The U.S. Embassy in Moscow informs U.S. citizens of a recent increase in Moscow-area bomb threats. Media reports indicate that on the evening of February 18, 2016, twelve shopping centers and other locations in Moscow received telephonic bomb threats. Affected institutions included the GUM shopping complex adjacent to Red Square, and TSUM (the Central Department Store), located near the Bolshoy Theater, and Auchan supermarkets. Following standard procedures, the police evacuated several thousand individuals from the targeted locations; the police then cleared each site and no explosives were found at the sites.
In the wake of Russia initiating military operations in Syria in late September 2015 and the ISIL-backed terrorist attacks in Paris in mid-November 2015, bomb threats in Moscow have spiked, contributing to an overall 15% increase in false bomb threats in Moscow in 2015, according to the Ministry of Interior. Of note, multiple threats targeting public transportation sites, especially the metro and railway stations, have been reported in the last three months. Fortunately, all of the threats proved to be unsubstantiated, but in each instance, the Russian security services evacuated the targeted location. Until this recent event, the false bomb threats targeted no more than two locations in a given day.
All bomb threats should be taken seriously. If you find yourself at a location that is subject to a bomb threat, follow the instructions of the police and on-site security personnel.
For more information:
- See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country-Specific Information Sheet for the Russian Federation.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Contact the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, located at 21 Novinsky Blvd. in Moscow, at +7 (495) 728-5577, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. weekdays or by e-mail at email@example.com or visit the Embassy website at https://ru.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/. After-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is +7 (495) 728 5000 after 6:00 p.m. and on weekends and holidays.
- U.S. Consulate General St. Petersburg:
The U.S. Consulate General in St. Petersburg is located at 15 Furshatskaya Street, Tel: +7 (812) 331-2600. You may contact the Consulate’s ACS unit by e-mail at StPetersburgACS@state.gov, or by fax at +7 (812) 331-2646, or visit the Consulate website. For after-hours emergencies, call +7 (812) 331-2600 and listen to the recorded message for the Duty Officer’s cell phone number.
- U.S. Consulate General Vladivostok
The U.S. Consulate General is located at 32 Pushkinskaya Street, Vladivostok, Russia 690001, Tel.: +7 (423) 230-0070, fax: +7 (423) 230-0091, Emergency telephone: +7 (914) 791-0067 (24 hours)
- U.S. Consulate General Yekaterinburg:
The U.S. Consulate General in Yekaterinburg is located at 15 Gogolya Street, Tel: +7 (343) 793-001. You may contact the Consulate’s ACS Unit by e-mail at ConsulYekat@state.gov or by fax at +7 (343) 379-4515, or visit the Consulate’s website at https://ru.usembassy.gov/embassy-consulates/yekaterinburg/.
For after-hours emergencies, you may call the Duty Officer at +7 (917) 569-3549.
- Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
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