The United States has told its citizens to leave Russia immediately due to the war in Ukraine and the risk of arbitrary arrest or harassment by Russian law enforcement agencies. "U.S. citizens residing or traveling in Russia should depart immediately," the U.S. Embassy in Moscow said on February 12. "Exercise increased caution due to the risk of wrongful detentions." "Do not travel to Russia," the embassy said. The United States has repeatedly warned its citizens to leave Russia. The last such public warning was in September after President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilization.
Is there any instance of Russian law enforcement agencies harassing or arbitrarily arresting American citizens? I was wondering if it ever happened and if Russia really has a reason to do so, there must be some kind of historical precedent that explains why this statement was made, but I am not sure what Russia would gain from doing this. To me, it's equivalent to shooting oneself on the foot.