Police ordered the evacuation of some around 40,000 people nationwide from shopping centers, residences, and office buildings, including the City of Capitals towers in Moscow, following a wave of anonymous bomb threats on Tuesday, February 5. Calls and emails reportedly warned of hidden explosive devices targeting more than 150 buildings throughout Russia; authorities have not yet identified the source of the threats. A heightened security presence as well as residual traffic and business disruptions are possible in Moscow and other cities in the coming hours and days.
Russia has faced waves of hoax bomb threats in recent months, including several targeting popular gathering points, government buildings, and offices in August 2018 when some 2 million people were evacuated nationwide; officials attribute the threats to Islamic State. Police also arrested a Russia national in January 2019 who called in a series of bomb threats at airports and government buildings in Moscow.
Individuals in Russia are advised to monitor developments to the situation, prepare for lingering disruptions, and adhere to any instructions issued by the local authorities.
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