The US diplomatic mission to Russia warned on Sunday US citizens in the country to prepare evacuation plans, citing potential attacks on hotels, metro stations, and other targets in Russia’s major cities mentioned by unspecified media sources.
Yet, both the nature of the supposed threat and “media sources” the alert is referring to remain unclear.
The message from the embassy also advised Americans against going to popular gathering places in major urban areas, including Moscow and St. Petersburg, and warned them at the same time of the heightened tension along the Russian border with Ukraine.
Despite the fact that the US State Department began warning Americans not to travel to Russia for nearly a month now, advising them to seek the assistance of the US embassy or consulate if they are in trouble, the new alert adds a list of new actions for Americans to take, including instructions to prepare evacuation plans that do not rely on US government assistance.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry, however, has questioned Washington’s alert with its spokeswoman Maria Zakharova asking if the US diplomatic mission has notified Russian authorities of this alleged threat, and if not, how is that to be understood?
So far, no local or international news agencies have published any reports warning of potential attacks in Moscow or St. Petersburg.
The latest alert from the US embassy in Moscow comes at a critical time for US-Russia relations following Washington’s warnings for several weeks that a Russian invasion of Ukraine is imminent.
Previously, the State Department has ordered that family members of the diplomats in the US embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine, leave the country due to the possible Russian military invasion.
Washington cited multiple dates as start points for this invasion that have passed by with no incident, but the Biden administration’s official line remains that Moscow will order a military offensive, especially in light of the outbreak of violence between Ukrainian forces and the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Lugansk in eastern Ukraine.