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Archive for February 26, 2022

Newsline: Ukraine embassy staff evacuating from Moscow to Latvia

The staff of Ukraine’s embassy in Moscow is evacuating to Latvia, the Latvian foreign ministry told Reuters on Saturday. “It was their plea, we readily agreed. We are assisting them in the process and help with settling down,” Latvian foreign ministry spokesperson Janis Bekeris said. (https://uk.investing.com/news/world-news/ukraine-embassy-staff-evacuating-from-moscow-latvia-says-2593289) He declined to say whether the embassy staff had already arrived in Latvia, citing security concerns.

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Newsline: Protests at Russian Consulate in NYC Demand End to War Against Ukraine

Since the Russian forces invaded Ukraine, shifts of protestors have gathered outside the imposing Russian Consulate building at 9 East 91st Street. Around 2:00 PM today, approximately 30 protestors maintained a vigil, remnants of a larger crowd from this morning, everyone kept at a distance from the stone edifice by NYPD barricades. (https://www.villagevoice.com/2022/02/25/ongoing-protests-at-russian-consulate-in-nyc-demand-end-to-war-against-ukraine/) One sign lamented that Ukraine had given up its nuclear weapons in the early 1990s but was now not receiving the protection the world owed it against an authoritarian aggressor. Another reminded the world how similar Putin’s authoritarianism is to the actions of Adolf Hitler, who attacked his peaceful neighbors in the late 1930s.

Newsline: Diplomats Urge State Department to Aid Ukrainian Embassy Staff Left Behind

Nearly 400 State Department personnel have pressed the department’s leadership to do more to aid locally hired Ukrainian embassy staff who were left behind as Russian troops invade. In an emailed letter reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, the foreign service officers and other staff criticized the department’s “lack of responsiveness” to requests for help from their Ukrainian colleagues. The State Department has sought to assure staff that the safety and wellbeing of local Ukrainians employed by the embassy in Kyiv and the U.S. Agency for International Development was a top priority. But the staff in the letter said their concerns had gone unaddressed. “Our Ukrainian colleagues deserve better,” the letter dated Feb. 24 said. “Now is the time they most need our help. We are concerned their needs have not been prioritized.” State Department spokesman Ned Price called locally employed embassy staff the “heart of our embassies around the world,” and said Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his leadership are regularly in touch with locally-employed Kyiv staff. (https://www.wsj.com/livecoverage/russia-ukraine-latest-news/card/GhT8F9IUljIPRwvrLpc2) The Bureau for European and Eurasian Affairs is working on an official response to the letter, one U.S. official said.

Newsline: Russia’s former top diplomat denounces Putin’s foreign minister

Former Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev spoke out against current Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Russia’s former top diplomat spoke out against current Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday after the US and European Union announced they would sanction Lavrov and Russian President Vladimir Putin. “Lavrov, rightfully sanctioned by the US and EU today, was my deputy in the 90s. Used to have my back,” former Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev wrote on Twitter. “Today, I would watch my back if he was behind me.” (https://news.yahoo.com/russias-former-top-diplomat-says-215526813.html) Kozyrev was Russia’s first minister of foreign affairs under Boris Yeltsin during the early-to-mid 1990s after the Soviet Union collapsed.

Newsline: Eggs thrown at Russian embassy during Ukraine protest

Eggs have been thrown at the Russian embassy in London during pro-Ukrainian protests outside the building. Hundreds gathered calling for Russian President Vladimir Putin to withdraw from Ukraine in demonstrations outside the embassy in Kensington, west London, as well as Downing Street on Saturday afternoon. (https://www.aol.com/eggs-thrown-russian-embassy-during-140046905.html) Waving flags, banners and placards, protesters sang the Ukrainian anthem and chanted “Putin stop war”, “Putin go home” and “free Ukraine”. The embassy’s walls in Kensington Palace Gardens were covered in chalk-written messages, drawings of Ukrainian flags, splattered eggs and fake blood. Even the building itself appeared to have egg stains and cracked shells on it.

Newsline: Romania evacuates Kyiv embassy

Romania’s foreign ministry said on Saturday that it had repatriated the staff at its embassy Ukraine’s capital Kyiv due to the significant worsening of the security situation after Russia’s invasion. The ministry also said it evacuated the staff at its consulate in the southern Ukrainian city of Odessa, where fighting was under way on Saturday, but that its consulates in Solotvyno and Chernivtsi remained open and fully staffed. (https://news.yahoo.com/romania-evacuates-kyiv-embassy-consular-141419607.html) More than 31,000 Ukrainians have fled to Romania since the invasion began on Thursday, border police data showed.