U.S. Warns Dual Citizens Might Get Trapped in Ukraine


The United States government advised that dual citizens of Ukraine and the U.S. who are of conscription age may risk being unable to leave the country.

Under the martial law enacted in Ukraine, men with dual Ukraine-U.S. citizenship aged between 18 and 60, “may no longer be able to depart the country,” the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv stated in a statement on Tuesday.

Since martial law was imposed in Ukraine, it has been extended multiple times. Most recently, in May, the Ukrainian Parliament was reported to have extended martial law until August 2024.

President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy talk at the Walk of the Brave, Monday, February 20, 2023, during an unannounced visit to Kyiv, Ukraine. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)

President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky talk on February 20, 2023, during an unannounced visit to Kyiv, Ukraine. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)

A mobilization law in Ukraine took effect in May, streamlining the process for the government to identify those eligible for conscription. Under this law, as of June 1, the previous “residence abroad exception” allowing men of dual citizenship to leave the country was removed.

“Under Ukraine’s martial law, men between 18 and 60 years old are not permitted to leave the country,” the U.S. embassy noted. “Previously, dual U.S.-Ukrainian citizens in this group could exit Ukraine if they had deregistered their Ukrainian residency and registered their U.S. residency. According to our information, this exception was revoked as of June 1.”

The U.S. embassy in Kyiv also mentioned its “limited” capacity to “influence Ukrainian law.”

U.S.-Ukrainian dual citizens currently in Ukraine are advised to “shelter in place and comply with all local orders.”

“If you are not currently in Ukraine, we strongly recommend against all travel to Ukraine by U.S. male citizens aged 18 to 60 who also hold Ukrainian citizenship or have a claim to it and who do not wish to stay in Ukraine indefinitely.”

A spokesperson from the Ukrainian State Border Guard Service explained to Politico that the border guards “treated Ukrainians with dual citizenship as Ukrainians” who are still obligated to “protect the country from the Russian invasion.”

Zelensky has also signed other laws aimed at increasing his military’s size. One such law permitted prisoners to enlist in the Ukrainian military, while another imposed fines on people attempting to evade the military draft.

Elizabeth Weibel
Elizabeth Weibel
Maryland raised. Virginia based.

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