Leave Russia Immediately, US Tells Its Citizens; Know Why

Washington: The United States has asked its citizens to leave Russia immediately.

The urgent directive is due to the risk of ‘arbitrary arrest or harassment’ by local law enforcement agencies in the backdrop of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“US citizens residing or travelling in Russia should depart immediately. Exercise increased caution due to the risk of wrongful detentions. Do not travel to Russia,” US embassy in Moscow said, Reuters reported.

“Russian security services have arrested US citizens on spurious charges, singled out US citizens in Russia for detention and harassment, denied them fair and transparent treatment, and convicted them in secret trials or without presenting credible evidence,” the embassy added.

“Russian authorities arbitrarily enforce local laws against US citizen religious workers and have opened questionable criminal investigations against US citizens engaged in religious activity,” the statement said.

Highlighting the fact that US debit and credit cards don’t work in Russia due to sanctions imposed on Russian banks, the ambassy noted that there were very limited options for electronically transferring funds.

The West, led by the US has been very vocal against Russia ever since President Vladimir Putin ordered a special operation against Ukraine almost a year ago — on February 24, 2022.

Theis is not the first time the US government has warned its citizens to leave Russia.

In January, the Federal Security Service (FSB) said that Russia had opened a criminal case against a US citizen on suspicion of espionage.

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