Britain to reopen embassy in Kyiv due to 'success of Ukrainian resistance'

The British embassy will reopen in Kyiv thanks to the resistance of Ukrainian forces defending their capital. Credit: AP

Britain is to reopen its embassy in the Ukrainian capital, Boris Johnson has announced, after closing it days before Vladimir Putin ordered his Russian forces to launch an invasion.

Mr Johnson said the UK was able to reopen the embassy due to "the success of President Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian people in resisting Russian forces in Kyiv".Mr Johnson made the announcement of the return at a press conference in New Dehli - dominated by questions over his future as PM - following talks with Indian prime minister Narendra Modi.

It's expected the diplomatic mission in Kyiv will be set up next week in preparation for it to begin running in early May.

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The announcement follows the PM's surprise visit to the city to meet President Volodymyr Zelensky earlier this month.

It comes as diplomats from other European countries have been returning to the capital following an easing of the security situation with the pull back of Russian forces which had been building for an assault.

Britain initially moved the embassy to the western city of Lviv in February shortly before the Russian invasion began.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss then announced in early March that ambassador Melinda Simmons had left the country altogether due to the “serious security situation”.

Ms Simmons will be among the first to return as the premises is made secure for May's reopening.

She tweeted earlier this month that she would like to retrace the steps Mr Johnson took on his tour through Kyiv alongside President Zelenskyy.

Ms Truss said: “The extraordinary fortitude and success of President Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian people in resisting Russian forces, means we will shortly be re-opening our British Embassy in Kyiv.

“I want to pay tribute to the bravery and resilience of the Embassy team and their work throughout this period".

Britons are still being advised to avoid all travel to Ukraine, despite the embassy reopening.