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Embassy of the United States, Moscow

Coordinates: 55°45′20″N 37°34′59″E / 55.755556°N 37.583056°E / 55.755556; 37.583056
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Embassy of the United States, Moscow

The US Embassy as seen from the street
Map
LocationMoscow, Russia
Address1 Square of the Donetsk People's Republic (Donetskoy Narodnoy Respubliki; before June 2022: Bolshoy Deviatinsky Pereulok No. 8), Presnensky District, Moscow, Russia
Coordinates55°45′20″N 37°34′59″E / 55.755556°N 37.583056°E / 55.755556; 37.583056
AmbassadorLynne M. Tracy

The Embassy of the United States of America in Moscow (Russian: Посольство Соединенных Штатов Америки, Москва) is the diplomatic mission of the United States of America in the Russian Federation. The current embassy compound is in the Presnensky District of Moscow, across the street from the White House and near the Moscow Zoo.

The New Office Building (NOB) building was opened on May 5, 2000. On January 16, 2018, the consular department was opened in the new building, and the reception of visitors began.[1]

The new address is Donetsk People's Republic Square 1 (Ploshchad' Donetskoy Narodnoy Respubliki 1), the name being changed in June 2022 in a similar manner to the changing the addresses of the Russian Embassy in Prague and in Washington, D.C. The former address was "Bolshoy Deviatinsky Pereulok No. 8". The west side of the embassy security perimeter was also torn up to remove all barriers between the street and the embassy wall. As of June 2022, vinyl posters supporting the Russo-Ukraine War cover the construction fences.[2][3]

Organization

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The embassy consists of the following sections:

  • Political Section
  • Management Section
  • Regional Security Office
  • Economic Affairs Section
  • Public Affairs Section
  • Consular Section
  • Environment, Science, Technology, & Health Section
  • Law Enforcement Section

In addition, representatives of several U.S. federal agencies work in the embassy.[1][4]

There are no consulates in Russia.

Old building

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The building which served as the US Embassy in Moscow from 1953 to 2000.

From 1934 to 1953, the embassy was located in the Mokhovaya House, 13 Mokhovaya Street, near the Kremlin. In 1953, the embassy moved into the Existing Office Building (EOB) on Novinskiy Boulevard, which still remains a part of the embassy compound, although it is several miles away from the main embassy.[5]

During the period 1953–1976, the Soviets irradiated the U.S. Embassy in Moscow with microwaves in the Moscow Signal incident.[6]

In 1964, covert listening devices were discovered within the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.[7]

On August 26, 1977, a fire erupted on the eighth floor of the embassy building. Although it was extinguished, a large amount of information was lost or stolen (several firefighters were KGB personnel trying to remove sensitive material).[8]

New building

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Bugging

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Construction of a new chancery began in 1979, with planning having started ten years prior as part of the Cold War détente but delayed due to American dissatisfaction with the sites and conditions, with the Soviet Union being perceived to have gotten the upper hand in negotiations. As part of a 1972 agreement, most of the compound was built by Soviet workers.

A team led by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill architect Charles Bassett designed the new embassy, which was "self-contained", having residences, a school and a shopping center along with office space, and had a red brick exterior to "convey some American flavor".

In 1985, the building's columns and walls were found to be riddled with listening devices to such an extent that classified information had to be handled in the old embassy. Construction was halted and all Soviet workers were removed from construction work. Additionally, in retaliation, Soviet diplomats were not allowed to occupy their new chancery in Washington, D.C. The standoff was resolved in 1994 when American workers were allowed to partially dismantle and rebuild the chancery, replacing the top three floors with four completely new ones.

Construction completed in 2000

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In May 2000, the construction of the new building was completed, and the new building was finally opened in June 2000. Classified business was confined to the upper floors, while standard consular business was conducted in the insecure lower floors.[9][10][11] The perimeter of the entire complex is 1,320 metres (4,330 ft). In 2013, construction began on a new office building with a total area of 24,200 square metres (260,000 sq ft).[1][12] On January 16, 2018, the consular department was opened in the new building, and the reception of visitors began.[1]

Espionage

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"The NSA is a global electronic vacuum cleaner, which monitors everything. Look at the top two floors of the new building of the U.S. Embassy—it's a huge antenna, which listens to the Moscow air," Igor Korotchenko, an editor of a magazine called National Defense and a former specialist in Russia's military command, said in 2013 on a Russian television program.[13][vague] The Vedomosti newspaper, citing a source in the Russian special services, stated that the embassy is likely to host the local server of XKeyscore, an Internet surveillance system.[14]

Security

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According to a New York Times report on November 14, 2017, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson hired Elite Security Holdings, a Russian company associated with Victor Budanov, a KGB general involved in counterintelligence who was a boss of Vladimir Putin, to guard all United States diplomatic missions in Russia. U.S. diplomatic missions in Russia, including the United States Embassy in Moscow, are located in four cities.[15][16][17]

New street name

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On June 22, 2022, in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the renaming of the street on which the Russian embassy in the U.S. resides, the U.S. embassy in Moscow block and address was renamed Donetsk People's Republic Square, according to the press service of the Moscow Mayor's Office.[18] Subsequently, the Embassy's official website refused to utilize the new address for contact information and instead listed the official address as "U.S. Embassy Moscow 55,75566° N, 37,58028° E".[19]

Other properties

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The embassy once oversaw two Consulates General in Russia: Vladivostok[20] and Yekaterinburg.[21] As of 2019, the website states: "Due to critically low staffing of the United States Mission to Russia, the U.S. Consulate General in Vladivostok and the U.S. Consulate General in Yekaterinburg remain in suspended status."[22]

In addition to the buildings on Novinsky Boulevard / Bolshoy Devyatinsky Lane, the United States also owns, on a leasehold basis, the Vtorov's Mansion (the so-called Spaso House by the Americans after the engineer Spaso House). Since 1933, this has housed the ambassador's residence.

Before August 1, 2017, the U.S. also owned a dacha in Serebryany Bor and warehouses on Dorozhnaya Street. In 2017, their use was prohibited in response to the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats from the United States and sanctions.[23]

Ambassadors

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The position of United States Ambassador to Russia is currently held by Lynne M. Tracy since January 20, 2023.

See also

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References

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  1. ^ a b c d New US Consulate building opens in Moscow. Moscow 24. Date of access: 20 June 2019.
  2. ^ Moscow renames street outside U.S. Embassy after Donetsk separatist region. Google You tube, June 23, 2022.
  3. ^ Moscow Trolls U.S. With Pro-Invasion Name for Russian Square Near Embassy, Newsweek. May 30, 2022.
  4. ^ "Key Officers, Sections & Offices". Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  5. ^ "U.S. Embassy Moscow". Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  6. ^ Carpenter, David O. (2015). "The microwave syndrome or electro-hypersensitivity: historical background". Reviews on Environmental Health. 30 (4): 217–222. doi:10.1515/reveh-2015-0016. ISSN 2191-0308. PMID 26556835. S2CID 6132593.
  7. ^ "Estimate of damage to US foreign policy interests". Archived from the original on 16 March 2016. Retrieved 2 April 2017.
  8. ^ "The Embassy Moscow Fire of 1977". Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training. Retrieved March 11, 2017.
  9. ^ Loeffler, Jane C. (2011). The architecture of diplomacy : building America's embassies (2nd ed.). New York: Princeton Architectural. pp. 242–43. ISBN 978-1-56898-984-6. OCLC 700033660.
  10. ^ Lally, Kathy (2000-07-08). "U.S. Finally Opens Moscow Embassy / Building was delayed 15 years after Russians riddled it with bugs". SFGate. San Francisco: Hearst Communications. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  11. ^ New building of the US Embassy. U.S. Embassy in Moscow. Date of access: 20 June 2019.
  12. ^ Heads of departments and representative offices of federal agencies at the US Embassy. US Embassy and Consulates in the Russian Federation. Retrieved: 4 June 2022.
  13. ^ Barry, Ellen (June 28, 2013). "While N.S.A. Leaker Stays in Hiding, Russian TV Builds a Pedestal for Him". The New York Times. pp. 1–2. Retrieved June 30, 2013.
  14. ^ Vedomosti.ru: Where can a spy server be located in Moscow?
  15. ^ Higgins, Andrew (2017-11-14). "U.S. Hires Company With K.G.B. Link to Guard Moscow Embassy". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-11-15.
  16. ^ Delk, Josh (2017-11-14). "State Department hires security company with KGB ties". The Hill. Retrieved 2017-11-15.
  17. ^ "US to use Russia firm founded by KGB spy". BBC News. 2017-11-10. Retrieved 2017-11-15.
  18. ^ The territory near the US Embassy in Moscow was renamed "DPR Square". Vedomosti. Retrieved: 22 June 2022
  19. ^ US Embassy in Moscow
  20. ^ "U.S. Consulate General in Vladivostok". Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  21. ^ "U.S. Consulate General in Yekaterinburg". Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  22. ^ US Embassies and consulates in Russia.
  23. ^ The ban on access of US diplomats to the dacha and warehouse in Moscow came into force, 1TV.
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