Americans in Russia should leave immediately because they face harassment and unlawful detention if they remain, the U.S. Embassy in Moscow said this weekend in a travel advisory.
The warning is based on what the embassy said are “unpredictable consequences” of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, now approaching its one-year anniversary.
“The U.S. government’s ability to provide routine or emergency services to U.S. citizens in Russia is severely limited, particularly in areas far from the U.S. Embassy in Moscow,” the embassy said in a statement, citing Russian government limitations on travel for embassy personnel and staffing, along with the ongoing suspension of operations at U.S. consulates.
Americans should note that U.S. credit and debit cards no longer work in Russia. Because of sanctions imposed on Russian banks, electronically transferring funds from the United States is extremely limited.
There are reports of cash shortages in Russia, the U.S. Embassy said.
Commercial flights out of Russia are minimal and often unavailable on short notice. The embassy said Americans who want to leave the country should make their own arrangements as soon as possible.
“The U.S. Embassy has severe limitations on its ability to assist U.S. citizens to depart the country and transportation options may suddenly become even more limited,” U.S. officials in Moscow said.