US Embassy in Moscow Issues Highest Level Travel Advisory to Leave Russia Immediately

On Monday, the U.S. Embassy in Moscow issued a Level 4 travel advisory, the highest level warning, telling American citizens to leave Russia immediately and cease all travel to the country.[0] The warning comes amid the ongoing war between Russia and neighboring Ukraine, as well as reports of harassment and wrongful detention of American citizens specifically.

The embassy noted that the U.S. government’s ability to provide emergency services to its citizens in Russia is severely limited due to travel restrictions, staffing limitations, and the suspension of consular services.[1] Commercial flight operations are also “extremely limited,” officials said, and may be difficult to acquire with short notice.[2]

The warning also mentioned the risks of being forcibly enlisted into the Russian army and that Russian authorities “arbitrarily enforce local laws against US citizen religious workers and have opened questionable criminal investigations against US citizens engaged in religious activity.”[3] Russia may also refuse to acknowledge dual nationals’ U.S. citizenship, deny their access to U.S. consular assistance, subject them to mobilization, prevent their departure from Russia, and/or conscript them.[4]

The warning follows the high-profile prisoner swap of Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout for U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner, who had been sentenced to nine years in a Russian penal colony on drug possession charges.[0] It also comes as the Russia-Ukraine war nears its first anniversary on February 24th, and amid concerns that Moscow is amassing troops for an offensive that could coincide with that one-year mark.[0]

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed the U.S. warning, telling reporters that it was “not a new thing.”[0] The Russian Foreign Ministry also served a notice to U.S. Ambassador Lynn Tracey accusing the embassy of “maliciously” spreading “inappropriate statements about the Russian leadership and false information about its Armed Forces” online.[5] They also warned U.S. diplomats against trying to conduct subversive work, recruiting “agents of influence” to sow discord and dissent in Russian society and incite anti-state speeches.[6]

Ultimately, the U.S. State Department is urging U.S. citizens to not travel to Russia due to the “unpredictable consequences” of the war in Ukraine and the risks of harassment and wrongful detention.[7]

0. “US tells citizens to leave Russia immediately” – News 4, 13 Feb. 2023,

1. “Americas Should Depart Russia Soon” Vax-Before-Travel, 13 Feb. 2023,

2. “Americans in Russia could be forced to fight in war, US warns” WTOP, 13 Feb. 2023,

3. “Americans are urged to leave Russia right away” MENAFN.COM, 13 Feb. 2023,

4. “US tells Americans in Russia to leave ‘immediately'” Straight Arrow News, 13 Feb. 2023,

5. “Russia Threatens U.S. Envoy With Expulsions Over Anti-War Posts” The Moscow Times, 7 Feb. 2023,

6. “Russia Demands U.S. Embassy Stop Interfering In Its ‘internal Affairs'” i24NEWS, 7 Feb. 2023,

7. “Ukraine ‘using more munitions than West can supply'” The Telegraph, 13 Feb. 2023,