May 18, 2022

US Embassy raises flag in Kyiv

The U.S. Embassy in Kyiv raised the Stars and Stripes once again on Wednesday, about three months after lowering it before Russia launched its ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

Days before the war began, embassy employees were told to leave the country, and the U.S. flag was lowered as operations were shuttered.

“When we suspended operations at the embassy, we made the point clear: while we would relocate U.S. embassy personnel for their safety and security, this would in no way prevent our engagement with, and support for, the Ukrainian people, government, and civil society as well as our allies and partners,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement

“We underscored our commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, pledged to continue our assistance, and started working toward the day we could return to Kyiv,” he added. “Now, that day has come.”

Russia set its sights on Kyiv at the beginning of the invasion and came within miles of the city but was pushed back by Ukrainian forces and withdrew to shift focus on the Donbas region, where fighting is now centered.

Blinken said the embassy has put extra safety and security measures in place amid the war, which has left thousands of Ukrainian citizens dead, along with thousands of soldiers on both sides of the fight. Some of the darkest images from the war emerged from Bucha, a Kyiv suburb.

Millions of Ukrainians have either fled the country or been displaced inside it.

The U.S. has given billions of dollars in military and humanitarian aid to assist Ukraine amid the war while placing crippling sanctions on Russia’s oligarchs and economy. 

A $40 billion aid package for Ukraine passed the Senate on Monday after being held up by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.). It passed the House last week.

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