Americans living in Russia were warned Sunday to be ready to evacuate without the US government’s help.
In an online “Security Alert,” the US Embassy in Moscow cited the threat of attacks in “major urban areas” in the country and along its border with Ukraine, where Russian troops are massed for what American officials say is a looming invasion.
“According to media sources, there have been threats of attacks against shopping centers, railway and metro stations, and other public gathering places in major urban areas, including Moscow and St. Petersburg as well as in areas of heightened tension along the Russian border with Ukraine,” the embassy said.
It recommended actions including, “Avoid crowds,” “Be aware of your surroundings” and “Review your personal security plans.
“Have evacuation plans that do not rely on U.S. government assistance,” the embassy wrote on its Web site.
The warning came less than a month after the White House urged Americans to leave Ukraine, saying the US wouldn’t attempt a repeat of last year’s chaotic and deadly evacuation of Afghanistan.
National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan doubled down on that warning Feb. 11, saying that “there is no prospect of a US military evacuation in the event of a Russian invasion.”
Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs publicly questioned whether the US had shared its information about potential attacks with Russia, according to Reuters, which first reported the embassy’s warning.
“And if not, how is one to understand all this?” ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.