The United States Embassy in Moscow has told all Americans left to leave immediately, to avoid being conscripted into Vladimir Putin’s mobilized army to fight in 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 embassy warned in a statement.
The embassy also warned that leaving Russia has become increasingly difficult with flights filling and Putin’s troops shutting down borders.
‘Those residing or traveling in Russia should depart Russia immediately while limited commercial travel options remain,’ the warning continued.
Putin last week announced that he would mobilize 300,000 military-aged men to fight Ukraine – setting off chaos in recruitment centers, airports, and at the borders.
Russians have been trying to book flights out with single tickets to destinations such as Dubai hitting more than $10,000.
‘Commercial flight options are extremely limited at present and are often unavailable on short notice,’ the statement continued.
‘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 U.S. Embassy has severe limitations on its ability to assist U.S. citizens, and conditions, including transportation options, may suddenly become even more limited.
The embassy also warned any U.S. citizen considering protesting because ‘peaceful assembly and freedom of expression are not guaranteed’.
White House Press Secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre on Tuesday September said that the White House would offer political asylum to men fleeing Russia following Putin’s mobilization.
‘We are seeing protests in the streets of Russia, we are seeing people sign petitions, and I think the message they are sending to us very clearly is that this war that Putin started … is unpopular,’ she said. ‘There are people out there in Russia who do not want to fight Putin’s war or die for it.’