What property does the U.S. government lease in Moscow?

A general view taken on July 31, 2017 shows the US embassy building in Moscow. President Vladimir Putin on July 30, 2017 said the United States would have to cut 755 diplomatic staff in Russia and warned of a prolonged gridlock in its ties after the US Congress backed new sanctions against the Kremlin.

A general view taken on July 31, 2017 shows the US embassy building in Moscow. President Vladimir Putin on July 30, 2017 said the United States would have to cut 755 diplomatic staff in Russia and warned of a prolonged gridlock in its ties after the US Congress backed new sanctions against the Kremlin.

AFP
Washington’s access to Moscow’s buildings is shrinking as the Russian government reacts to U.S. sanctions, but the buildings rented by America throughout the ages certainly have stories to tell, from extravagant balls to grenade attacks.

1. Spaso House

"There have been a number of lavish receptions held in Spaso House. One of the most memorable involved a bear half-cut on champagne and 100 zebra finches." Valeriy Yevseyev/U.S. Embassy Moscow"There have been a number of lavish receptions held in Spaso House. One of the most memorable involved a bear half-cut on champagne and 100 zebra finches." Valeriy Yevseyev/U.S. Embassy Moscow

This lavish, neoclassical building has served as the official residence of U.S. ambassadors in Russia since 1933. It was built in 1913 by the richest Russian industrialist of the time, Nikolay Vtorov.

There have been a number of lavish receptions held in Spaso House. One of the most memorable involved a bear half-cut on champagne and 100 zebra finches (“rented” by Ambassador William Bullitt from Moscow Zoo) flying freely around the building after escaping from their aviary. The famous writer Mikhail Bulgakov was in attendance and the scene apparently inspired the chapter about “The Spring Ball of the Full Moon” (“Satan’s ball”) in his iconic novel The Master and Margarita. We’re pretty sure no decayed corpses fell through the fireplace during the reception though...

The likes of Richard Nixon, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Dwight Eisenhower, and Ray Charles - among others - have all graced the property with their presence.

Address: 10 Spasopeskovskaya Square

2. U.S. Embassy on Novinsky Boulevard/Bolshoy Devyatinsky lane

"In March 1999, when relations between Moscow and Washington took a nosedive following NATO’s Operation Allied Force in Yugoslavia, a man attempted to blow the embassy up with a grenade launcher." Iliya Pitalev/RIA Novosti"In March 1999, when relations between Moscow and Washington took a nosedive following NATO’s Operation Allied Force in Yugoslavia, a man attempted to blow the embassy up with a grenade launcher." Iliya Pitalev/RIA Novosti

After a few relocations, the American mission finally settled on this former residential ten-story house in central Moscow in 1953.

The “Siberian Seven,” a group of Soviet Pentecostals who attempted to escape the USSR, ended up living here for five years before being granted U.S. entry visas.

In March 1999, when relations between Moscow and Washington took a nosedive following NATO’s Operation Allied Force in Yugoslavia, a man attempted to blow the embassy up with a grenade launcher, but luckily for the people inside, the weapon failed. The Moscow police returned fire and eventually arrested the perpetrator.

"The Moscow police returned fire and eventually arrested the perpetrator." Source: Yarlyk/YouTube

In 1969, an additional building was added to the embassy’s territory a few blocks away on 8 Bolshoy Devyatinsky lane. However, construction work was seriously delayed after American representatives claimed the thick concrete walls had been bugged by the Russian builders.

Address: 21 Novinskiy b-r and 8 Bolshoy Devyatinsky lane

3. Anglo-American School in Moscow

The school was founded in 1949, is located in the northwest of Moscow. Source: Artyom Korotayev/TASS The school was founded in 1949, is located in the northwest of Moscow. Source: Artyom Korotayev/TASS

This school looks more like an extravagant mansion than an educational facility. It was founded in 1949, is located in the northwest of Moscow, and is chartered by the British, U.S., and Canadian embassies. It offers an international educational program accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and other organizations.

Address: 1 Beregovaya St.

4. Dacha in Serebryanniy Bor

From Aug. 1 Moscow banned use of the building, as a response to additional U.S. sanctions against Russia. Source: Alexander Shcherbak/TASS From Aug. 1 Moscow banned use of the building, as a response to additional U.S. sanctions against Russia. Source: Alexander Shcherbak/TASS

Overlooking the Moskva River, this inconspicuous wooden building might be considered too modest for diplomats - but it’s used by weary American ambassadors who want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. However, as of Aug.1 they’re going to have to find another place to enjoy some R&R after Moscow banned use of the building, as a response to additional U.S. sanctions against Russia.

Address: 107a Tamanskaya

5. Embassy’s warehouses

Moscow is blocking U.S. embassy staff from entering the warehouses in response to the new round of sanctions imposed by America. Source: Alexander Shcherbak/TASS Moscow is blocking U.S. embassy staff from entering the warehouses in response to the new round of sanctions imposed by America. Source: Alexander Shcherbak/TASS

It’s unclear what exactly the U.S. embassy stores in the warehouses spanning 2.3 thousand square meters in the South Chertanovo administrative district, but Washington will likely need to find a new space, and fast. Moscow is blocking U.S. embassy staff from entering the warehouses in response to the new round of sanctions imposed by America.

Address: 9v Dorozhnaya St.

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