Expert Info

Posted by
on 13 Oct 2011
Is Russia a safe place to live, Central Moscow in particular? My husband has been offered a job, and though his company assures us we have nothing to worry about, I'm still a little doubtful. Can anyone currently living in Russia share their experiences and impressions regarding safety?
Stephanie on 13 Oct 2011 - 12:58
Russia may have a high crime rate and a poor reputation when it comes to corruption, but your day to day safety will not be a major issue. The largest problem plaguing expats living in Russia is petty theft and extortion, both of which can be largely avoided if you use your head and aware yourself of some of the more common scams.

Most importantly, don't ever remove your wallet on the street in Russia unless asked to do so by an accredited authority source. You'd be surprised to hear the ingenius methods locals have come up with for getting foreigners to take out their billfolds or passports, at which point they promptly demand them or snatch them.

Do also realise that extortion is a common problem. Police officers and traffic cops are not your friends. If they do demand money from you, and you feel the demand is unjust, be sure to get their badge number and ask to speak to their superior before you give up. In many cases this will change their demands.

Otherwise, take common security precautions, and try your best to blend in.

For a more detailed overview, read the Expat Arrivals safety in Russia page.
Spear 6293 on 24 Jul 2012 - 08:39
I agree with the above. Save I would add that it helps if you dress similar to the locals, so that you do not stand out as a foreigner! Learn a few basic phrases of the language as soon as possible, and in addition do attempt to learn the language properly. I have found that some of the locals (St Petersburg) will only converse with you in their own language, even if they do speak or understand English.
Spear 6293 on 24 Jul 2012 - 08:41
In addition, I would add that you should always use your common sense! For example, if using a cash machine, be on your guard, and be extra careful when using such machines at stations, shopping malls, or in the street. Similar to what you would do at home really. Observe and be aware!
Sergei Mor on 18 Feb 2013 - 06:13
Russia is as safe as any other country if you behave properly. I agree with post above - Similar to what you would do at home really.Observe and be aware!
Anonymous (not verified) on 30 Mar 2013 - 17:04
Russia is safer than the US
Anonymous (not verified) on 27 May 2013 - 17:28
I wouldn't be going to Russia cause I've never thought about it. But I am going to be a world traveler so I was wondering so I could get some facts about it is it safe? Or not?. And would it be a good place to visit for a long time noun of my friends have been to Russia thoe. But I love to visit places like Nevada and Arizona. When I get older I'm probably going to be having like 100 houses everywhere!!!! So please help me!! And of Russia is a good place to visit where could I go In russia whats super safe.
Anonymous (not verified) on 21 Aug 2014 - 19:19
My wife (who is Russian) and i presently live in the UK She wishes that we go to Russia to live. I have a permanent illness which leaves me disabled. I cant imagine i would be able to secure a visa to live there permanently .My wife is more positive about a visa. Anyone have any info regards my situation?

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