The U.S. Embassy in Moscow has urged all Americans in Russia to flee the nation following President Vladimir Putin’s “partial mobilization” decree last week.
“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 warned Tuesday.
The embassy warned that the ability to leave Russia has already become increasingly difficult with limited commercial flights and crowded border check points.
“Those residing or traveling in Russia should depart Russia immediately while limited commercial travel options remain,” the statement released by the embassy added.
Putin’s decree to mobilize 300,000 soldiers to go fight in his war in Ukraine has reportedly resulted in hundreds of thousands of conscription age men attempting to flee Russia.
Images have surfaced on social media showing packed airports and Finnish border check point officials have said thousands of cars have jammed up highways as Russians, mostly fighting age men, look to flee from Putin’s order.
Russian men have reported flooded into Finland, Georgia, Kazakhstan and Mongolia as other European nations have blocked their borders to Russian citizens.
The White House said Tuesday it will accept Russian refugees attempting to forgo joining the war in Ukraine.
Over a five-day period after Putin announced the mobilization on Sept. 21 some 261,000 men had already fled Russia according to Novaya Gazeta Europe Monday.
The embassy warned all Americans in Russia that the State Department has a limited ability to assist, particularly as tensions between Moscow and Washington continue to escalate to levels not seen since the Cold War, and said, “conditions, including transportation options, may suddenly become even more limited.”
But one Russia expert said the White House could also be signaling to Putin that signaling to Putin that Russia is “now not off limits for kinetic targeting” as the Kremlin escalates its language on nuclear threats and claims it will view annexed territory as its own.
“Moscow and Washington don’t speak the same language, literally and figuratively, having diametrically opposing worldviews and security agendas that placed them on a geopolitical collision course,” former intelligence officer for the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) Rebekah Koffler told Fox News Digital.
“This is a very complex and highly risky diplomatic-dance of ‘strategic messaging’ and ‘strategic ambiguity’ because of the possibility of misinterpretation,” she added.
The State Department has also advised Americans not travel to or through Russia at this time.