'Out of Touch With Reality': Moscow Slams US Embassy Alert On 'Threats of Attacks' in Russia

© Sputnik / Alexey Druzginin/Anton Denisov/Russian Presidential Press Office / Go to the mediabankMoscow Kremlin
Moscow Kremlin - Sputnik International, 1920, 21.02.2022
From accusations of Moscow gearing up to “invade” Ukraine, to ostensibly drawing up “hit lists” of Ukrainians "to be killed or sent to camps," the "Russian threat" rhetoric pushed by the West has shown no signs of abating in the past few months. All of these unsubstantiated claims have been repeatedly denied by the Kremlin as groundless.
On Sunday, the US Embassy in Moscow warned its nationals about possible "attacks in shopping malls, metro, and railway stations" in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Russian cities bordering Ukraine, while also advising its nationals to consider leaving Russia.
The warning came amid the continued escalation of fighting in the Donbass breakaway regions of Donetsk and Lugansk, which have reported intensified shelling, mortar fire, sniping, and sabotage attacks by Ukrainian forces.
Photo of city of Donetsk, 15 February 2022. - Sputnik International, 1920, 20.02.2022
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“According to media sources, there have been threats of attacks against shopping centres, railway, and metro stations, and other public gathering places in major urban areas, including Moscow and St. Petersburg as well as in areas of heightened tension along the Russian border with Ukraine,” stated the alert
It added that the warning was made as it was committed to providing US citizens with “timely information so they can make informed travel decisions."

'Out of Touch With Reality'

In response, the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB) stated in a press release on Monday that it had not received any information from the FBI or CIA about threats of attacks against Russian cities.
Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov commented that the issued warning was an unusual move and that the Kremlin was verifying the information with US intelligence.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also stated on Monday that Russian authorities had not found any confirmation of the alleged “threats” alluded to in the statement issued by the US mission.
Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Monday that the US diplomatic mission was "out of touch with reality," seeking to sow fear among the Russian people.
"Today, it looks like a real informational terrorist attack [in media against Russia]. Yesterday, you probably saw the US embassy in Moscow acting completely out of touch with reality, terrifying the Russians," Zakharova told Channel One Russia.

‘Psychological Attacks’

Meanwhile, reports on allegedly planned information and psychological attacks by the Ukrainian Special Operations Forces with the aim of destabilising the situation in Russia, primarily in Moscow, St. Petersburg and in the regions bordering on Ukraine had been published on Monday in a number of Telegram channels, including Beregini self-described hacker group, and "Joker DNR."
According to the anonymous sources, special operations, codenamed "Smuta,” translated as “chaos,” and "Volodya," have been masterminded in the Ukrainian psychological ops centre in Ukrainian city of Brovary, under supervision of US intelligence agencies.
The purpose of the first is "to destabilise the socio-political situation in the area,” particularly “during the presidential elections in the Russian Federation in 2024 and the post-election period."
The second is purportedly designed to undermine the credibility of the military-political leadership of Russia in the regions bordering with Ukraine, discrediting the regional authorities of the Russian Federation, and interfere with the work of the Border Service of the FSB.
Ukrainian service members ride at a infantry fighting vehicle on the front line near the village of Zaitseve in the Donetsk region, Ukraine - Sputnik International, 1920, 21.02.2022
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The reports come as continued escalation of fighting is registered in the Donbass breakaway regions of Donetsk and Lugansk.
Attacks by Ukrainian forces have prompted the two breakaway republics to mobilise their reserves and announce an evacuation of the civilian populations to Russia on Friday.
The sharp deterioration of the situation follows months of “Russian threat" rhetoric pushed by the West and Ukraine, as they accused Moscow of a troop build-up near the Ukrainian border in alleged preparation for an "invasion." Moscow has denied these accusations, repeatedly stating it was not threatening anyone. At the same time, the Kremlin expressed strong concerns over NATO's military activity near the Russian borders, which it deems a threat to its national security.
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