The American Embassy in Moscow issued an unusual warning on Tuesday, urging all US citizens still in the country to flee immediately in the wake of Vladimir Putin's partial mobilization decree from last week. The urgent message is essentially as the war in Ukraine ratchets up further, even increasingly accompanied by nuclear rhetoric.
The embassy's concern is that Moscow might not recognize that dual citizens should be exempt from military service. "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 statement warned.
This also as there are widespread reports of traffic jams at key land border crossings; for example at the Georgian border there is an over 10-mile long queue of cars awaiting exit, though guards on the Russian side are said to be making the process difficult.
Airline tickets to go abroad have also been harder to come by, also as prices soar, and it remains that European airspace remains closed to all Russian carriers, though European airliners can still fly direct from Russia to Europe.
"Those residing or traveling in Russia should depart Russia immediately while limited commercial travel options remain," the embassy statement added. Additionally, as Fox reports:
Since the invasion of Ukraine kicked off just over seven months ago, the State Department has urged Americans to avoid traveling to or going through Russia, given the unpredictability of the conflict.
Russia has further recently introduced elements of martial law in its criminal code, resulting in stiff penalties for any Russian who refused to fight in Ukraine.
Harrowing message from the US Embassy in Moscow: "U.S. citizens should not travel to Russia and those residing or travelling in Russia should depart Russia immediately while limited commercial travel options remain." pic.twitter.com/oRDG5hSpn7
-- Bill Browder (@Billbrowder) September 28, 2022
Interestingly, US officials have even speculated that ex-NSA employee and whistleblower Edward Snowden could possibly face conscription in the Russian military - after he was days ago granted citizenship by a decree signed by President Putin.