suspected. This was because of the carrying out of the withdrawal of embassy staff and classified material from the country. Apparently, 56 embassy workers and classified material from Kyiv embassy had arrived on February 13 at the Dulles International Airport.
As the authorities had received no indication of retraction of forces, the shift to Lviv was continued on the assessment of continued buildup of Russian forces. The possibility of a Russian military action was taken seriously by US diplomats.
The US extended its support towards Ukraine on maintaining its security and economic stability. This was a result of Blinken’s reassurance given to his Ukrainian counterpart, Dmytro Kuleba. US Charge d’Affaires Kristian Kvien is expected to work from Lviv, with protection by Ukrainian National Guard Police in Kyiv as well.
Last Tweet from US Embassy in Kyiv:
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Despite the reduction in diplomatic staff, the core embassy team, our dedicated Ukrainian colleagues, and <a href=”https://twitter.com/StateDept?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@StateDept</a> and U.S. personnel around the world will continue relentless diplomatic and assistance efforts in support of Ukraine’s security, democracy, and prosperity.</p>— U.S. Embassy Kyiv (@USEmbassyKyiv) <a href=”https://twitter.com/USEmbassyKyiv/status/1492442540846559236?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>February 12, 2022</a></blockquote> <script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>