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Up to one hundred and thirty thousand people were evacuated across multiple cities in Russia yesterday after fake bomb threats were called in to a large number of locations. Russia state television was largely silent about the affair. However, the Russian state new service TASS said the number totaled 50,000. Interfax suggested as high as 100,000.
No type of facility was safe as hotels, schools, shopping malls, airports,etc were forced to remove everyone inside, including the Siberian cities of Novosibirsk and Yekaterinburg. Even the famed GUM department store in Red Square was hit.
“Out of the state-run television channels, only Rossia-1 mentioned the evacuations, the Bell said, citing data from the media-monitoring company Medialogia. The news did not make it into any of Russia’s primetime news programs, including Rossia-1’s “Vesty” and Channel One’s “Vremya” news shows,” reported The Moscow Times.
There was much confusion over the bomb threats with local authorities even saying they were drills. Earlier speculation from security sources mentioned the calls were linked back to an IP address in Ukraine. However, today the Kremlin tied the threats to the Islamic State and its desire to exact revenge on Russia for its actions against ISIS during the Syria war.
RIA Novosti today reported Russia is confirming the Islamic State and other extremists were behind the attacks, and put the number at 130,000.