After the United States urged American nationals residing in Russia to “flee” Moscow without help from the US government, further warning that all commercial flights will soon be restricted, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, asked the US Embassy in Moscow if it shared the so-called attack data with Russia. Mocking Washington’s diplomatic mission for its dramatic warnings to Americans living in Moscow, Zakharova wrote on her Telegram channel: “A question to the US Embassy in Moscow: have you sent the relevant data to your colleagues channels via partner channels? She then asked, “If not, what does that mean?”
The US Embassy in Moscow shared a ‘security alert’ on Monday, citing major attacks believed to be taking place in Moscow’s ‘key urban areas’ along the border with Ukraine, where more than 150 000 soldiers were concentrated. US officials have warned of a military invasion and potential attacks, saying they will be carried out in key civilian areas, including shopping malls, train and metro stations, and other public places located in Moscow. and in St. Petersburg.
Washington’s embassy in Kyiv has warned Americans to have an immediate evacuation plan “not dependent on US government assistance,” according to an update on its official website. The US has also asked US nationals to “avoid crowds” and review “personal safety plans”. The embassy also urged US nationals to carry proper identification at all times, including a US passport with a valid Russian visa.
Russia questions US claims of ‘urban threats’, says Kiev is ‘taking advantage of the situation’
Russia questioned the evacuation plans for the Americans, as it did not provide any details, but instead pointed out that there had been “threats of attacks on shopping malls, train stations and gas stations. metro”, among other “large urban areas”. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova further questioned Washington on the details of “actions to be taken” if it claims an attack is taking place on Russian territory.
The US State Department issued the notice as tensions escalated, with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy saying on Monday that he “hopes Russia will recognize the self-declared people’s republics of Donetsk and Lugansk” in the Duma. He also informed journalists in Kyiv that his government was not considering direct negotiations with the separatist regions of Donbass. Russia blamed Kyiv, saying it is “taking advantage of the dramatic escalation in the Donbass”.