The U.S. Embassy in Moscow warned Americans to “avoid large public gatherings” around Russian celebrations commemorating their World War II victory amid the ongoing Russian invasion in Ukraine.
“Annual Victory Day celebrations, including the main parade in Red Square, will take place in Moscow through May 9. Local authorities will restrict movement in event areas to facilitate rehearsals for the event,” the embassy said in a security alert on Friday.
“In the past, there have been heightened police presence surrounding these events. Given the ongoing tensions, U.S. citizens should avoid large public gatherings. Smaller Victory Day events are expected throughout Russia,” it added. “The embassy may not always be aware of the exact time and place of these events in advance.”
There has been recent speculation that on May 9, Russia’s Victory Day, the country could formally declare war against Ukraine. Russia has said that it is conducting a “special military operation,” in Ukraine, though the United States recognizes the invasion as a war.
That Victory Day speculation, however, has been dismissed by the Kremlin.
The development amid news that President Biden announced that a $150 million security assistance package would be going toward Ukraine, which would include equipment like radars and artillery munitions.
The U.S. has sent more than $13 billion in aid to Ukraine as the invasion drags on for third month.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Wednesday that legislation regarding an additional $33 billion requested by Biden last month for Ukraine could be voted on as soon as next week.