The United States embassy in Moscow has urged all American citizens to leave Russia immediately, following concerns of “unjust and arbitrary” detentions. The move came after Russian authorities allegedly began detaining individuals, including American citizens, without cause, often targeting those with ties to the US.

The embassy’s advisory warns that Americans may be subjected to “verbal and physical harassment” and “false arrest” by Russian authorities, who may use such incidents as a pretext for political leverage. The advisory added that US citizens who choose to remain in Russia “should be prepared to have their movement restricted,” and could face difficulties in obtaining legal representation. The warning reflects the increasingly tense relations between the US and Russia, with diplomatic ties already strained due to a number of issues, including cybersecurity and election interference allegations.

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