U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Bridget Brink, Has Experience Shaped By Soviet Domination

Bridget Brink, unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate this week because the American ambassador to Ukraine, is a veteran diplomat, fluent Russian speaker and Michigan native with large expertise in European nations buffeted by Soviet subjugation and the legacy of the Cold War.

In 2019, at her swearing-in ceremony for her present position as ambassador to Slovakia, Ms. Brink careworn her household’s European hyperlinks and her personal ties to Europe, noting that she had been a scholar in London in 1989 on the day when the Berlin Wall fell.

A graduate of the London School of Economics, the place she earned grasp’s levels in worldwide relations and political concept, Ambassador Brink joined the State Department in 1996 and has served, amongst different locations, in Cyprus, Serbia, in addition to in Uzbekistan and Georgia, two former Soviet republics.

She is the mom of two boys, and her husband, Nicholas Higgins, additionally works for the U.S. overseas service.

In her new position, Ms. Brink fills a position that has been empty for 3 years. Her affirmation got here simply hours after the United States reopened its embassy in Kyiv after a three-month closure, underlining how the war-battered Ukrainian capital is regularly returning to some semblance of normalcy after Russian forces failed to seize it, albeit with a really fragile sense of safety.

Ms. Brink’s conformation will additional strengthen relations between Washington and Kyiv, however the return of high-profile American diplomats to the nation, even to western and central cities hours from the entrance traces, inevitably comes with a level of hazard.

Ms. Brink is the primary Senate-confirmed ambassador to maintain the put up since mid-2019, when President Donald J. Trump eliminated Marie L. Yovanovitch, a career diplomat and anti-corruption advocate who was criticized by Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, and his associates as Mr. Giuliani tried to dig up grime within the nation on Mr. Biden’s son, Hunter.

In February, Ms. Brink visited the border between Ukraine and Slovakia to witness the arrival of Ukrainian refugees. “My heart is with every victim of this senseless war,” she said, in accordance to a State Department information launch.

Her household has lengthy hyperlinks to Europe.

She recalled, at her 2019 swearing-in as Slovakia’s ambassador, that her grandfather Donald Brink, in accordance to household lore, performed a task in clearing the way in which for Dwight D. Eisenhower’s promotion to being a four-star normal earlier than he grew to become architect of the Normandy invasion, which helped clear the way in which for ending World War II.

Ms. Brink stated that throughout the battle, her grandfather, a U.S. Army physician, handled Mr. Eisenhower, one in all a number of docs who gave him a bodily to decide his eligibility for promotion for his fourth star.

“According to family lore, my grandfather took General Eisenhower’s blood pressure, and it was a bit high,” she recalled. “‘General,’ he said, ‘Lie down for a few minutes and think happy thoughts.’ He did, and my grandfather was able to report that General Eisenhower passed his physical,” Ms. Brink defined. “The rest, so they say, is history.”

She additionally noticed that she had hyperlinks to Europe by way of her husband’s household. “Almost 80 years ago, my husband’s grandmother Ada McIntyre survived the Blitz in Manchester while her husband, Bernard McIntyre, bravely helped evacuate the soldiers trapped in Dunkirk as a member of the Royal Navy,” she defined.

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