The State Department has issued a “dire warning” for US citizens to leave Russia immediately and not return.
Per The Washington Examiner, the updated travel advisory was put out on Monday, pointedly saying “do not travel to Russia.” The risk was set at Level 4, the highest for those traveling abroad.
For Americans mulling a trip to Russia, the department didn’t mince words: “Do not travel to Russia.” Although it is not clear why officials released the updated travel advisory, military leaders have been sounding alarms that Russia is gearing up for a major escalation in its bloody war against neighboring Ukraine.
“Do not travel to Russia due to the unpredictable consequences of the unprovoked full-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russian military forces, the potential for harassment and the singling out of U.S. citizens for detention by Russian government security officials, the arbitrary enforcement of local law,” the U.S. Embassy in Moscow warned.
The reason given for the advisory is incredibly generic and reveals no new information. Russia has been invading Ukraine for a year now, so what exactly has changed? Especially to the point of warning US citizens that they could now be detained by Russian security officials?
Something big is obviously coming, and the smart money is on Russia launching its much-talked-about major offensive in Ukraine’s Donbas region. As RedState reported, Ukraine’s military is also planning an offensive around the same time (before April), setting up a clash that could lead to the bloodiest fighting of the war yet.
How committed is Putin to “winning” his war against Ukraine? That will play the biggest role in just how far he’s willing to go with this new offensive. The Western powers are shoveling war materials into Ukraine, but at the end of the day, you need manpower. That’s Ukraine’s disadvantage. Russia could conceivably overwhelm the front by sheer force of numbers, though it would almost certainly cost them dearly. Is that the path Putin wants to take now that saving face appears to be off the table?
Since last Fall, there’s been a perception, specifically in the American press, that the worst is over Ukraine. That’s probably not true unless Russian officials have a sudden change of heart. Given their recent military buildup on the border, that’s unlikely to occur. Things are about to get really bad again.