US Government Issues Emergency Evacuation Order for American Citizens in Russia

US Government Issues Emergency Evacuation Order for American Citizens in Russia

( – Despite several high-profile detentions of US citizens by the Putin regime, thousands of Americans still work in Russia. Now, the State Department has sent out an evacuation order telling them to get out of the country immediately.

On February 13 the State Department issued a Travel Advisory for Russia, graded at the highest level, Do Not Travel. The advisory says “US citizens residing or traveling in the country should depart immediately” and lists multiple reasons why it’s no longer safe for Americans to be in the former Soviet country.

According to the State Department, US citizens face “potential for harassment” and the risk of being detained in Russia. Netball player Brittney Griner was released in December after 10 months’ detention on drug charges. Two other Americans — history teacher Marc Fogel and security executive Paul Whelan — are currently in Russian jails, and teacher Sarah Krivanek has been released from jail but isn’t allowed to leave the country. The advisory notes that the US government’s ability to help its citizens in Russia is “severely limited.”

Other issues include the fact US credit and debit cards haven’t worked in Russia since the country was expelled from the SWIFT banking system last year. There’s a shortage of commercial flights in and out of the country, and the ones that do operate are often canceled at the last minute, meaning it’s hard to guarantee that if you travel there, you can get out again.

Russia has recently started conscripting citizens for the war in Ukraine as well. Dual US-Russian citizens also have no guarantees the authorities will acknowledge their US citizenship, so they could end up being forced to fight. With the US Embassy and consulates unable to offer much help, the State Department believes the country is just too unpredictable to be safe for Americans.

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