Airlines Cancel Flights, State Department Advises Americans to Leave Russia Promptly

The State Department posted a Security Alert on Sunday, advising American citizens to leave Russia as soon as possible using commercial transportation.

A growing number of airlines are canceling flights into and out of Russia; other nations have blocked their airspace for Russian planes. 

Threat Level 4: Do Not Travel

Citizens of the United States should consider leaving Russia as soon as possible, using commercial transportation options that are still accessible.

The United States Embassy in Moscow advises citizens of the United States that the travel advisory level for Russia is at “Level 4: Do Not Travel.”

Numerous days after Russia started a massive assault on Ukraine, this advisory comes on the heels of a Level 4 Go Advisory issued on January 23, urging Americans not to fly to Russia. 

In the letter, it stated travelers should avoid traveling to Russia because of the “currently underway conflict along the frontier with Ukraine,” “the potential for intimidation against U.S. citizens,” and “the embassy’s restricted ability to help U.S. citizens in Russia.”

“Violence, intimidation by Russian government security personnel, and arbitrary policing of local law” were also mentioned.

This was followed by a statement claiming the United States’ ability to connect with American citizens who needed assistance in Russia was “severely limited,” particularly outside the country’s major city of Moscow.

On Sunday, Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission, issued a blanket ban on all Russian flights and aircraft from entering or leaving European Union airspace. 

Ban on Russian Aircrafts

“First and foremost, we are prohibiting Russian aircraft from entering EU airspace.”

According to the statement, “we are recommending a ban on all Russian-owned aircraft, as well as Russian-registered and Russian-controlled aircraft.”

“These aircraft will no longer be permitted to land, take off, or fly over the jurisdiction of the European Union. Any aircraft owned, leased, or otherwise managed by a Russian natural or legal person will be subject to this regulation.”

Following the announcement by the European Commission, Russia’s largest airline, Aeroflot, declared it will suspend all flights between Moscow and St. Petersburg and numerous European countries. 

According to a message from what seems to be Aeroflot’s official Twitter account, which was translated via Google, the airline canceled and suspended flights from Moscow and St. Petersburg (such as aircraft operated by Rossiya Airlines).

These cancellations extend to a variety of sites, due to the shutdown of the airspace of several European nations.

On Sunday, the battle in Ukraine escalated, with satellite photos showing a caravan of Russian military trucks marching toward the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, which is more than 100 kilometers away.

According to Reuters, the Russian president has also called on the country’s nuclear deterrent unit to be placed in a “special regime of combat operations.”