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US Embassy in Russia tells Americans to leave the country

The U.S. Embassy in Russia is urging Americans in the country to leave and warning U.S. citizens to not travel to Russia after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a call-up of 300,000 reservists to aid depleted forces in Ukraine.

The embassy said in a security alert on Wednesday that Russia may prevent U.S. citizens from leaving the country and conscript dual nationals into military service.

Russia may also refuse to acknowledge dual nationals’ U.S. citizenship or restrict their access to U.S. consular assistance, officials said.

Many flights booked up and prices soared after Putin announced a call-up of reservists for the first time since World War II. Russian forces have sustained heavy losses throughout the war, especially since Ukraine launched a counteroffensive earlier this month through which it has regained thousands of square kilometers of territory.

The U.S. Embassy said on Wednesday that flights are extremely limited and often unavailable on short notice but that overland routes by car and bus are still open. The embassy added that it is severely limited in its ability to help U.S. citizens and people should make independent arrangements as soon as possible.

The State Department maintains a page on its website to provide information on commercial travel out of Russia.

Officials also said U.S. citizens should remember that the right to peacefully assemble and freedom of expression are not guaranteed in Russia and they should avoid all social or political protests and not take pictures of security at the protests. Russian authorities have arrested Americans who have participated in the protests.

Protests popped up across Russia after Putin’s announcement, and police have detained hundreds of people.

The embassy also said in the security alert that U.S. citizens should carry proper identification, including a U.S. passport and current Russian visa, and have a contingency plan not reliant on U.S. assistance.

Department of Transportation declares regional emergency following BP refinery fire in Indiana

Kirklareli / Turkey – Aug, 30, 2021: Lighted Sign Board with Large British Petroleum, BP Logo Placed on a poll in the highway gas station.

A Department of Transportation agency declared a regional energy emergency for four Midwestern states on Saturday after a fire at an oil refinery in Indiana forced the facility to shut down.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration made the declaration to address the need for the immediate transportation of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel for Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin.

The declaration allows the states to be exempt from certain federal regulations to manage the emergency.

It will permit motor carriers and drivers providing direct, related assistance to the impacted states not to abide by regulations setting a maximum driving time.

The declaration states that drivers are required to take a 10-hour break when moving from emergency relief efforts to normal operations if the total amount of time they engage in emergency relief efforts exceeds 14 hours. This regulation also applies if the total amount of time combined from emergency relief and normal operations exceeds 14 hours.

Reuters reported on Wednesday that BP shut down some of its units at its Whiting, Ind., refinery due to an electrical fire. The fire was extinguished, and the company said it was deciding when the affected units would restart.

There were no injuries. The refinery handles more than 430,000 barrels per day, according to Reuters.

It provides about 20 to 25 percent of the refined gas, diesel and jet fuel that the four states collectively use.

Whiting is located on Lake Michigan, near the state’s border with Illinois.

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