Gypsy attacks on tourists in St. Petersburg have escalated dramatically since the city’s 300th anniversary in May. Groups of Roma gypsies have been swarming, assaulting and robbing tourists so frequently that tour agencies are appealing to the militia to do something about it. One agency reported that 21 of 35 elderly tourists on a two-day tour in August were robbed. In the months leading up to the anniversary, police carried out an authoritarian roundup of undocumented individuals and deported them. The gypsies reportedly returned in the following months and decided to make up for their “lost income.” There have also been reports of militia observing assaults and not aiding victims. Be alert to large groups of people on the streets, including children and old women, and be prepared to flee if they start to surround you.