Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Ukrainian Staff at U.S. Embassy Left Behind

Local Ukrainian staff of the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv are pleading with the U.S. government for help and accusing State Department officials of backtracking on promises of support as they scramble to survive or escape the Russian invasion. A group of Ukrainian employees of the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv sent a letter to State Department management on March 11 raising alarm bells about a “change in tone and open denial of prior promises” by State Department officials in Washington after the Ukrainian employees had requested financial support, help with safely evacuating their families, and possible avenues for visas to the United States. The letter, obtained by Foreign Policy, was written by the leaders of the embassy’s local staff committee and outlined the concerns of some 600 Ukrainians who work for the U.S. diplomatic mission in Ukraine. (https://foreignpolicy.com/2022/03/16/ukrainian-staff-at-u-s-embassy-left-behind-say-u-s-is-backtracking-on-promises-of-support/) They said State Department officials in Washington who spoke to them over the course of several virtual town hall meetings had reneged on promises to provide cash salary payments and other long-term financial assistance to the Ukrainian employees whose lives have been upended by the war and the closure of the U.S. Embassy.

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