KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians in Russia, Armenia and Belarus are advised to stay vigilant following the declaration of a counter-terrorist operation (CTO) in Moscow and Moscow region on Saturday.
Malaysian Embassy in the Russian Federation in a statement shared through its Twitter account said Malaysians in all three countries are urged to register or update their latest locations and contact information with the embassy via email: mwmoscow@kIn.gov.my and telephone numbers; +7 (495) 419 9898/99 or +7 (906) 746 1333 (duty officer).
It said registration is critical to ensure that relevant information and updates from the Embassy and Malaysian government could be communicated as effectively and efficiently as possible.
“The Embassy is closely monitoring the current situation in the country and urges all Malaysians, particularly students in Moscow, Kursk, St. Petersburg and Volgograd to always stay vigilant and calm, limit movement outdoors, avoid crowded areas, always carry personal documents (including passport) and ensure travel documents are valid and easily accessible.
“For Malaysians who plan to travel to the Russian Federation, it is advised for them to defer all non-essential travel until the situation has improved,” it added in the statement.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir said on his Twitter account, “The Ministry is closely monitoring the situation in Russia following the unrest caused by an armed mutiny. The Embassy is in close contact with all 755 registered Malaysians & requested them to remain calm, vigilant and stay indoors.”
Tensions are escalating in Russia after the Wagner mercenary group, led by Yevgeny Prigozhin, once a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, launched a revolt to topple the Russian military.
The group’s leader Yevgeny Prigozhin said his fighters would proceed to Moscow, prompting the Kremlin to enhance security measures across various regions of the country, Anadolu Agency (AA) reported Saturday.
In the latest development, Prigozhin later claimed his fighters decided to turn back to avoid bloodshed when they were about 200 kilometres (124 miles) from Moscow, while Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko claimed he held talks with the Wagner head with Putin’s accord, and that Prigozhin accepted a de-escalation deal, said the AA report.