The UK Foreign Office today advised all British citizens who are currently in Russian Federation, to leave Russia immediately. All UK nationals were also strongly advised against all travel to the country, due to “the lack of available flight options to return to the UK, and the increased volatility in the Russian economy.”
“If your presence in Russia is not essential, we strongly advise that you consider leaving by remaining commercial routes,” the Foreign Office said on its website on Saturday.
With international sanctions hitting the ruble hard, British nationals should be aware that the Russian currency in their possession could reduce in value over the coming days, the Foreign Office also warned.
According to the Foreign Office, British nationals who would decide to depart from the country should use connecting flights, mainly via the Middle East and Turkey, to return to the UK as Europe has closed its airspace to Russian planes. The airspace closure was a part of the harsh sanctions package that Russia has been slapped with following its unprovoked full-scale aggression against Ukraine.
Moscow responded to UK and EU airspace closure in a tit-for-tat fashion, shutting Russian airspace for all aircraft from 36 countries.
On February 24, Russia has launched an unprovoked devastating attack by air, land, and sea on Ukraine – a European democracy of 44 million people. Russian forces are bombing city centers and closing in on the capital, Kyiv, prompting a mass exodus of refugees.
For months, President Vladimir Putin denied he would invade his neighbor, but then he tore up a peace deal and unleashed what Germany calls “Putin’s war”, pouring forces into Ukraine‘s north, east and south.
Increasingly looking like North Korea, Russia, since then, blocked access within the country to most of Western media websites, including the BBC, Deutsche Welle, Voice of America, and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
Also, the new law was adopted in Russia yesterday, making the “deliberate spread” of “false information” about the Russian military punishable by up to 15 years in jail and a heavy fine.
Similarly, people found guilty of “discrediting” the use of the Russian Armed Forces for “the protection of the interests of the Russian Federation and its citizens” can be jailed for up to five years and fined.