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Russia

Russia is a vast and diverse nation that continues to evolve politically, economically, and socially.  Most Americans find their stay in Russia both exciting and rewarding, but travel and living conditions in Russia contrast sharply with those in the United States.  Major urban centers show tremendous differences in economic development compared to rural areas.  While good tourist facilities exist in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and some other large cities, they are not developed in most of Russia, and some of the goods and services taken for granted in other countries are not yet available.  Russian visa requirements are highly complex, and U.S. citizens must take care that they do not unintentionally violate entry and exit regulations.  Travel to the Caucasus region of Russia is dangerous.  The Department of State recommends Americans not travel to Chechnya and adjoining areas.

Read the Department of State Background Notes on Russia for additional information.

Russia

   
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 COUNTRY OVERVIEW
Country Name: Russia
Continent: Europe
Capital City: Moscow
Boundary Countries: Azerbaijan 284 km, Belarus 959 km, China (southeast) 3,605 km, China (south) 40 km, Estonia 290 km, Finland 1,313 km, Georgia 723 km, Kazakhstan 6,846 km, North Korea 17.5 km, Latvia 292 km, Lithuania (Kaliningrad Oblast) 227 km, Mongolia 3,441 km, Norway 196 km, Poland (Kaliningrad Oblast) 432 km, Ukraine 1,576 km
Recommended Hospitals in Capital: MEDEM International Clinic & Hospital (St. Petersburg).
Main Cities: Moscow, St. Petersburg, Omsk, Voronezh, Kazan, Perm, Mumansk.
Country Size: 17,075,200 sq km
Population: 142,893,540

 

COUNTRY GENERAL INFORMATION
Language:

Russian, many minority languages.

Currency: Russian ruble (RUR)
Predominant Religions:

Russian Orthodox 15-20%, Muslim 10-15%, other Christian 2%
note: estimates are of practicing worshipers; Russia has large populations of non-practicing believers and non-believers, a legacy of over seven decades of Soviet rule.

National Holidays: Russia Day, 12 June (1990)
Economic Status:

Russia is a vast and diverse nation that continues to evolve politically, economically and socially. Russia ended 2006 with its eighth straight year of growth, averaging 6.7% annually since the financial crisis of 1998.

Security:

Ground Forces (SV), Navy (VMF), Air Forces (VVS); Airborne Troops (VDV), Strategic Rocket Troops (RVSN), and Space Troops (KV) are independent "combat arms," not subordinate to any of the three branches.

US Presence:

 

The US Embassy's consular section is located at Novinskiy Bulvar 21, Moscow, metro station Barrikadnaya. The Embassy's switchboard is tel (7) (495) 728-5000, and the American Citizen Services Unit at tel (7) (495) 728-5577. In the event of an after-hours emergency, please contact the main switchboard. The American Citizens Services Unit may also be contacted by fax at (7) (495) 728-5084, by e-mail at moscowwarden@state.govand through the Embassy web site at http://moscow.usembassy.gov/.  
US Consulates General are located in:
St. Petersburg
15 Ulitsa Furshtadtskaya, St. Petersburg 191028
Tel:  (7) (812) 331-2600
Fax:   (7) (812) 331-2646
Email:  acsstpete@state.gov
Web site: http://stpetersburg.usconsulate.gov   
Vladivostok
32 Ulitsa Pushkinskaya, Vladivostok 690001
Tel:  (7) (4232) 30-00-70
Fax:  (7) (4232) 30-00-91
After-hours emergencies:  (7) (4232) 71 00 67
E-mail: vladcons@state.gov
Web site: http://vladivostokusconsulate.gov    
Yekaterinburg
Ulitsa Gogolya 15a, 4th floor, Yekaterinburg 620151
Tel: (7) (343)379-3001
Fax: (7) (343) 379-4515
After-hours emergencies: (7) 8 902 84 16653
Email: consulyekat@state.gov
Web site: http://yekaterinburg.usconsulate.gov
 
Document Requirements:

The Russian government maintains a restrictive and complicated visa regime for foreigners who visit, transit, or reside in the Russian Federation. A U.S. citizen who does not comply with Russian visa laws can be subject to arrest, fines, and/or deportation. Russian authorities will not allow a U.S. citizen traveler with an expired visa to depart the country until a new visa is approved, which may take up to 20 days.

The Government of Russia does not recognize the standing of the U.S. diplomatic mission to intervene in visa matters, including situations in which an American is stranded because of an expired visa. U.S. citizens should also be aware that Russian immigration and visa laws change regularly, and the implementation of new regulations has not always been transparent or predictable.

The Russian visa system includes a number of provisions that may be unfamiliar to Americans, including:

Dual citizens who also carry Russian passports face additional complicated regulations. Dual citizen minors who travel on their Russian passports also face special problems. International cruise ship passengers do not need visas if they remain with authorized tour groups at all times while ashore.

More details available at the Dept. of State website (http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1006.html)

Major Airports:

Airports: 1,623, Airports w/paved runways: 616

Servicing Airlines:
Risks and Precautions:

Due to continued civil and political unrest throughout much of the Caucasus region, the Department of State recommends Americans not travel to Chechnya and adjoining areas, and recommends that Americans who are in these regions depart immediately. Throughout the region, local criminal gangs have kidnapped foreigners, for ransom. U.S. citizens have disappeared in Chechnya and remain missing. Acts of terrorism, have occurred in Russia over the last several years. There is no current indication that American institutions or citizens are targets but there is a general risk of American citizens being victims of indiscriminate terrorist attacks. Americans should avoid large crowds and public gatherings that lack enhanced security measures. Travelers should also exercise a high degree of caution and remain alert when patronizing restaurants, casinos, nightclubs, etc., especially during peak hours of business. Reports of unprovoked harassment against racial and ethnic minorities are increasing. In some instances, violence (including murder) has been involved, such as well-publicized cases in which African and Asian students have been beaten. To avoid highway crime, travelers should try not to drive at night, especially when alone, or sleep in vehicles along the road. Extortion and corruption are common in the business environment. Travelers should be aware that certain activities that would be normal business activities in the United States and other countries are either illegal under the Russian legal code or are considered suspect by the FSB (Federal Security Service). It is not uncommon for foreigners in general to become victims of harassment, mistreatment and extortion by law enforcement and other officials.

Mortality Statistics:

Infant MR total: 15.13 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth: TOTAL 67.08 years   (male 60.45/female 74.1)
 

Immunization Indicators:

Required: None
Recommended: Hep A & B, Rabies, Typhoid, Boosters: tetanus-diptheria and measles as needed
 

Infectious Disease Concerns:

Outbreaks of diphtheria and Hepatitis A have been reported throughout the country. Typhoid can be a concern for those who plan to travel extensively in the region. Rarely, cases of cholera have also been reported throughout the area. Tap water in Russia, outside of Moscow, is generally considered unsafe to drink. Rates of HIV infection have risen markedly in recent years. Reported cases of syphilis are much higher than in the U.S., and some sources suggest that gonorrhea and chlamydia are also more prevalent than in Western Europe or the U.S.

Overall Quality of Medical Services:

Medical care in most localities is below Western standards; shortages of medical supplies, differing practice standards, variable specialty training opportunities and the lack of comprehensive primary care all combine to make the medical system difficult to negotiate as well as suspect. The few “quality” facilities in Moscow and St. Petersburg that approach acceptable standards do not necessarily accept all cases (i.e., they may not be licensed to treat trauma, infectious disease or maternity cases). Access to these facilities usually requires cash or credit card payment at Western rates at the time of service.

Providers in Network:
Direct Payment: 16
Referrals: 39
View Network Providers
Recent Medical Threats/ Concerns/Warnings:

Please refer to “Infectious Disease Concerns” & “Overall Quality of Medical Care” sections.

Communications Info:

Country Code:  +7  
Internet Code:  .ru

 



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