US Tells Citizens to Leave Russia (Again)
And this time, we mean it.
Reuters (“United States tells citizens: Leave Russia immediately“):
The United States has told its citizens to leave Russia immediately due to the war in Ukraine and the risk of arbitrary arrest or harassment by Russian law enforcement agencies.
There’s a war in Ukraine? Since when?
“U.S. citizens residing or travelling in Russia should depart immediately,” the U.S. embassy in Moscow said. “Exercise increased caution due to the risk of wrongful detentions.”
“Do not travel to Russia,” it added.
What American citizen is traveling to Russia at this stage? For what possible reason?
“Russian security services have arrested U.S. citizens on spurious charges, singled out U.S. citizens in Russia for detention and harassment, denied them fair and transparent treatment, and convicted them in secret trials or without presenting credible evidence,” the embassy said.
“Russian authorities arbitrarily enforce local laws against U.S. citizen religious workers and have opened questionable criminal investigations against U.S. citizens engaged in religious activity.”
That seems damned inhospitable of them.
The Kremlin said it was not the first time U.S. citizens had been asked to leave Russia. The last such public warning was in September after President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilisation.
“They (warnings) have been voiced by the State Department many times in the last period, so this is not a new thing,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
So . . . this is just a restatement of previous restatements of the obvious? Well . . . okay then.
But, seriously, if you’re an American citizen hanging out in Russia reading this blog right now, you should definitely consider leaving.
It’s the Nordstream report. Foggy Bottom* is probably anticipating Putin acting out.
*Do people still say, ‘foggy bottom’?
We still had people hanging out in Afghanistan until the very end, including people sightseeing, visiting family and religious workers. Some people ignore all of the warnings then expect the US govt to get them out.
I’m thinking many in the current GQP base, for moral support.
I recall a number of fat old MAGA guys wearing “I’d Rather Be Russian Than A Democrat” t-shirts.
@steve: Exactly. The Repubs were wailing about “American citizens left behind!!”, and I kept thinking, “what the f*ck were they doing in country as the Taliban marched on the capital and why is that our problem?
Mighta had something to do with the US government not realizing the Taliban quickly take the capital and were instead assuring people that the Afghan government would not fall for months.
@Andy: Still, what the hell were they doing in an active war zone? Surely they assume some risk. Some of them were literally going to some relative’s wedding and had hung around for a few months. And others were “entrepreneurs” and were hovering up all the cash they could.
@MarkedMan: There’s something wrong with someone who needs the US government to tell them not to visit Afghanistan. Or Russia.
At some point Americans need to take responsibility for our stupid choices instead of always falling back on blaming the US government.
@Michael Reynolds: There are reasons to question the Sy Hersh reporting on this — single source reporting should be suspect*. There are plausible reasons to believe Russia sabotaged it themselves.
But, more importantly, Russia has known for a very long time whether they damaged their own pipeline, and that if they didn’t it was likely done a NATO state with US knowledge, if not the US itself.
The Sy Hersh report is not news to Russia. Any response to the pipeline has already happened.
This announcement likely has nothing to do with that. Might just be a general reiteration of policy. Or based on an uptick of Americans traveling to Russia as the current situation is being viewed as just the new normal.
*: At some point, Michael Flynn could have been described as a high ranking military source. And likely was. And might have even been trustworthy before the brain worms got him. A single source report like this is a good reason for others to attempt to confirm it, but not definitive at all. Sy Hersh might have not noticed the gentle scent of brain worms beginning to fester.
My mother-in-law is in Russia, because she immigrated to the US from Russia, and her mother is still alive, didn’t want to immigrate to the US when she could have, and someone has to take care of her, as Russia doesn’t have any sort of elder care infrastructure. She doesn’t want to be there, but her mother can’t take care of herself anymore. I’m not saying there aren’t some people there for stupid reasons, but there are some making the best choice they can. I really, really hope it doesn’t go as badly as it may, but I can’t blame her for staying.
Regarding NordStream, maybe we did, or maybe we didn’t, but once respectable Sy Hersch is today about as dependable as the National Enquirer – they did get the Mark Sanford Argentinian Mistress story correct (hiking the Appalachian Trail, sure).
An acquaintance’s nephew (18 – Russian Citizen, USA Green Card (not exactly, parents have a H-series visa since he was in 6th grade) who had just graduated High School in the SFO Bay Area was visiting his grandfather in St Petersburg in March 2022 when suddenly he was of draft age in Russia, not allowed to leave.
In July he managed a border crossing to Finland by riding a bicycle a hundred miles.
I wonder if the UN is now issuing Stateless Passports to Russians (like Cuban and similar refugees get)?
I’d love to visit the Kamchatka Peninsula BTW.
Lots of reasons:
– People visiting relatives while the US was still there, probably for the last time.
– NGO’s doing the work they’d long been doing, including winding down and drawing back from the hinterlands to the major cities.
– Various contractors who were still fulfilling their responsibilities – often to the US government.
Of course, everyone understood that it was dangerous. But it’s a bizarre argument to – on one hand – hold the US government (and the Biden administration) largely blameless for not seeing the impending collapse of the Afghan government, while blaming individuals and private organizations for not being able to see the same thing. The fact of the matter is that the US government was telling people – up until the Taliban were on the outskirts of Kabul, that the government wouldn’t fall for months. The US government was not even able to fully evacuate its own personnel out of the country until after Kabul fell, yet we’re supposed to single out individuals for irresponsibility and stupid choices?
The logic of that doesn’t make any sense to me.
Re: foggy bottom
“That which we call ass-covering by any other name…”
@CSK: “I recall a number of fat old MAGA guys wearing “I’d Rather Be Russian Than A Democrat” t-shirts.”
I sincerely hope that those people are still in Russia, and get picked up as mobniks.