As the Russian invasion of Ukraine enters its third month, the United States is reopening its embassy in Kyiv. It’s a meaningful gesture that affirms Ukraine’s surprising defiance, says Mai’a Cross, the Edward W. Brooke Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at Northeastern.
“It shows that the Russian military has retrenched enough that the security concerns are not as dire as when [Western] diplomats were removed,” Cross says. “It really is showing a commitment to diplomacy that supports Ukraine.”
Russia is focusing its attacks in the east, where Mariupol remains under siege as President Vladimir Putin seeks to control the Donbas region. Cross says Putin is faced with an increasing sense of urgency as Europe considers plans—including one by the International Energy Agency—that would enable painful sanctions on Russian oil and gas.