August 22, 2023

Americans Warned to Flee Belarus

The State Department is warning all Americans to leave Belarus immediately, warning against travel to the nation, according to a Monday statement.

The announcement comes after the countries neighboring Belarus have increased security over Wagner mercenary forces in the country.

"The State Department, in its warning, encouraged Americans still in Belarus to depart the country immediately and categorized the country as a Level 4 risk, the highest security warning," the Hill reported.

"Belarus’s longtime leader Alexander Lukashenko, known as Europe’s last dictator, has been a key facilitator of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine, and is under a catalog of U.S. sanctions for human rights abuses and political repression against Belarusian people who challenged his claim to election victory in 2020," it added.

"The United States has previously advised Americans against visiting Belarus, including in January 2022 about one month before the start of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine," RFERL reported.

"In the same month, the U.S. State Department also ordered the departure of family members of American civil servants from Belarus," it continued.

Belarus has long been a concern as it has in many ways sided with Russia in its invasion of Ukraine. The nation has also been sanctioned alongside Russia in many areas, including being excluded from some international sporting events.

The concerns have also grown since the reports of a Wagner Group overthrow of the Russian government that was abruptly stopped.

The group has since announced plans to stop operating in Ukraine and Russia, focusing its future plans on work in Africa.

The new warning for Americans is the highest level possible, showing that any remaining citizens in Belarus need to be out as soon as possible.

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