Saturday, January 28

The US recommends its compatriots to leave Russia “immediately”


Russian citizens fleeing to Kazakhstan to escape the partial mobilization decreed by Putin queue at an Almaty center to receive a temporary residence document. / Pavel Mikheyev / Reuters

Poland, Bulgaria, Estonia and Romania join the petition before Moscow closes borders to stop the exodus of reservists

The growing tension in Russia since President Vladimir Putin decreed mobilizing 300,000 reservists to fight in Ukraine has forced various countries to ask their citizens to leave the former Soviet republic. “Freedom of expression and the right to peaceful assembly are not guaranteed in Russia,” the United States Embassy in Moscow stressed on Wednesday, insisting on “avoiding protests and taking photographs of security forces within the framework of said events. » so that they do not suffer retaliation. But it did not stay there. He also urged his compatriots to “immediately” leave the country, even though “commercial flights are currently extremely limited.”

A Russian recruit sets himself on fire:

“If you want to go out, you must make the necessary preparations as soon as possible. The Embassy is very limited when it comes to offering assistance to Americans and conditions could be seen as more and more extreme, “the Washington legation insisted. She also stated that Moscow could “start denying Americans dual nationality and access to consular assistance to prevent their departure from the country.”

The diplomatic headquarters recalled that land routes remain open to flee to neighboring territories. Although they will no longer be able to go to Georgia. The Russian region of North Ossetia, bordering the Caucasian country, decreed the closure of vehicles on Wednesday after the massive arrival of citizens since last week. Some 20,000 people have crossed the border so far. “We will not be able to guarantee order and security if this flow continues to grow,” explained its authorities.

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“Deterioration of security”

Despite the restrictions, the surge will increase. Especially since several governments have followed the example of Washington. Poland, Bulgaria, Estonia and Romania have also urged their citizens to leave Russia. “In the event of a sharp deterioration of the security situation, border closures or other unforeseen situations, evacuation may be significantly complicated or even impossible… We recommend Polish citizens who are on the territory of the Russian Federation to leave its territory,” the Warsaw legation said in a statement. “In connection with Russia’s military actions, we recommend not to travel there without urgent need and to completely avoid trips to the border areas with Ukraine,” Estonia said in turn.

The Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs joined the petition due to the “deterioration of the situation” in the former Soviet republic. In addition, he advised “Bulgarian citizens who are on the territory of the Russian Federation to exercise increased vigilance, avoid places of mass gathering of people, taking into account the circumstances and the development of the situation with due caution.”

These are the only territories that have so far asked their compatriots to leave Russia, but it is possible that in the next few hours more governments will rule on the matter and follow in the footsteps of the American giant. As long as they can, at least, since the Kremlin could close all its borders sooner or later to avoid mass mobilizations outside the country. And it is that, apparently, almost more people have fled Russia than Putin wanted to recruit.

According to the latest report from the border service of the FSB (Federal Security Service or former Russian KGB), between Wednesday and Saturday of last week some 261,000 men crossed the borders compared to the 300,000 that Moscow wanted to send to Ukraine to fight (although , according to some versions, it seems that the Kremlin is calling two million). And the flow has continued to grow ever since. For this reason, the Moscow Ministry of Defense has urged Putin to completely close the borders “before it is too late.”

The Kremlin will not issue passports to recruits

The Russian government confirmed on Wednesday that the call-up resulting from the mobilization will mean that no passport is issued for the summoned reservists, so that they will not be able to leave the country once they have been summoned by the military authorities. Moscow explained that there is no exit ban for men of combat age and that they could therefore be summoned to join the Armed Forces, but limits will be applied to the issuance of passports in the event that there is already a summons in vigor. However, the Kremlin assured that it does not contemplate “in any case” the withdrawal of nationality. It also established the guarantee that they can return to their jobs when they finish their work in Ukraine.


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