In 2014, he was in Kyiv, Ukraine, on a Fulbright scholarship and writing for the English-language newspaper Kyiv Post, when Linda Kinstler, who then worked at The New Republic, contacted him hoping for a little of his time. She was there to cover the civil unrest in Ukraine, known as the Euromaidan movement, which had evolved into a full-scale revolution.
Ms. Kinstler, who is now 29, is a freelance writer and doctoral candidate in rhetoric at Berkeley. She graduated from Bowdoin College, and as a Marshall scholar received master’s degrees in literature, from the University of Cambridge, and in research architecture, from Goldsmiths, University of London.
Mr. Webb remembers that she came to their appointed meeting place on Independence Square in Kyiv, and, already swayed by her work, he found himself attracted to her as well. “She was obviously a very talented writer and reporter,” he said, “and she was cute.”
The two had acquaintances in common in addition to their professional interests. They spent much of the next week getting together again and again. “She’s a Russian speaker as well, so we just had this whole world of interests that overlapped,” he said.
He had already planned to land in Washington, where she then lived, a few months later, at the conclusion of his time in Kyiv, and she invited him to stay in touch. (Mr. Webb is to begin later this month at the State Department’s office of the legal adviser, where he is to become a lawyer-adviser.)