More than 20000 EVACUATED following bomb threats in Moscow

A police car parked in front of the GUM State Shop at Red square in Moscow Russia on Sept. 13 2017

"It seems like telephone terrorism and nothing else, but all the calls should be checked up", he said.

Among the locations affected are three of the capital's biggest railway stations, more than a dozen shopping centers-including GUM, located next to Red Square-and at least three universities, the leading First Moscow State Medical University, and the Moscow State Institute of International Relations among them.

An emergency services source told Tass news agency: "Twenty sites are now being evacuated, and more than 10,000 people have been escorted out, though the specific number is still being confirmed".

By Tuesday, the anonymous threats were reported in Perm, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg and other cities, forcing the evacuation of an estimated 45,000 people. Sheremetyevo airport, the capital's busiest, tightened security after a threat, Interfax reported.

Many were city halls, schools and other official buildings, according to local news reports. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov referred questions on the issue to the security services.

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Three shopping malls in Moscow were also cleared after there were calls reporting about bombs, said Russian news agency Tass.

The security services noted that all the threats were issued nearly simultaneously, adding that phone calls about bombs continue to come.

"All messages are being checked, emergency and operational services are working, all premises will be examined by sniffer dogs", the official said.

Police were also investigating threats at several train stations.

Initial reports indicated that the evacuations might have been some kind of exercise.

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