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28 November, 2022
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US Embassy in Moscow tells citizens to leave immediately

Russia may not recognize dual citizenship and may end up drafting US citizens to fight in the war in Ukraine

Source: Daily Mail

The United States Embassy in Moscow has told all Americans left to leave immediately to avoid being conscripted into Vladimir Putin's mobilized army.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre indicated Tuesday that the White House would offer political asylum to men fleeing Russia following Putin's mobilization.

'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 in a statement.

The embassy also warned that leaving Russia has become increasingly difficult with flights filling and Putin's troops shutting down borders.

'Those residing or traveling in Russia should depart Russia immediately while limited commercial travel options remain,' the warning continued.

Putin last week announced that he would mobilize 300,000 military-aged men to fight Ukraine - setting off chaos in recruitment centers, airports and at the borders.

Russians have been frantically trying to book flights out with single tickets to destinations such as Dubai hitting more than $10,000.

'Commercial flight options are extremely limited at present and are often unavailable on short notice,' the statement continued.

'Overland routes by car and bus are still open. If you wish to depart Russia, you should make independent arrangements as soon as possible.

'The U.S. Embassy has severe limitations on its ability to assist U.S. citizens, and conditions, including transportation options, may suddenly become even more limited.

The embassy also warned any U.S. citizens considering protesting because 'peaceful assembly and freedom of expression are not guaranteed'.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre indicated Tuesday that the White House would offer political asylum to men fleeing Russia following Putin's mobilization.

But she did not mention a specific program tailored for Russians, whose homeland faces an array of U.S. and western sanctions imposed in response to Russia's brutal invasion of Ukraine in February.

'We are seeing protests in the streets of Russia, we are seeing people sign petitions, and I think the message they are sending to us very clearly is that this war that Putin started … is unpopular,' she said. 'There are people out there in Russia who do not want to fight Putin's war or die for it.'

She spoke after numerous videos have emerged from Russia of attacks on military recruiting centers, and new conscripts being told they will be sent to the front, where U.S. and British officials have estimated tens of thousands of Russian military forces have been killed or wounded.

There have even been reports of online searches for such questions as how to break your arm at home in Russia, in what has been interpreted as a way to avoid military service.

'We believe that, regardless of nationality, they may apply for asylum in the United States and have their claim adjudicated on a case-by-case basis,' said Jean-Pierre. 'We welcome any folks who are seeking asylum, and they should do that.'

'There is one person who can stop this war, and that is President Putin. He's the one who started this unprovoked, brutal war, and it is for – it is up to him to stop it,' she said.

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