BY Elizabeth Stauffer, The Western JournalFebruary 13, 2023
1 year ago
 | February 13, 2023
1 year ago

Embassy Warns All Americans to Leave Russia Immediately

The U.S. State Department has issued a "Do Not Travel" warning to Americans planning travel to Russia and has ordered all Americans currently inside the country to depart immediately.

The Embassy cited a lengthy list of potential consequences for U.S. citizens in Russia. These include "the singling out of U.S. citizens for detention by Russian government security officials, the arbitrary enforcement of local law, limited flights into and out of Russia, the Embassy’s limited ability to assist U.S. citizens in Russia, and the possibility of terrorism."

The statement explained that the "U.S. government’s ability to provide routine or emergency services to U.S. citizens in Russia is severely limited" because the Russian government has imposed "limitations on travel for embassy personnel and staffing." The warning cited "the ongoing suspension of operations ... at U.S. consulates."

The Embassy advised Americans that U.S. credit and debit cards cannot be used in the country and sanctions imposed on Russian banks have made it difficult to transfer money into the country. Moreover, "there are reports of cash shortages within Russia."

Finally, they informed travelers that "commercial flight options are extremely limited and are often unavailable on short notice." Travelers were told to "make independent arrangements as soon as possible."

Reuters reported that the Kremlin dismissed the embassy's warning, pointing out that this was just the latest of many similar warnings in the past. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, "They [these warnings] have been voiced by the State Department many times in the last period, so this is not a new thing."

The most recent warning came in September after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization and threatened nuclear retaliation, according to a report by The Guardian.

Former Defense Intelligence Agency intelligence officer for Russian Doctrine & Strategy Rebekah Koffler told Fox News on Monday the alert should be taken seriously.

She noted the timing of the warning was significant. It comes "10 days ahead of Russia’s Soviet Army Day, also known as Defender of the Fatherland Day, and 11 days before the one-year anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine," the report said.

Koffler believes that Russia will mount a "massive assault" on Ukraine within the next week and said, "Putin wants to claim to some achievement."

"There's no way for this war to go except up," Koffler said.

"Neither side has an exit [strategy]."

Fox News contributor and former CIA Moscow station chief Dan Hoffman considered the alert to be routine.

He told Fox, "Bottom line is that we've issued these warnings in the past. Just because you issued it once, doesn't mean everybody remembers."

"We don't make decisions based on calendar dates," Hoffman added. "I've [served] in a lot of embassies overseas. What we do though is we look at the threat and we say, 'it's still out there, we'll remind everybody -- public service announcement.'"

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Written by: Elizabeth Stauffer, The Western Journal



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