Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens: Demonstrations in Major Russian Cities (December 9, 2011)
December 9, 2011
A number of large-scale demonstrations are planned in Russian cities, including Moscow and St. Petersburg, in the wake of the Russian parliamentary elections. While these events are not expected to be violent, U.S. citizens should be aware of the possibility for counter-demonstrations and spontaneous protests, as well as a larger-than-usual police presence to monitor all activities.
This week, these gatherings and police presence have resulted in some temporary and intermittent closures of public areas, including squares and Metro stations. Police have also closed streets to vehicle and pedestrian traffic. All of this activity has resulted in significant disruption to normal traffic patterns. During some demonstrations, there have been arrests and some violence.
Please note the following guidance from the U.S. Department of State’s Country-Specific Information Sheet 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.”
The American Citizen Services Unit at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow is here to assist American citizens in Russia. We can help you with passport issuance and renewal, voter assistance, notarials, and registering a child born abroad. We also provide emergency services for American citizens in case of a disaster or in case of illness, arrest, death or destitution while in Russia. Appointments are required for all non-emergency services; you can make an appointment by calling the ACS Unit at 7 (495) 728-5577, or you may click here to schedule an appointment online. To contact us with questions, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Embassy offers information about travel to Russia on our website at http://moscow.usembassy.gov, and we also encourage you to read the Russia Information Sheet provided by the Department of State.