Ambassadors from Western international locations, together with their diplomatic groups — led by the United States — pulled out of Ukraine weeks in the past. However not Cichocki. A few of his group of greater than 80 Polish diplomats have moved to the western metropolis of Lviv, the place they keep a working consulate, or again to Warsaw. However many stay by his aspect within the capital.
Nonetheless, throughout his interview with BuzzFeed Information on Thursday, there have been indicators that Cichocki is worried in regards to the Russian risk. Exterior his workplace door sat a helmet and bulletproof vest adorned with a red-and-white Polish flag patch. And he wore what he known as a “go bag” with “essential paperwork” on his hip. His blood sort was scrawled in everlasting marker on his left arm.
“I don’t wish to find yourself within the unsuitable coffin,” he quipped.
As he spoke, a volley of rockets pummeled the outskirts of Kyiv. “Let’s open the window so we are able to hear,” Cichocki stated.
He pulled out his cellphone to verify an app that’s speculated to notify residents when Russian missiles are incoming.
“I like this app, nevertheless it’s at all times two minutes late, which is a very long time when Iskanders come,” he stated in reference to Russia’s short-range hypersonic ballistic missiles which have been used towards Ukraine.
Cichocki stated he had not been requested, not to mention ordered, by his bosses in Warsaw to depart Kyiv. “There are issues you possibly can’t do from a distance,” he stated, including that he was nonetheless participating “24/7” with members of Ukraine’s authorities and different Western diplomats.
“Leaving now’s one thing that might lower [Ukrainians’] spirits,” he stated.