ST. PETERSBURG, December 9. /TASS/. Law enforcement authorities have conducted a security check of the State Hermitage Museum in downtown St. Petersburg on Monday afternoon following a bomb threat message. The museum’s press service told journalists that the threat turned out to be hoax.
The joint press service of the St. Petersburg courts also reported that the city courts are being evacuated due to a bomb threat. A letter to the Primorsky District Court also pointed to the threat of an explosion in the State Hermitage Museum. "Despite the fact that the Hermitage did not receive such reports directly, a decision was made to check all the buildings of the museum. Museum security employees and employees of the Russian National Guard Troops Service examined exposition halls, service buildings and adjacent museum territories. No foreign or suspicious objects were found as a result of the check," the press service said in a statement.
According to earlier reports, an anonymous letter to the Primorsky District Court also warned about a threat of an imminent explosion at Pulkovo Airport. The airport’s press service told TASS that they received no threats, and the airport was operating according to schedule. In addition, the letter’s author also enumerated a slew of bomb threats that targeted the Dostoyevskaya, Pushkinskaya and Sennaya Ploshchad subway stations, military hospitals and medical facilities throughout the city. The subway press service told TASS that they were informed about the reports but no check was planned yet.
This current wave of bomb threat messages began two weeks ago, with a bomb ransom e-mail being sent to the St. Petersburg City Court. The perpetrators demanded that 120 million rubles ($1.8 mln) be transferred in bitcoins to a digital wallet. Other city courts, ranging from district courts and to military ones, have received similar letters. Shopping malls and schools also received such threats. All of them have turned out to be false alarms.