The US has advised its citizens against travelling to Russia where the FIFA World Cup is currently taking place.
In its latest travel advisory, the US department of state said there’s increased risk of terrorism and harassment in certain parts of Russia, citing a level 3 threat.
The advisory read: “Do not travel to the north Caucasus, including Chechnya and Mount Elbrus, due to civil unrest and terrorism; Crimea due to foreign occupation and abuses by occupying authorities.
“Terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Russia. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and local government facilities. Bomb threats against public venues are common.”
The advisory said large-scale international events such as the World Cup “present an attractive target for terrorists,” adding that, “although security for the World Cup will be extensive, terrorists may seek to attack event locations such as stadiums and Fan Fest viewing areas, tourist sites, transportation hubs, and other public venues”.
It said US citizens were often victims of harassment, mistreatment, and extortion by law-enforcement and other officials, and noted that “US consular assistance to detained individuals is often unreasonably delayed by Russian officials”.
The US advised those who decide to travel to Russia to expect increased police presence and enhanced security measures in and around the World Cup venues and Fan Fest viewing areas.