U.S. Embassy to Ukraine, completed in 2012. (Fox News)
This is a guest post by David A. Mittell Jr., a veteran of many visits to Lviv, whose beauty he described vividly in a guest post in 2016, which I recently republished. In today’s post he admonishes the U.S. ambassador and her staff to return to Kyiv from Lviv, where they have presumably been since being ordered by Washington to evacuate the U.S. embassy. (This is the 1,452nd column written by David in his illustrious journalistic career.)
Politicus No. 1452
Our diplomats do not belong in Lviv
by David A. Mittell Jr.
In 2016, I published a piece titled “Why I love Lviv
,” which was the starting and the end point of the 27th of my 28 trips to Ukraine (the 28th included several wonderful days in Kyiv). The 2016 piece was recently republished by David Brussat, my former colleague at the Providence Journal, in his architectural blog.
My point is that I do love Lviv, where I have many valued friends. But although I am happy that the world is newly aware of Lviv’s multiple beauties, I do not believe that America’s diplomats belong there. In wartime, a nation’s diplomats should be in the capital near its leadership. They belong in Kyiv, or as close as possible to it.
Ordinarily a high diplomatic assignment entails a soft landing. But on infrequent occasions it entails real danger. Currently, the acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine (since January 2020) is Kristina Kvien. Whatever the risk, it is her duty to be as close to Kyiv as possible – not 500 kilometers away in Lviv. She has the duty and the privilege of risking her life for two countries.