The Embassy advises U.S. citizens of the potential for large-scale demonstrations in a number of Russian cities, including Moscow and St. Petersburg, in connection with the March 4th presidential elections. Police presence is expected to be much greater in anticipation of demonstrations prior to, during, or following the March 4th elections. Russian government facilities, especially polling stations, will have increased police presence.
Permits have been granted for rallies in various locations, including Lubyanskaya and Manezhnaya Squares on Monday, March 5th. In the event that these locations are unavailable the demonstrators may, among other locations, go to Revolutsii Square, Teatralnaya Square, or Red Square.
While these events are not expected to be violent, such large gatherings can cause significant traffic disruptions. U.S. citizens should be mindful of the possibility for counter-demonstrations and spontaneous protests to appear throughout Russia, as well as a larger-than-usual police presence to monitor all activities. Please note the following guidance from the U.S. Department of State’s Country-Specific Information Sheet for the Russian Federation: “U.S. citizens should avoid all public demonstrations, whether properly authorized by local officials or not, and avoid any large crowds and public gatherings that lack enhanced security measures.”
The American Citizen Services Unit of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow assists U.S. citizens in Russia. We can help you with passport issuance and renewal, voter assistance, notarials, and registering a child born abroad. We also provide emergency services for American citizens in case of a disaster or in case of illness, arrest, death or destitution while in Russia. Appointments are required for all non-emergency services; you can make an appointment by calling the ACS Unit at 7 (495) 728-5577, or you may click here to schedule an appointment online. To contact us with questions, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Embassy offers information about travel to Russia on our website, and we also encourage you to read the Country-Specific Information Sheet for the Russian Federation provided by the Department of State. For the latest security information, U.S. citizens living and traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet website at http://travel.state.gov, where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts can be found. Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
We strongly recommend that U.S. Citizens and nationals traveling to or residing overseas to enroll in the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). U.S. Citizens and nationals without internet access may enroll directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Enrolling signs you up to receive updated information about areas abroad and makes it easier for the U.S. Embassy or Consulate to contact you or your designated contact in case of an emergency.