US Citizens Warned To Evacuate Belarus Due To Russian Mercenary Risk

(Photo by PETRAS MALUKAS/AFP via Getty Images)

Elizabeth Weibel Contributor
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The U.S. issued a warning Monday urging Americans to evacuate the country of Belarus due to an increased risk of Russian mercenaries.

The warning from the U.S. Embassy in Minsk, Belarus instructing citizens to “depart immediately” and against traveling to the country comes days after Lithuania closed two of its border crossings that it shares with Belarus amid an increase in Russian forces from the mercenary Wagner Group, according to the warning from the embassy.

“U.S. citizens in Belarus should depart immediately. Consider departing via the remaining border crossings with Lithuania and Latvia, or by plane,” the warning read. “U.S. citizens are not permitted to enter Poland overland from Belarus. Do not travel to Russia or Ukraine.”

“Do not travel to Belarus due to Belarusian authorities’ continued facilitation of Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine, the buildup of Russian military forces in Belarus, the arbitrary enforcement of local laws, the potential of civil unrest, the risk of detention, and the Embassy’s limited ability to assist U.S. citizens residing in or traveling to Belarus,” the warning from the Embassy added. (RELATED: Putin Announces Plans To Base Nuclear Warheads In Belarus)

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko confirmed in June that Yevgeny Prigozhin, the Wagner Group leader had arrived in Belarus after an unsuccessful coup attempt in Russia days earlier, according to The Guardian.

Poland and Latvia also warned that more border crossings being closed may be “possible,” the embassy said. Additionally, Poland warned that it would move 10,000 troops to its border with Belarus, citing worries over the presence of Wagner Group mercenaries.