Within the last couple of years Russia has hosted several world class events including last year’s Confederation Cup, so there is some prior experience for the host nation in regards to security. The overall threat is low to moderate, but with political tension and an uptick in Russian presence in Syria, the threat of a terrorist attack cannot be ruled out.
During the Euro Cup 2016 in France Russian fans were known to clash with opponents, and altercations (or scuffles or skirmishes) are expected to take place during this event – regardless of the outcome of the specific match. Protests have been frequent, especially in the larger cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg, and occur with little warning. Take precautions by avoiding larger crowds, knowing alternate routes to your destination, and monitoring the local news. Police will intervene with escalated force to disperse any violence that can arise.
Street crime will be present like any major city. Foreigners are often the targets of theft in Russia, which can occur anywhere, including near and on public transportation, in restaurants and bars, and near ATMs throughout the country. Be sure to protect and secure your belongings in and out of your hotel room and keep a low profile, especially if traveling at night.
Expect regular security patrols with both a police and military presence around airports, stadiums, and other large populated areas to mitigate any possible risk. With the increase of vehicles being used as weapons, checkpoints and total road closures for vehicles are likely.
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