US Embassy: Americans in Russia need to ‘depart immediately’

The U.S. Embassy in Moscow is advising any Americans in Russia to leave the country now.

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Officials told them to depart “immediately while limited commercial travel options remain,” citing the Russian invasion of Ukraine and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s partial mobilization of troops, The Associated Press reported.

The advisory applies to anyone holding American citizenship, including people with dual citizenship. The Embassy also says that Russia may block ”U.S. consular assistance, prevent their departure from Russia and conscript dual nationals for military service.”

The alert said that U.S. citizens should “avoid all political or social protests and do not photograph security personnel at these events” as “the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression are not guaranteed in Russia,” CNN reported. Officials said that Americans have been arrested while participating in protests.