US Embassy in Russia asks Americans to leave the country

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The United States Embassy in Russia is urging Americans in the country to leave and warning American citizens not to travel to Russia after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the call-up of 300,000 reservists to help depleted forces in Ukraine.

The embassy said in a security alert on Wednesday that Russia may prevent US citizens from leaving the country and conscript dual nationals into military service.

Russia could also refuse to recognize the U.S. citizenship of people with dual citizenship or restrict their access to U.S. consular assistance, officials said.

Many flights were booked and prices soared after Putin announced a recall of reservists for the first time since World War II. Russian forces have suffered heavy casualties throughout the war, especially since Ukraine launched a counter-offensive earlier this month that regained thousands of square kilometers of territory.

The U.S. Embassy said Wednesday that flights are extremely limited and often unavailable on short notice, but land routes by car and bus are still open. The embassy added that it is severely limited in its ability to help American citizens and that people should make independent arrangements as soon as possible.

The Department of State maintains a page on its website to provide information on commercial travel outside of Russia.

The officials also said that American citizens should remember that the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression are not guaranteed in Russia and that they should avoid all social or political demonstrations and not take photos of safety during demonstrations. Russian authorities have arrested Americans who participated in the protests.

Protests erupted across Russia after Putin’s announcement and police arrested hundreds of people.

The embassy also said in the security alert that U.S. citizens should carry proper identification, including a U.S. passport and a current Russian visa, and have a contingency plan not dependent on the state. American aid.

Updated at 8:24 a.m.

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