Municipal authorities have issued a permit for opposition political parties to hold a procession on the one-year anniversary of the murder of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov. The procession is to take place in Moscow on Saturday, February 27, 2016, from 1300-1700 hours. Up to 50,000 people are expected to participate in the march, which will start on Strastnoy Boulevard (approximately 100 meters from the Chekhovskaya metro station), proceed along Sretensky Boulevard, and end on Academician Sakharov Avenue. Mourners are also expected to gather throughout the weekend at the site of Nemtsov’s murder on Bolshoi Moskvoretsky Bridge. Last year’s funeral march for Nemtsov was large (between 40,000-70,000 people), but orderly.
There will be a sizable police presence monitoring the entire route of the march; security services will also be at the Bolshoi Moskvoretsky Bridge. Some of these gatherings at the Bridge may not be authorized by the police and participants may be removed.
U.S. citizens are reminded that even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence. Due to the likelihood of large crowds and the fact that any demonstration has the potential to become violent, U.S. citizens are advised to avoid the procession, the immediate surrounding areas, and the Bolshoi Moskvoretsky Bridge.
U.S. citizens are also encouraged to exercise caution and remain vigilant while using public transportation throughout the day, as metro and bus lines will be used by participants in the procession. Last year, the local security services closed some metro stations or routed traffic in one direction only to reduce the potential for overcrowding.
Review your personal security plans, remain aware of your surroundings, including local events, and monitor local news stations for updates. Maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
- 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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