US diplomats return to Kiev first time since Feb. 24
The officials, just after Blinken and Austin's visit, spent time in Lvov.
US diplomats have returned to Ukraine for the first time since the start of the war on February 24, according to CNN.
The US diplomats relocated to Poland during the war - before the operation started, conducting a day trip to Lvov, where many Ukrainian officials have relocated since leaving Kiev.
The visit comes immediately after Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin made visited Ukraine on Sunday.
Blinken and Austin met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, which also comes as the first visit by high-ranking officials to Ukraine since the beginning of the war in Russia.
Ukrainian staff at US Embassy left behind, promises backtracked
Last month on March 11, a group of Ukrainian employees of the US Embassy in Kiev sent a letter to State Department management, raising concerns about a "change in tone and open denial of prior promises" by State Department officials in Washington after the Ukrainian employees requested financial assistance, help with safely evacuating their families, and possible visa avenues to the US.
Read more: US embassy staff in Kyiv ordered to evacuate the country
The State Department had previously promised to financially support the employees, in case they had to flee the capital.
“While we realize that some questions may not have specific answers at the moment, for us, the lack of consistency and ability to at least have one part of our lives secured, is really frightening,” the letter stated.
It added that “those of you in regular contact with [locally employed] Staff know first-hand what we are going through: our families are separated, many shelter in basements to stay alive, some fighting in the battlefields, others displaced, children are showing signs of stress from the trauma they have experienced and falling behind schooling and care, and none of us able to sleep through the night for 20 days."
The US also told employees that they should seek refugee status from European countries, rather than from the US.
“Amidst all this, receiving a coldhearted message from the [State Department] official about the need to apply for protected status or register as refugees to rely on assistance in European countries was yet another blow. Needless to say that the refugee status has certain downsides which obviously have not been researched by the speaker in advance.”