Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C.: A Hub of Protests and Espionage Exercise

In recent times, as many as 1,200 Russian personnel labored within the embassy compound. The State Division won’t say what number of stay — staffing ranges right here and on the U.S. Embassy in Moscow at the moment are a delicate subject — however in January 2022, Mr. Antonov put the quantity at 184 diplomats and assist employees members.

And whereas the embassy personnel could also be amongst Washington’s least welcome residents, Biden administration officers are glad they’re right here. It’s important to keep up diplomatic ties even within the worst of occasions, they are saying. Kicking out the Russians totally would additionally imply an finish to America’s diplomatic presence in Moscow, which, amongst different issues, works to help U.S. residents imprisoned in Russia.

Mr. Antonov has moved out of his official residence in a historic townhouse close to the White Home and now lives on the embassy, in accordance with individuals who communicate with him. He’s a veteran diplomat who spent years negotiating arms management agreements with American counterparts in Geneva. However he additionally served as deputy minister of protection when Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 and has been hit with sanctions by the European Union.

He complains usually about his restricted contacts with Biden administration officers and members of Congress — Politico as soon as branded him “Lonely Anatoly” — in addition to the protests and “hooliganism” outdoors his embassy gates.

Protests are routine, with anti-Putin chants and broadcasts of Ukraine’s nationwide anthem drawing supportive honks from passing automobiles. Properties throughout the road are festooned with Ukrainian flags and anti-Russian slogans. Neighbors shout “Slava Ukraini!” (“glory to Ukraine”) at Russians who come and go.