Armenia's embassy in Kyiv

YEREVAN (RFE/RL) — Armenia announced the evacuation of its embassy in Kyiv on Friday, March 4, as Russian forces continued to approach Ukraine’s capital on the ninth day of their invasion.

The Armenian Foreign Ministry said that the embassy staff was relocated to the western Ukrainian cities of Lviv and Uzhgorod for safety reasons. It said the diplomats “will continue to work and serve Armenian citizens” from there.

“Let us emphasize that the Embassy of the Republic of Armenia in Ukraine is one of the few embassies that have worked with all their staff and served compatriots during all this time, and it will continue to do so from the new locations,” the ministry spokesman, Vahan Hunanyan, wrote on Facebook.

Hunanian said nothing about the Armenian consulate in the Black Sea city of Odessa which military observers believe could be captured by Russian troops in the coming days. He again posted emergency phone numbers for Armenian nationals who want to leave or have already left Ukraine and need assistance.

The United States, most European Union member states and other Western nations fully or partly pulled their diplomatic staff out of Kyiv ahead of the Russian assault that began on February 24.

Estimates of the number of ethnic Armenians who lived in Ukraine before the war vary from 100,000 to 400,000. Many of them are said to hold Armenian passports. The European Union has allowed them to enter Ukraine’s EU members without Schengen visas.

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Several Armenians said that they fled Kyiv on their own after receiving no help from the Armenian Embassy.

“Apart from giving us advice, they should have organized evacuations on time,” complained one of them.

“Right now no roads are safe enough for moving out [of Armenian citizens],” said an embassy official.

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