Estonian ambassador to Ukraine leaves Kyiv

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New Estonian Ambassador to Ukraine Kaimo Kuusk (left) presenting his credentials to President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv in 2021.
New Estonian Ambassador to Ukraine Kaimo Kuusk (left) presenting his credentials to President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv in 2021. Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Estonian ambassador to Ukraine Kaimo Kuusk has relocated from Kyiv and will set up an embassy in a safer place.

Estonian Defense Attache to Ukraine Colonel Vahur Murulaid, said: "The ambassador is currently leaving Kyiv, at the moment the embassy has a very small team. The ambassador is moving to a safe place where an alternative embassy will be set up."

Describing the situation in the Ukrainian capital on a radio show on Friday morning at approximately 11:30 a.m., Murulaid said: "The situation in the center of Kyiv is quite calm, [...] many people have left, public transport is running. But there are battles in some places in the suburbs, there is no big war here yet."

He said the airports around Kyiv are currently under Ukrainian control.

The Ukrainians are showing strong resistance and the Russian army has not made much progress so far, the colonel said.

Last week several other ambassadors and embassies relocates to the western city of Lviv, including the UK, U.S and Canada. The Estonian government said its presence would remain in Kyiv as long as possible.

The Estonian government has launched a webpage bringing together information about the security situation in Ukraine on the website

Ambassador: Embassy heading west

Kaimo Kuusk said that the decision to leave Kyiv was made on Friday morning when there was an increase in attacks on the capital.

Some embassy staff were on the street at the time and had to take refuge in shops' basements, he said.

The ambassador is currently heading west and the location of the new embassy is still being assessed.

Speaking about the situation on the ground, he said: "The Russian offensive continues, the Ukrainians are resisting. Some Russian units are in the suburbs of Kyiv, which means the start of urban battles."

"The Ukrainians will not give up, so these battles may last quite a long time," Kuusk told "Uudis+" radio show at noon on Friday.

He said the Russians are approaching "from the north, no breakthrough has been achieved from the east".

The ambassador advised people in Kyiv to take shelter in basements or the metro when necessary. "The metro is very safe here, Kyiv has the deepest metro lines in the world," Kuusk said.

He advised Estonians in Ukraine to move west as soon as possible but to be careful and take cover if air raid sirens sound.

Editor's note: Additional comments were added to this article from Kaimo Kuusk.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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