Over 45,000 evacuated as wave of bomb threats hits Russian cities

Thousands have been evacuated from major buildings across Russia, following a series of anonymous bomb threat calls

14 September 2017, 8:57am
Mass evacuations continue in 29 cities all over Russia (Photo: The Moscow Times)
Mass evacuations continue in 29 cities all over Russia (Photo: The Moscow Times)
Over 45,000 people have been evacuated from major buildings and transport hubs in 29 Russian cities, after a wave of anonymous bomb threat calls over the last three days, local media reported.

In Moscow, 30,000 citizens were evacuated from train station, shopping centres and a university, after bomb threat calls were made to 12 shopping centres, three railway stations and at least four universities on Wednesday.

According to local news sources, anonymous callers are making calls over the internet to emergency services and usually naming several facilities with supposed explosive devices inside.

Emergency services official told Russian news agency Tass: “This appears to be a case of telephone terrorism, but we have to the check the credibility of these messages”. They said the calls started at the same time and continued after evacuations began.

Tass reported that three stations – Leningrad, Kiev and Kazan were evacuated, as well as the Moscow State Medical University and inspected by law enforcement.

No traces of explosive devices have been found in any of the buildings, Meduza news outlet reported.

An anonymous source in the law enforcement told Russian news agency Interfax that mass evacuations were promoted by a spam attack “masterminded from abroad”.

In several cities, investigations have been opened into “knowingly false reports of terrorist acts”, a criminal offense punishable by up to three years in prison, in Russia.

Russia’s law enforcement bodies have so far made no official statements.