Three months after the U.S. embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine, suspended operations because of the Russian invasion, it officially resumed operations last Wednesday. The reopening has put forward various plans by the Biden administration to stack the facility with special operations personnel.
U.S. officials told WSJ the Biden administration is weighing a range of options to protect American diplomats in the warzone where the embassy is within range of Russian missiles. Their presence on the ground would be an escalation considering Biden said no U.S. troops would be deployed to the country.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement upon the embassy's reopening last week, "We are officially resuming operations at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv. The Ukrainian people, with our security assistance, have defended their homeland in the face of Russia's unconscionable invasions, and, as a result, the Stars and Stripes are flying over the embassy once again."
The Stars and Stripes fly again over Embassy Kyiv. I can announce that we have officially resumed Embassy operations in Ukraine’s capital. We stand proudly with the government and people of Ukraine as they bravely defend their country from Putin’s brutal invasion. Slava Ukraini! pic.twitter.com/lGRdzqbVbG— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) May 18, 2022
Blinken said the reopening would include "enhanced security measures and protocols."
As for now, the State Department has assembled a security team of guards from the Diplomatic Security Service.
"Preliminary planning is underway at the Pentagon and the State Department for possibly dozens of special forces troops who could augment security at the embassy, or could stand by to deploy if needed," WSJ notes.
Officials are also considering a Marine security guard detachment, similar to those that guard embassies worldwide. No formal proposals have been sent to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark Milley, and or President Biden.
"We are in close touch with our colleagues at the State Department about potential security requirements now that they have resumed operations at the embassy in Kyiv.
"But no decisions have been made, and no specific proposals have been debated at senior levels of the department about the return of U.S. military members to Ukraine for that or any other purpose," Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said.
The move to reopen the embassy with U.S. diplomats and the desire to place boots in a hot zone will undoubtedly attract new threat risks to Americans that could escalate the conflict.