US Embassy to Americans in Russia: Get Out Now

Security alert warns that dual nationals could be conscripted
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 28, 2022 8:37 AM CDT
US Embassy to Americans: Leave Russia 'Immediately'
People, most of them Russians, walk after they crossed the border crossing at Verkhny Lars between Georgia and Russia in Georgia, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022.   (AP Photo/Zurab Tsertsvadze)

The US Embassy in Moscow issued a security alert for US citizens in Russia on Wednesday, and the Daily Beast sums up the gist in two words: "Get out." The alert references Vladimir Putin's week-old decision to move ahead with a partial military mobilization of reservists against Ukraine, and warns that Russia could go so far as to "conscript dual nationals for military service." Further, "Russia may refuse to acknowledge dual nationals' US citizenship, deny their access to US consular assistance, [and] prevent their departure from Russia."

"US citizens should not travel to Russia and those residing or travelling in Russia should depart Russia immediately while limited commercial travel options remain," it warns, elaborating on the limited nature of those options. Open seats on commercial flights are scarce, but "overland routes by car and bus are still open. If you wish to depart Russia, you should make independent arrangements as soon as possible." The alert closes with a reminder: that "the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression are not guaranteed in Russia." As such, US citizens should steer clear of public protests.

Meanwhile, Russian men are getting out. The AP reports more than 197,000 Russian nationals have made their way to Georgia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and Finland over the last week, per those countries' figures. One man who traveled 1,100 miles over four days to reach Georgia said that "at 26, I do not want to be carried home in a zinc-lined [coffin] or stain [my] hands with somebody’s blood because of the war of one person that wants to build an empire." A 32-year-old who fled to Turkey told the Washington Post, "In one day, I quit my job, took the money from the bank, took my wife and the baby to my parents. My entire life is breaking apart." (More Russia stories.)

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