On Monday, the U.S. issued a top-level advisory urging American citizens not to travel to Russia, and to leave as soon as possible if they are currently there.
According to the advisory notice, hostility towards Americans has been increasing within Russia as tensions rise in Russia’s war with Ukraine. The alert also noted that Russian government security officials have begun to frequently harass or unlawfully detain U.S. citizens. Other reasons for U.S. citizens to leave the country include “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 level 4 warning is the highest level warning issued by the State Department. The systems usually range from simply advising caution to ceasing all travel to a certain country.
February 24th will mark one year since the Russia-Ukraine war began. Reports also indicate that Moscow may be gathering up more troops to coordinate an offensive during that one-year mark.
The U.S. has repeatedly issued warnings pushing for its citizens to leave Russia from the start of the invasion and has since increased those efforts since Moscow called on its reservist forces in September.
According to a Reuters report, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov completely dismissed the U.S. alert, noting that this is not the first time that they have advised U.S. citizens to exit the country.