As the Russian military continued to push its positions in its sluggish attempt to capture Ukraine, the U.S. Embassy in Russia over the weekend published an urgent message to Americans still in country.
According to Breitbart, the U.S. Embassy told Americans currently in Russia to board the first outbound flight they could catch, citing a growing list of major airlines that have decided to drastically cut — or end — flights to and from the country while the illegal invasion of Ukraine is underway.
It also reminded Americans that the Department of State’s Travel Advisory had set a “Level 4: Do Not Travel” label on Russia.
— Cliff Levy (@cliffordlevy) February 27, 2022
The warning, which came in the form of a security alert on the U.S. Embassy’s website, cited a number of concerns for American nationals currently in Russia.
“An increasing number of airlines are canceling flights into and out of Russia, and numerous countries have closed their airspace to Russian airlines,” the security alert read.
It added: “U.S. citizens should consider departing Russia immediately via commercial options still available.”
The aforementioned travel advisory issued by the U.S. State Department echoed similar concerns, but added that it fears Americans in Russia could be harassed, especially as Russia fails to capture its early objectives in Ukraine.
“Do not travel to Russia due to ongoing tension along the border with Ukraine, the potential for harassment against U.S. citizens, the embassy’s limited ability to assist U.S. citizens in Russia, COVID-19 and related entry restrictions, terrorism, harassment by Russian government security officials, and the arbitrary enforcement of local law,” the State Department warned.
EU countries close airspace
A growing number of European nations have shut down airspace to Russian aircraft as Vladimir Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine continues to play out before the world, CNBC reported.
So far, the outlet reported, Canada, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Italy, Austria, and Iceland have all either restricted or completely shut down its airspace to Russian planes, including private planes owned by wealthy Russian oligarchs.
The decision to shutter their collective airspace is reportedly an effort to aid in the many sanctions Russia currently faces for its incursion into neighboring Ukraine.