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28 Sep, 2022 13:47

US urges its citizens to leave Russia

Alert follows the ongoing partial mobilization ordered by Moscow due to Ukraine conflict
US urges its citizens to leave Russia

US citizens in Russia are urged to leave the country as soon as possible, to avoid being drafted into the Russian armed forces, the US Embassy in Moscow stated on Tuesday in a security alert. 

Citing the ongoing partial mobilization, introduced by the Russian government last week, the embassy warned that Russian authorities may refuse to acknowledge persons with dual Russian-US citizenship, and may deny them access to US consular assistance. It also warns that dual citizens could be prevented from leaving the country and may be conscripted for military service.

The message recommends that US nationals make “independent arrangements” for leaving the country “as soon as possible,” noting that the ability to do so is becoming increasingly difficult as border checkpoints are overcrowded and flights out of Russia are “extremely limited” at the moment.

The embassy also warns that “severe limitations” have impacted its ability to assist US citizens, and that conditions in Russia, including transportation options, may “suddenly become even more limited.”

“US citizens should not travel to Russia and those residing or travelling in Russia should depart Russia immediately while limited commercial travel options remain,” the security alert reads.

The US embassy’s warning comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization last week, which aims to conscript some 300,000 reservists across the country to help control Russian-held areas and the 1,000-kilometer contact line with Kiev’s forces in Ukraine.

Since the announcement, a number of military-aged Russian men have opted to flee the country to avoid the military draft. The sudden exodus has resulted in chaos at border checkpoints with neighboring countries that do not require a visa for visiting Russians, such as Kazakhstan and Georgia. Flights from Russia to states that do not require a visa have been sold out on the nearest dates.

The Russian government has clarified in a statement on its advisory website that it sees people with dual citizenship only as Russian nationals, meaning that they are expected to fulfill their military duty and are eligible for partial mobilization.