The new US ambassador to Ukraine has experience in countries shaped by Soviet rule.

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Bridget Brink, who was unanimously confirmed by the US Senate this week as US Ambassador to Ukraine, is an accomplished diplomat, fluent in Russian, born in Michigan and with extensive experience in European countries ravaged by Soviet subjugation and the legacy of the Soviet Union. Cold War.

In 2019, while swearing in her current role as Ambassador to Slovakia, Ms Brink emphasized her family’s European ties and her personal ties to Europe, noting that she was a student in London in 1989 on the day the Berlin Wall fell. .

Graduated from the London School of Economics, where she obtained a master’s degree in international relations and political theory, Ambassador Brink joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1996 and has served in Cyprus, Serbia, but also in Uzbekistan and Georgia, two former Soviet republics.

She is the mother of two boys and her husband, Nicholas Higgins, also works for the US foreign service.

In her new role, Ms Brink fills a vacancy that has been vacant for three years. Her confirmation came just hours after the United States reopened its embassy in Kiev after a three-month shutdown, underscoring how the war-ravaged Ukrainian capital is gradually returning to some semblance of normalcy after Russian forces failed to capture it. , albeit with a very fragile sense of security.

Ms. Brink’s conformation will further strengthen relations between Washington and Kiev, but the return of high-profile US diplomats to the country, even hours from the front lines to western and central cities, inevitably carries a measure of danger.

Ms. Brink is the first Senate-confirmed ambassador to hold the position since mid-2019, when President Donald J. Trump fired Marie L. Yovanovitch, a career diplomat and anti-corruption attorney who was criticized by Mr. Trump’s personal attorney, Rudolph W. Giuliani and his associates as Mr. Giuliani tried to dig up dirt in the country about Mr. Biden, 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, according to a press release from the State Department.

Her family has long ties to Europe.

When she was sworn in as ambassador to Slovakia in 2019, she recalled that her grandfather Donald Brink, according to family lore, played a role in paving the way for Dwight D. Eisenhower’s promotion to four-star general before becoming the architect of the Normandy invasion. , which helped pave the way for ending World War II.

Ms. Brink said that during the war her grandfather, a US Army physician, treated Mr Eisenhower, one of several physicians who gave him a physical exam to determine if he was eligible for promotion to his fourth star.

“According to family history, my grandfather took General Eisenhower’s blood pressure and it was a little high,” she recalls. “General,” he said, “lie down for a few minutes and think of happy thoughts.” He did, and my grandfather was able to report that General Eisenhower passed his physical,’ explained Ms. Brink. “The rest, they say, is history.”

She also noted that she had connections to Europe through her husband’s family. “Almost 80 years ago, my husband’s grandmother, Ada McIntyre, survived the Manchester Blitz, while her husband, Bernard McIntyre, valiantly helped evacuate the soldiers trapped in Dunkirk as members of the Royal Navy,” she explained. .



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