Security Alert – U.S. Mission Russia (December 14, 2020)

Security Alert – U.S. Mission Russia (December 14, 2020)

Location: Russia, countrywide

Event: During the holiday season, security measures in Russia remain heightened due to ongoing threats posed by transnational terrorist organizations and individuals inspired by violent extremist ideology throughout Europe. Violent extremists continue to focus on locations such as Christmas holiday markets, shopping malls, airports, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, transportation hubs, and other soft targets frequented by tourists.

As in many other large cities, criminal activity (robberies, thefts, and burglaries) often increases during the holiday. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash, do not leave packages and gifts in unattended vehicles, and always secure your residence. If using credit cards, be cognizant that financial fraud is also a concern, so check your statements regularly to verify charges.

The holidays also bring a marked increase in the number of traffic-related accidents involving alcohol. Use caution when out driving late at night and respect local driving laws.

A recent initiative approved by the Russian Duma greatly expands the power of the police and local security services to stop, search, and detain anyone suspected by an individual officer of crimes. The new rules also expand the authorized use of force by police during a confrontation with an individual suspected of wrongdoing. As always, when stopped or questioned by a police officer, remain calm, be polite, and provide identification when requested.

Actions to Take:

  • Exercise additional vigilance at holiday festivals and events, places of worship, and locations with large crowds.
  • Review your personal security plans.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Monitor local media for updates.