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Russia Public Announcement

Issued by US Department of State

Sep 07, 2004

This Public Announcement is being issued to alert American citizens traveling or living in Russia that the potential for terrorist actions is high. Since August 24, 2004, Russia has experienced several terrorist incidents apparently linked to the ongoing hostilities in Chechnya, a republic of the Russian Federation. This Public Announcement expires on March 3, 2005.

On August 24, two airplanes departing from Moscow to cities in southern Russia crashed within minutes of each other. The cause of the crashes, which claimed 90 lives, has been identified as explosives onboard the planes. On the same night, an explosion at a bus stop in Moscow injured several people. On August 31, a suicide bomber detonated a bomb outside a Moscow metro station killing ten people and injuring several dozen more.

On September 1, a group of armed individuals believed linked to Chechen separatists seized a school in the Russian republic of North Ossetia, holding hostage several hundred students, parents and teachers.

Acts of terrorism, including bombings and hostage taking, have occurred in large Russian cities over the last several years. Bombings have occurred at Russian government buildings, hotels, tourist sites, markets, residential complexes, entertainment venues and on public transportation.

At this time, there is no indication that American citizens or identifiable American installations are being targeted. However, the possibility of an American citizen being a random victim of these attacks exists. American citizens traveling or living in Russia are advised that, currently, the potential for terrorist actions, including actions against civilians, is high and likely will remain so for some time. American citizens in Russia should exercise caution and remain vigilant and aware of these heightened risks when planning use of or using any form of public transportation. American citizens should also avoid large public gatherings that lack enhanced security measures.

Due to continued civil and political unrest throughout much of the Caucasus region, the Department of State already warns U.S. citizens against travel to Chechnya and all areas that border it: North Sestina, Ingushetia, Dagestan, Stavropoulos, Karachayevo-Cherkessiya and Kabardino-Balkariya. United states government personnel are prohibited from traveling to these areas, and American citizens residing in these areas should depart immediately as the safety of Americans and other foreigners cannot be effectively guaranteed.

American citizens living in Russia or traveling there are strongly urged to register with the embassy or nearest consulate general. Registration will allow the embassy to provide direct information on the security situation as necessary. Information on registering with the embassy can be found at the embassy web http://www.usembassy.ru or at the Department of State's Consular Affairs website: http://travel.state.gov/travel/abroad_registration.html

As the Department continues to develop information on any potential security threats to U.S. citizens overseas, it shares credible threat information through its Consular Information Program documents, available on the Internet at http://travel.state.gov. In addition to information on the Internet, travelers may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the U.S. or outside the U.S. and Canada on a regular toll line at 1-317-472-2328.

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