Mittell: Diplos, return to Kyiv

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.

About David Brussat

This blog was begun in 2009 as a feature of the Providence Journal, where I was on the editorial board and wrote a weekly column of architecture criticism for three decades. Architecture Here and There fights the style wars for classical architecture and against modern architecture, no holds barred. History Press asked me to write and in August 2017 published my first book, "Lost Providence." I am now writing my second book. My freelance writing on architecture and other topics addresses issues of design and culture locally and globally. I am a member of the board of the New England chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, which bestowed an Arthur Ross Award on me in 2002. I work from Providence, R.I., where I live with my wife Victoria, my son Billy and our cat Gato. If you would like to employ my writing and editing to improve your work, please email me at my consultancy,, or call 401.351.0457. Testimonial: "Your work is so wonderful - you now enter my mind and write what I would have written." - Nikos Salingaros, mathematician at the University of Texas, architectural theorist and author of many books.
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3 Responses to Mittell: Diplos, return to Kyiv

  1. LazyReader says:

    There is no reason that function should not be beautiful. In fact beauty usually makes it more effective.”


  2. LazyReader says:

    Some mock, the green roof aspect of vegetation on building rooftops. Having seen one in a hospital it’s very pleasant. Be it big cities or small towns; you take what you can get in the way of trees and flowers, parks and recreation, and you do that precisely because of such.

    Organic architecture is my favorite. No not the cancerous glass blobs…

    Smooth elegant style of naturally found building materials…

    Animals, plants, and microorganisms are experienced engineers. They know what works, what’s appropriate, and most importantly, what lasts on Earth. The main belief of the biomimicry approach is that after 3,8 billion years of research and development, what did not work is now a fossil and what is around us is the secret to survival.


  3. LazyReader says:

    US embassy/consulate In Russia


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