US warns citizens in Ukraine, Russia that they may be targeted

Washington, Mar 29 (EFE).- The United States government warned its citizens in Ukraine and Russia on Tuesday that they may be “singled out and detained” because of their nationality by Russia’s military and reiterated its recommendation not to travel to the countries.

In its latest travel advisory for Russia, the US State Department warns that American citizens may be targeted.

“Do not travel to Russia due to the unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine by Russian military forces, the potential for harassment against US citizens by Russian government security officials, the singling out of US citizens in Russia by Russian government security officials including for detention, the arbitrary enforcement of local law, limited flights into and out of Russia, the Embassy’s limited ability to assist US citizens in Russia, COVID-19 and related entry restrictions, and terrorism,” the advisory says.

In its latest advisory for Ukraine, the department urges US citizens in the country to “depart immediately if it is safe to do so using any commercial or other privately available ground transportation options.”

“The security situation throughout Ukraine is highly volatile and conditions have deteriorated. US citizens should remain vigilant and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness. There are continued reports of US citizens being singled out and detained by the Russian military in Ukraine and when evacuating by land through Russia-occupied territory or to Russia or Belarus,” it adds.

The department also maintains the travel advisory level for both countries at Level 4: Do Not Travel.

The Department’s last update for travel to Russia was on Mar. 5, and for Ukraine, on Mar. 8.

The White House on Tuesday denied that US President Joe Biden had spoken with his European allies about his recent controversial comment in which he said that the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, “cannot remain in power” after the invasion launched against Ukraine.

During a speech last week in Poland, Ukraine’s neighboring country that has received most of its refugees, Biden declared that Putin “cannot remain in power” but the White House later clarified that he was not seeking a regime change in Russia.

On Monday, Biden said that he was expressing the “moral outrage” that he felt over the invasion, not a “policy change” of the US towards Russia. EFE


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