Juneau’s anti-war message to Vladivostok is stuck in delivery limbo

A U.S. Postal Service worker loads up a truck at the Federal Building in Juneau on April 21, 2022. (Photo by Jeremy Hsieh/KTOO)

Juneau’s elected officials have an anti-war message for Vladivostok, their sister city in Russia. But figuring out how to actually deliver the message is its own challenge.

On the Juneau Assembly’s direction, Mayor Beth Weldon wrote a letter addressed to the mayor of Vladivostok that says, “the criminal acts of the Russian President and Russian armed forces are wrong and should be condemned.” It also voices support for Ukraine and a hope that the two cities can eventually restore a cooperative relationship.

The city tried to send the letter on Monday through the U.S. Postal Service. But a Postal Service spokesperson said mail addressed to Russia will be returned to the sender.

The Postal Service and private couriers FedExUPS, and DHL all suspended service to Russia after it invaded Ukraine.

Mayor Weldon said she’ll try to resend it by email, if she can find an email address. She plans to ask Sister Cities International, the nonprofit that facilitates sister city relationships, for help.

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Jeremy Hsieh is the deputy managing editor of the KTOO newsroom in Juneau. He’s a podcast fiend who’s worked in journalism since high school as a reporter, editor and television producer. He ran Gavel Alaska for 360 North from 2011 to 2016, and is big on experimenting with novel tools and mediums (including the occasional animated gif) to tell stories and demystify the news. Jeremy’s an East Coast transplant who moved to Juneau in 2008.

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