Muchnoi Per 2 St. Petersburg, Russia 191123 Tel: +7 812 318 6342


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____________________________________________________

EXPRESS TO RUSSIA

CITY REALTY

Muchnoi Per 2
St. Petersburg,
Russia 191123

Tel: +7 812 318 6342

+7 812 318 4709

Fax: +7 812 315 9151

Web: www.expresstorussia.com

Email: info@expresstorussia.com











GUIDE TO RUSSIA
Moscow and St. Petersburg

For More Information Visit Our Online Guide at

http://www.guidetorussia.org
Index
COUNTRY PROFILE………………………………3

  • Background…………………………………3

-People

-Government

-Economy

-Industries

  • Communication…………………………….4

  • What is Russia?.............................................5

  • Interesting Facts/ Stereotypes……………..5

  • Landscape………………………………..…7

  • The Russian Federation……………..……..8

  • Russian Cuisine………………………...…..9

  • The Russian Language……………………12

-Alphabet

-Numbers

-Vocabulary and Common Phrases

-Restaurant Vocabulary and Phrases

  • Weather……………………………………20

  • Weights and Measures……………………20

  • Clothing – What to Bring………………...20


RUSSIAN EMBASSIES ABROAD…………….…22
FOREIGN EMBASSIES AND CONSULATES

INMOSCOW……………………………...………..26
FOREIGN EMBASSIES AND CONSULATES

IN ST. PETERSBURG………………..…….….….28
COMMUNICATION……………………………....30

  • Telephone and Fax……………………..…30

-Dialing Codes

  • Post ………………………………….…….32

-Addresses in Moscow

-Addresses in St. Petersburg

  • Internet…………..………………………..33

-Addresses in Moscow

-Addresses in St. Petersburg

  • Cell Phones…………………………….….33


RUSSIAN VISAS………….……………………….35

  • Tourist Visas………………………………35

  • Business Visas……………………………..35

  • Student Visas…………………………...…35

  • Other Visas………………………………..36

-Private Visas

-Transit Visas

  • Immigration Cards…...…………………..37

  • Medical Insurance………………………..37

  • Visas for Children……………………...…37

  • Additional Information…………………..37

  • Visa Registration………………………….38


ENTERING RUSSIA………...…………………….39

  • Customs Procedures………………………39

  • Arriving in Moscow by Plane…….………39

  • Arriving in Moscow by Train…….………40

  • Arriving in St. Petersburg by Plane……..40

  • Arriving in St. Petersburg by Train or other Transport……………………..……41

-Boat

-River Station

-Bus

  • Entering Russia by Car………………..…42

  • Luggage Storage in Moscow……………...42

  • Luggage Storage in St. Petersburg……....42

  • Distances Between Russian Cities..............43


TRANSPORTATION………………………..…….45

-The Metro

-Trolleys/ Buses/ Trolley Buses

-Electric Suburban Trains

-Public Transportation Dance

-Marshrutka

-Taxis and Gypsy Cabs

  • Driving…………………………………….46

  • Buses to Finland…………………………..47


SECURITY ON THE STREETS……….…………48

  • Police……………………...……………….48

  • Russian Mafia……………………………..48


MONEY AND CURRENCY EXCHANGE……....49

  • Prices…………………………………...….49


RUSSIAN HOLIDAYS…………………...………..50
GENERAL INFORMATION……………………..53

  • Medical Help………………………..…….53

-Clinics and Pharmacies in Moscow

-Clinics and Pharmacies in St. Petersburg

  • Tipping…………………………………….54

  • Personal Care……………………………..54

  • Food and Water…………………………..54

  • Alcohol…………………………………….54

  • Sexual Encounters………………………..54

  • Public Toilets……………………….……..54

  • Mosquitoes………………………….……..54

  • Falling Icicles………………...……………55

  • Shopping…………………………….…….55


EXITING THE COUNTRY………………...……..57

  • Visa and Immigration Card………...……57

  • Customs………………...…………………57

  • Limitations…………………….…………..57

  • Antinques, Artwork and other Valuables………………………………… 57


USEFUL PHONE NUMBERS

AND ADDRESSES ………………………………..58

Country Profile
Background:

Founded in the 12th century, the Principality of Muscovy, was able to emerge from over 200 years of Mongol domination (13th-15th centuries) and to gradually conquer and absorb surrounding principalities. In the early 17th century, a new Romanov Dynasty continued this policy of expansion across Siberia to the Pacific. Under PETER I (ruled 1682-1725), hegemony was extended to the Baltic Sea and the country was renamed the Russian Empire. During the 19th century, more territorial acquisitions were made in Europe and Asia. Repeated devastating defeats of the Russian army in World War I led to widespread rioting in the major cities of the Russian Empire and to the overthrow in 1917 of the imperial household. The Communists under Vladimir LENIN seized power soon after and formed the USSR. The brutal rule of Josef STALIN (1928-53) strengthened Russian dominance of the Soviet Union at a cost of tens of millions of lives. The Soviet economy and society stagnated in the following decades until General Secretary Mikhail GORBACHEV (1985-91) introduced glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring) in an attempt to modernize Communism, but his initiatives inadvertently released forces that by December 1991 splintered the USSR into 15 independent republics. Since then, Russia has struggled in its efforts to build a democratic political system and market economy to replace the strict social, political, and economic controls of the Communist period. While some progress has been made on the economic front, recent years have seen a recentralization of power under Vladimir PUTIN and erosion in nascent democratic institutions. A determined guerrilla conflict still plagues Russia in Chechnya.
Location: Northern Asia (that part west of the Urals is included with Europe), bordering the Arctic Ocean, between Europe and the North Pacific Ocean

Geographic coordinates: 60 00 N, 100 00 E

Area: total: 17,075,200 sq km
land: 16,995,800 sq km
water: 79,400 sq km

Area - comparative: approximately 1.8 times the size of the US

Land boundaries: total: 20,017 km
border countries: Azerbaijan 284 km, Belarus 959 km, China (southeast) 3,605 km, China (south) 40 km, Estonia 294 km, Finland 1,340 km, Georgia 723 km, Kazakhstan 6,846 km, North Korea 19 km, Latvia 217 km, Lithuania (Kaliningrad Oblast) 227 km, Mongolia 3,485 km, Norway 196 km, Poland (Kaliningrad Oblast) 206 km, Ukraine 1,576 km

Coastline: 37,653 km

Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation

Climate: ranges from steppes in the south through humid continental in much of European Russia; subarctic in Siberia to tundra climate in the polar north; winters vary from cool along Black Sea coast to frigid in Siberia; summers vary from warm in the steppes to cool along Arctic coast

Terrain: broad plain with low hills west of Urals; vast coniferous forest and tundra in Siberia; uplands and mountains along southern border regions

Elevation extremes: lowest point: Caspian Sea -28m. highest point: Gora El'brus 5,633 m

Natural resources: wide natural resource base including major deposits of oil, natural gas, coal, and many strategic minerals, timber
note: formidable obstacles of climate, terrain, and distance hinder exploitation of natural resources

Land use: arable land: 7.33%
permanent crops: 0.11%
other: 92.56% (2001)

Irrigated land: 46,630 sq km (1998 est.)

Natural hazards: permafrost over much of Siberia is a major impediment to development; volcanic activity in the Kuril Islands; volcanoes and earthquakes on the Kamchatka Peninsula; spring floods and summer/autumn forest fires throughout Siberia and parts of European Russia

Geography - note: largest country in the world in terms of area but unfavorably located in relation to major sea lanes of the world; despite its size, much of the country lacks proper soils and climates (either too cold or too dry) for agriculture; Mount El'brus is Europe's tallest peak
People

Population: 143,782,338 (July 2004 est.)

Median age: total: 37.9 years
male: 34.7 years
female: 40.7 years (2004 est.)

Birth rate: 9.63 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)

Death rate: 15.17 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)

Net migration rate: 1.02 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 est.)

Sex ratio: at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.46 male(s)/female
total population: 0.87 male(s)/female (2004 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.9% (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 700,000 (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths: 9,000 (2001 est.)

Nationality: noun: Russian(s)
adjective: Russian

Ethnic groups: Russian 81.5%, Tatar 3.8%, Ukrainian 3%, Chuvash 1.2%, Bashkir 0.9%, Belarusian 0.8%, Moldavian 0.7%, other 8.1% (1989)

Religions: Russian Orthodox, Muslim, other

Languages: Russian, other

Literacy: definition: age 15 and up can read and write
total population: 99.6%
male: 99.7%
female: 99.5% (2003 est.)
Government

Country name: conventional long form: Russian Federation
conventional short form: Russia
local long form: Rossiyskaya Federatsiya
local short form: Rossiya
former: Russian Empire, Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic

Government type: federation

Capital: Moscow

Flag description: three equal horizontal bands of white (top), blue, and red
Economy

Russia ended 2003 with its fifth straight year of growth, averaging 6.5% annually since the financial crisis of 1998. Although high oil prices and a relatively cheap ruble are important drivers of this economic rebound, since 2000 investment and consumer-driven demand have played a noticeably increasing role. Real fixed capital investments have averaged gains greater than 10% over the last four years and real personal incomes have averaged increases over 12%. Russia has also improved its international financial position since the 1998 financial crisis, with its foreign debt declining from 90% of GDP to around 28%. Strong oil export earnings have allowed Russia to increase its foreign reserves from only $12 billion to some $80 billion. These achievements, along with a renewed government effort to advance structural reforms, have raised business and investor confidence in Russia's economic prospects. Nevertheless, serious problems persist. Oil, natural gas, metals, and timber account for more than 80% of exports, leaving the country vulnerable to swings in world prices. Russia's manufacturing base is dilapidated and must be replaced or modernized if the country is to achieve broad-based economic growth. Other problems include a weak banking system, a poor business climate that discourages both domestic and foreign investors, corruption, local and regional government intervention in the courts, and widespread lack of trust in institutions. In addition, a string of investigations launched against a major Russian oil company, culminating with the arrest of its CEO in the fall of 2003, have raised concerns by some observers that President PUTIN is granting more influence to forces within his government that desire to reassert state control over the economy.
Industries

complete range of mining and extractive industries producing coal, oil, gas, chemicals, and metals; all forms of machine building from rolling mills to high-performance aircraft and space vehicles; shipbuilding; road and rail transportation equipment; communications equipment; agricultural machinery, tractors, and construction equipment; electric power generating and transmitting equipment; medical and scientific instruments; consumer durables, textiles, foodstuffs, handicrafts


Currency:

Russian ruble (RUR)

Currency code:

RUR

Exchange rates:

Russian rubles per US dollar - 30.692 (2003), 31.3485 (2002), 29.1685 (2001), 28.1292 (2000), 24.6199 (1999)
note: the post-1 January 1998 ruble is equal to 1,000 of the pre-1 January 1998 rubles


Communications:
Telephone System:

general assessment: the telephone system underwent significant changes in the 1990s; there are more than 1,000 companies licensed to offer communication services; access to digital lines has improved, particularly in urban centers; Internet and e-mail services are improving; Russia has made progress toward building the telecommunications infrastructure necessary for a market economy; however, a large demand for main line service remains unsatisfied
domestic: cross-country digital trunk lines run from Saint Petersburg to Khabarovsk, and from Moscow to Novorossiysk; the telephone systems in 60 regional capitals have modern digital infrastructures; cellular services, both analog and digital, are available in many areas; in rural areas, the telephone services are still outdated, inadequate, and low density
international: country code - 7; Russia is connected internationally by three undersea fiber-optic cables; digital switches in several cities provide more than 50,000 lines for international calls; satellite earth stations provide access to Intelsat, Intersputnik, Eutelsat, Inmarsat, and Orbita systems
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