23:06 GMT +322 February 2019
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    Customers in Moscow's Okhotny Ryad Mall. File photo

    Shopping Mall Near Kremlin Evacuated Over Bomb Threat Ahead of Election - Source

    © Sputnik / Ilya Pitalev
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    Visitors and personnel to the Okhotny Ryad shopping mall in the center of Moscow are being evacuated after an anonymous report of a bomb threat, a source in the emergency services of the capital told Sputnik.

    "After an anonymous call with threatening an explosion in the shopping center Okhotny Ryad in Manezh Square, Building 1, Building 2 we're evacuating visitors and staff," the source said.

    He specified that the emergency services had already started searching the building.    

    The unprecedented wave of phone terrorism began in Russia on September 11, 2017. During this time about 3.5 thousand buildings were "mined" in 180 cities of the country. Mass evacuation affected a total of almost 2.5 million people.

    According to the Moscow department of the Federal Security Service, a wave of anonymous calls reached 75 out of 85 regions of Russia. According to the intelligence services, in Moscow alone the damage from the bomb threats amounted to 150 million rubles.

    As Deputy Interior Minister Igor Zubov stated in December, the damage from telephone terrorism in the country had already amounted to the billions of rubles.

    The Interior Ministry considers it to be a real cyberattack against Russia, produced, for the most part, by terrorists in Syria, as well as those from Turkey, Ukraine, the United States and Canada.

    Almost 3,000 criminal cases have been initiated over false reports about terrorism. However, none of these explosion threats turned out to be true.    

    shopping mall, evacuation, presidential election, Okhotny Ryad, Moscow
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