US embassy: Americans should depart Russia immediately

Russia At War

Demonstrators hold placards and flags as they attend a protest outside the Russian Embassy, in London, Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022. Ukraine urged its citizens to leave Russia as Europe braced for further confrontation Wednesday after Russia’s leader received authorization to use military force outside his country and the West responded with a raft of sanctions. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)

(NewsNation) — The U.S. embassy in Russia is urging Americans to leave immediately as relations with Moscow continue to worsen.

“On September 21, the Russian government began a mobilization of its citizens to the armed forces in support of its invasion of Ukraine. Russia may refuse to acknowledge dual nationals’ U.S. citizenship, deny their access to U.S. consular assistance, prevent their departure from Russia, and conscript dual nationals for military service,” the consulate wrote in a press release.   

While Americans have long been cautioned to have evacuation plans dating back to the beginning of the war, Tuesday the American embassy in Moscow released a statement informing U.S. citizens of new security alerts.

The embassy informed American citizens that commercial flights are “extremely” limited and unavailable on short notice, so departing would take independent resources.

“U.S. citizens should not travel to Russia and those residing or traveling in Russia should depart the country immediately while limited commercial travel options remain,” the press release stated.

The news of Russia possibly enlisting Americans as conscripts in its fight against Ukraine comes after reports the Russia military is planning to force Ukrainians to fight against their countrymen.

Putin’s scramble for soldiers is acknowledgment that its “army is not able to fight,” Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in an address last week, as splits sharpened in Europe over whether to welcome or turn away Russians fleeing the order.

Similarly, some military experts believe it’s Putin’s last-ditch effort to mobilize new fighters after stinging losses in the east and south of Ukraine.

“You think there’s protests now, but there clearly will be protests in the future, and they will get worse countrywide — so Putin has to be very concerned about that,” Barry McManus, a security consultant who spent more than 25 years with the CIA, said on NewsNation’s “Rush Hour” last week.

In response to the goings-on in Russia, the U.S. State Department has provided information on commercial travel on the Information for U.S. Citizens in Russia – Travel Options Out of Russia page on travel.state.gov.  

The site also offers information on requirements for entering neighboring countries, procedures for travel on expired U.S. passports in some circumstances, and visa requirements for families with American and Russian citizen family members.

More resources are listed below

Actions To Take:

• Read the Department’s Travel Advisory for Russia

• Have a contingency plan that does not rely on U.S. government assistance.

  • Carry proper identification, including a U.S. passport with a current Russian visa.

Assistance:

• U.S. Embassy, Moscow

  • Telephone: +7 495-728-5577; After hours: +7 495-728-5000

• U.S. Department of State — Consular Affairs

• Telephone:  +1 202-501-4444 (overseas) or +1 888-407-4747 (from the U.S.)

• Russia Country Information

• Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates

• Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

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