Barrage of mysterious bomb hoaxes plagues Moscow

File photo of Russian policemen in Moscow, Russia. EPA-EFE/YURI KOCHETKOV

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People in the Russian capital Moscow are mystified by a flood of bomb hoaxes forcing the evacuation of courts, schools and malls while authorities appear unable to find the culprits even after months of disruption to public life.

The warnings of planted bombs, all of them false, have been sent to numerous Russian cities, but particularly targeted the capital, where around 16 million live and work, with up to 1,000 threats per day.

Since late November, more than 1.6 million people have been evacuated from buildings in Moscow, the Interfax news agency said citing sources.

The threats are always issued in the same way: a slew of emails are sent from encrypted providers to organisations and companies that according to the law must be inspected or evacuated.

Yet, both the authorities and Kremlin-controlled television channels stay mostly clear of the topic.

At the end of January, the FSB security service, the successor to the KGB, and state communications watchdog Roskomnadzor in terse statements announced that two encrypted email providers based abroad had been blocked after being used to send false threats.

They did not name suspects or give any leads or motive, nor did they issue any reassurance to the public despite the major disruption.

Read more via France 24

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