UNITED STATES EMBASSY MOSCOW, RUSSIA
The U.S. Embassy in Moscow informs U.S. citizens that municipal authorities have issued two permits for a procession and demonstration on National Unity Day in Moscow on November 4, 2015. Gatherings are also expected in St. Petersburg, Vladivostok, Khabarovsk, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Yekaterinburg, Chelyabinsk, Perm, and Tyumen (details below). Additional assemblies are possible and, as always, spontaneous gatherings and/or counter demonstrations may occur without advance warning.
Historically, some rallies celebrating National Unity Day have been marred by violence, including the targeting of non-ethnic Russians, especially individuals of African or Asian heritage or persons who appear to hail from the Caucasus. In 2014, there was specific press reporting warning non-Russian citizens to stay away from Unity Day events. While there has been no such reporting (to date) this year, due to the possibility of large crowds and violence, all U.S. citizens are advised to avoid the following locations:
- On November 4, 2015, starting at 10:30 on Tverskaya Street near Teatralnyy Proyezd in Moscow: Up to 10,000 members of various political parties/organizations intend to participate in a procession in the center of Moscow that will start from City Hall, move along Tverskaya Street, and turn onto Okhotnyy Ryad Street. The procession will culminate with a concert and rally on the square at Teatralnyy Proyezd. There will be a sizable police presence to monitor the procession, concert, and rally.
- On November 4, 2015, from 12:00-13:00 in the Lublino District of Moscow: Approximately 5,000 Nationalists plan to hold a march southeast of downtown Moscow along Pererva Street near the Bratislavskaya metro station. Police will be present to monitor demonstrators and their actions.
Events to mark National Unity Day will also take place throughout Russia.
- In Vladivostok, a Unity Day rally and a series of related events will take place near the ship pier and central square on November 4 starting around 10:00 and continuing throughout the day. The Consulate is also aware that authorities have received permit applications for nationalistic marches and demonstrations inKhabarovsk and Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, and notes that permits may be granted for similar events in cities around the consular district.
- In Saint Petersburg, a gathering will be held at the Field of Mars from 13:00–15:00 and at approximately 14:00 there are reports of a march being organized beginning at Ploshchad Vostaniya metro and proceeding down Nevskiy Prospect.
- In Yekaterinburg’s Consular District, Russian authorities have issued permits for nationalist marches and demonstrations on November 4, 2015 in the cities of Yekaterinburg, Chelyabinsk, Perm, and Tyumen.
- In Chelyabinsk, a march is scheduled to begin at 10:30, and demonstrators are expected to march from Aloye Pole Park to Revolution Square. In Perm, a demonstration is scheduled to begin at 13:00 near the City Opera House. In Tyumen, a day-long concert will take place at Tsvetnoy Boulevard.
- In Yekaterinburg, “NOD Yekaterinburg” (the local branch of the National Liberation Movement (НОД), which has held anti-American demonstrations outside the Consulate in the past, including on October 23) is planning to march at 12:00 from Naberezhnaya Rabochey Molodezhi 2/1 to the Chernyy Tyulpan memorial. Following the march, at approximately 13:00, a protest is scheduled to take place at the Ploshchad Sovetskoy Armii. Another event, “Russian March,” is expected to take place between 12:00 and 16:00 in Ordzhonikidzevskiy City District (Uralmash area).
Additional Guidance for November 4 Regarding Public Transportation
During past Unity Day events, violence has occurred not only at demonstration sites, but on public transportation (especially metro trains and buses) prior to, during, and after the rallies as participants typically use these conveyances to travel to and from the assembly points. For this reason, U.S. citizens are advised to exercise extreme caution when using public transportation on November 4. Be cognizant of the times of the above events and recognize that some routes may be crowded prior to, during, and immediately after the rally and demonstration; plan accordingly. In addition, some streets in the city center may be closed temporarily to allow for the procession to take place. As a result, taxis and buses may be re-routed.
Please note the following guidance from the U.S. Department of State’s Country Specific Information for the Russian Federation: “U.S. citizens should avoid all public demonstrations, whether properly authorized by local officials or not, and avoid any large crowds and public gatherings that lack enhanced security measures.”
U.S. citizens are reminded that even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence. 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.
- 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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