The state Department explains this appeal by the threat of terrorism, and abuses by the Russian officials against the Americans
The US government has acted with a large warning, recommending that Americans avoid travel to Russia due to terrorist threats, and “harassment, mistreatment and extortion by law enforcement and other officials.”
The sharp wording of the warning of the state Department relate to Russia in General and came at a time that American and Russian authorities described as the worst in the bilateral relations after the cold war.
“Review the feasibility of a trip to Russia because of the threat of terrorism and persecution,” urged Americans, the state Department, adding that some regions are zones of “high-risk”.
The foreign Ministry cited the North Caucasus, including Chechnya and mount Elbrus, because of the civil unrest and the threat of terrorism, and annexed the Crimean Peninsula from foreign occupation and abuses of the occupation authorities.
“Terrorist groups continue to plot attacks in Russia, said the state Department. – The terrorists can attack almost without warning or without any warning, targeting tourist spots, transportation hubs, markets, shopping centres and local government institutions. Warnings about threats of explosions in public places are a widespread phenomenon”.
The recommendations do not indicate the source of this information.
But even not counting the terrorist threat, Russia is still a dangerous place from the point of view of the state Department.
“U.S. citizens are often victims of harassment, mistreatment or extortion by law enforcement and other officials, – stated in the recommendations. – The provision of consular assistance to U.S. citizens detained often unnecessarily delayed due to the actions of the Russian authorities. Russia also applies special restrictions on persons holding dual citizenship of the USA and Russia. Due to the reduction of the diplomatic staff, imposed by Russia, the possibility of the US government to provide services to American citizens declined”.
The North Caucasus and Crimea deserve special mention in the recommendations. In relation to these regions unconditionally the Department of state urges Americans: “don’t go there!”
“Civil unrest and acts of terrorism continue throughout the Northern Caucasus, including Chechnya, North Ossetia, Ingushetia, Dagestan, Stavropol, Karachayevo-Cherkessia, and Kabardino-Balkaria, – stated in the message of the state Department. – A local gang kidnapped American citizens and other foreigners for ransom. There are reliable reports of arrests, torture and extrajudicial executions of gay men in Chechnya who allegedly committed in the Chechen regional authorities”.
The state Department warns Americans from attempting the ascent on mount Elbrus, “because travelers must pass close to an unstable and insecure regions of the North Caucasus”.
As for Crimea, what the state Department has noted increased Russian military presence on the Ukrainian territory.
“The Russian Federation is likely to take further military steps in Crimea in the framework of their occupation of this part of Ukraine, – stated in the recommendations. – The international community, including the United States and Ukraine, does not recognize the attempted annexation of the Crimea. The occupation authorities in Crimea continue abuse against foreigners and the local population, especially those who challenge their authority on the Peninsula.”
The state Department notes that the US government is unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens visiting Crimea, because of U.S. government employees travel in Crimea is prohibited.
If contrary to recommendations, Americans will decide to go to Russia, the state Department urged them to avoid demonstrations, monitor instant messages, media and to adjust plans in accordance with the information in the news.
Americans are also encouraged to remain vigilant in places popular with Westerners, and subscribe to the accounts of the state Department in Facebook and Twitter.