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Russia

59 fascinating things you didn t know about Russia

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The Best Hotels in Russia

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Barvikha Hotel Spa

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Four Seasons Hotel Moscow

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The Ritz-Carlton Moscow

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Ararat Park Hyatt Moscow

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12 mighty Soviet relics you can still visit

Burnt-out tanks, barbed wire. welcome to Russia s new war-themed ski resort

War and Peace: the 5 best tours to Tolstoy s Russia

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Telegraph Media Group Limited 2017

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14/05/2018

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2018 World Cup Russia Packages, Luxury Travel – Tours, travel to

Luzhniki Stadium

12 Host Venues, Russia: June 13 – July 16, 2018

World Cup 2018 Travel Packages

June 13 July 16, 2018

Our luxury World Cup 2018 packages allow you to see the tournament the way you want, from the opening match to the epic World Cup final. Backed by 25 years of sports travel experience, including multiple World Cup tours, Roadtrips will take great care to ensure your party is completely looked after every step of the way.

About the 2018 World Cup

In 2018, 32 national teams will converge in Russia for a month-long festival of football – the World Cup. The matches will spread through 11 cities, with the finals in Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium. The Opening Ceremonies will take place on June 13th, followed by the matches running until July 15th, and then the closing Ceremonies on July 16th.

What s Included in Our World Cup Tours?

Every one of our 2018 World Cup packages are carefully curated for each traveller to make sure it is absolutely perfect. Choose from Russia’s finest hotels including the Ritz-Carlton Red Square and the Four Seasons Lion Palace, comprehensive match day experiences, compelling tours, amazing culinary experiences and much more. Whatever World Cup package you choose, our onsite host team will meet you at the airport and be available to you 24/7 for anything you may need while abroad.

Russia Will Make an Incredible World Cup Host

We’re really excited about Russia and the wonderful experiences our guests are going to have next summer at the World Cup. Modern Russia boasts world-class restaurants, wonderful five-star hotels, exciting tours, and history and architecture that rivals the finest travel spots around the globe. We are so excited to share all our favorite things about Russia with our World Cup guests during one of the biggest and most anticipated sporting events of the year.





14/05/2018

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Russia travel advice, travel to russia.#Travel #to #russia

Russia

Summary

Summary – removal of information on Liverpool FC v’s Spartak Moscow and Man Utd v’s CSKA Moscow Champions league football matches

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Download map (PDF)

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to within 10km of the border with the Ukrainian Donetsk and Lugansk Oblasts.

The FCO advise against all but essential travel to within 10km of the border with the Ukrainian Kharkiv Oblast.

The FCO advise against all travel to Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan and the districts of Budyonnovsky, Levokumsky, Neftekumsky, Stepnovsky and Kursky in Stavropol Krai.

The FCO advise against all but essential travel to North Ossetia, Karachai-Cherkessia and Kabardino-Balkaria (including the Elbrus area). See Local travel and Terrorism

The FCO has put together some top travel and safety tips to help fans travelling to Russia for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. See ‘Be on the ball’.

Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Russia. See Terrorism

The UK doesn’t recognise Crimea as being part of Russia. See the Ukraine travel advice page for details.

Political rallies can occur in Moscow, St. Petersburg and other places across Russia. Check media for the latest information, be vigilant, and avoid any demonstrations. See Political situation

You should be aware of the risk of street crime. See Crime

According to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, British nationals made around 150,000 visits to Russia in 2015. Most visits are trouble-free.

You can contact the emergency services by calling 112.

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.

The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.





19/02/2018

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Russia travel advice, travel to russia.#Travel #to #russia

Russia

Summary

Summary – removal of information on Liverpool FC v’s Spartak Moscow and Man Utd v’s CSKA Moscow Champions league football matches

Travel to russia

Download map (PDF)

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to within 10km of the border with the Ukrainian Donetsk and Lugansk Oblasts.

The FCO advise against all but essential travel to within 10km of the border with the Ukrainian Kharkiv Oblast.

The FCO advise against all travel to Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan and the districts of Budyonnovsky, Levokumsky, Neftekumsky, Stepnovsky and Kursky in Stavropol Krai.

The FCO advise against all but essential travel to North Ossetia, Karachai-Cherkessia and Kabardino-Balkaria (including the Elbrus area). See Local travel and Terrorism

The FCO has put together some top travel and safety tips to help fans travelling to Russia for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. See ‘Be on the ball’.

Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Russia. See Terrorism

The UK doesn’t recognise Crimea as being part of Russia. See the Ukraine travel advice page for details.

Political rallies can occur in Moscow, St. Petersburg and other places across Russia. Check media for the latest information, be vigilant, and avoid any demonstrations. See Political situation

You should be aware of the risk of street crime. See Crime

According to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, British nationals made around 150,000 visits to Russia in 2015. Most visits are trouble-free.

You can contact the emergency services by calling 112.

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.

The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.





19/02/2018

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Travel and event guide for St, travel to russia.#Travel #to #russia

Welcome to St. Petersburg!

One of the world’s most beautiful cities, St. Petersburg has all the ingredients for an unforgettable travel experience: high art, lavish architecture, wild nightlife, an extraordinary history and rich cultural traditions that have inspired and nurtured some of the modern world’s greatest literature, music, and visual art. From the mysterious twilight of the White Nights to world-beating opera and ballet productions on magical winter evenings, St. Petersburg charms and entices in every season. Saint-Petersburg.Com is here to help you navigate every aspect of this fascinating city, with all the information and travel resources necessary to plan your trip to St. Petersburg.

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Imperial Splendour

St. Petersburg’s suburban palaces

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Home Comforts

St. Petersburg holiday apartments

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Italian St. Petersburg

Venice of the North

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The Hermitage

Treasures from throughout the world

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Religious Sights

Cathedrals, churches and monasteries

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Astoria Hotel

The home of luxury in St. Petersburg

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Russian Delicacies

Discover the best of Russian cooking

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Family Favorites

Hotels for travelers with small children

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St. Petersburg City Markets

A taste of the exotic

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Museum of Political History

Relics of a moribund ideology

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River Trips

Explore St. Petersburg’s waterways

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Disabled Travelers

Help navigating St. Petersburg

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Airport Transfers

A comfortable arrival in St. Petersburg

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Buy Art in St. Petersburg

Guide to St. Petersburg galleries

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Peter the Great

St. Petersburg’s amazing founder

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A Capital Idea

Pay a visit to Moscow

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Top 20 Attractions

The best of St. Petersburg

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W St. Petersburg Hotel

International design hotel

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City of Revolution

The Revolution in Petrograd

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Walking Tours

Discover St. Petersburg on foot

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The Bronze Horseman

St. Petersburg’s most famous statue

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St. Petersburg Lives

The city’s most famous residents

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Helvetia Hotel

Swiss charm in the centre

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19/02/2018

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Russia Tours – Travel #yearly #travel #insurance

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Russia trip reviews

Helen Gillespie-Jones

This tour was such an easy and enjoyable way to be introduced to and navigate a fascinating country (which would otherwise be tricky with non-existent language skills).

Best time to visit Russia

Top Picks

Top 5 Soviet Surprises of Russia

Ever wonder where all those nasty Cold War nuclear leftovers ended up? At least some of them can be found in Sarov, a town converted into a nuclear facility and hidden from the world until the collapse of the USSR. Nowadays, the town is keen to show off its collection of 30 kiloton bombs, as well as a scale model of the ‘Tsar Bomba’, the largest bomb ever detonated.

2. Stalin’s Bunker

Almost too good to be true, Stalin’s elaborate bunker sits 60 metres below an athletic field in the middle of suburban Moscow. Only recently discovered and refurbished, the bunker is now open to visitors, and is complete with annotated war maps, a pool table and Stalin’s famous pipe.

3. Star City

Once the highly secret and closely guarded base of the Soviet space program, this fully functioning city northeast of Moscow now serves as a training centre for current and aspiring cosmonauts. You can even be a cosmonaut for a day yourself, if you re willing to pay a price that is out of this world.

4. Perm-36

Not for the fainthearted, Perm 36 is one of the best-preserved Soviet gulag camps, and a relic of Siberia’s tragic past. While difficult to reach, the site is a worthy memorial to the millions of people who were once forced to live there.

5. Vladivostok Fortress

The largest port city in the Pacific has a wealth of abandoned military bunkers, tunnels and even a fortress to explore, all with a colourful Soviet history. Vladivostok s wide array of dark tunnels, decommissioned guns, old battle stations and antiquated bombs will definitely get historians and army nuts excited.





02/12/2017

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Russia travel advice. #stein #travel

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Summary

Latest update: Safety and security section – (Road travel section) – demonstrations by lorry drivers have caused blockades on major roads throughout Russia; further demonstrations planned for Moscow from 30 November could cause travel disruption on roads in and around the city

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to within 10km of the border with the Ukrainian Donetsk and Lugansk Oblasts.

The FCO advise against all but essential travel to within 10km of the border with the Ukrainian Kharkiv Oblast.

The FCO advise against all travel to Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan and the districts of Budyonnovsky, Levokumsky, Neftekumsky, Stepnovsky and Kursky in Stavropol Krai.

The FCO advise against all but essential travel to North Ossetia, Karachai-Cherkessia and Kabardino-Balkaria (including the Elbrus area). See Local travel and Terrorism

The UK doesn’t recognise Crimea as being part of Russia. See the Ukraine travel advice page for details.

There are on-going armed clashes, kidnappings, seizure of buildings and other violent incidents in the Donetsk, Lugansk and Kharkiv oblasts of Ukraine bordering Russia. The picture remains volatile and uncertain. However, it is clear that a number of border crossing points are insecure, and fighting is taking place across the border. You should remain vigilant throughout regions of Russia bordering Ukraine, and avoid all demonstrations and public gatherings.

There is a high threat from terrorism. Attacks have occurred most frequently in Moscow and in the North Caucasus. You should remain vigilant in all public places. See Terrorism

On 14 November, Russia’s anti-terrorism committee announced that all elements of the security system had been put on heightened alert. Security measures have been bolstered including at airports and transport hubs.

On 31 October 2015, a flight from Sharm el Sheikh to St Petersburg crashed in North Sinai. Egyptian and Russian authorities are conducting an investigation. The investigation has not yet formally concluded but, on 17 November, Russian authorities stated that the crash was caused by an explosive device on board the flight.

Political rallies can occur in Moscow, St. Petersburg and other places across Russia. Check media for the latest information, be vigilant, and avoid any demonstrations. See Political situation

You should be aware of the risk of street crime. See Crime

According to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, British nationals made around 260,000 visits to Russia in 2013. Most visits are trouble-free.

The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance  before you travel.





02/12/2017

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Democrats seek suspension of Jared Kushner s security clearance, pending Russia


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Democrats seek suspension of Jared Kushner’s security clearance, pending Russia probe

WATCH Jared Kushner meets with Netanyahu on first day of Middle East trip

House Democrats are raising concerns about the security clearance held by President Trump ’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner. saying suspicions about his contacts with Russian officials should be enough to suspend his access to sensitive information.

“When there are credible allegations that employees may be unfit to continue accessing classified information, security clearances are supposed to be suspended while the allegations are investigated,” wrote Rep. Elijah Cummings. the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, in a letter to White House chief of staff Reince Priebus. “Mr. Kushner reportedly failed to disclose contacts with dozens of foreign officials on his security clearance application.”

Aides to Kushner did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the letter from Cummings and the other Democrats on the Oversight Committee, which was accompanied by a demand for Kushner’s security clearance application and for “all documents and communications referring or relating to Mr. Kushner’s contacts or communications with Russian government officials or business representatives.” Cummings’ letter is the latest in a drumbeat of efforts by Democrats in Congress. More than 40 members wrote with similar concerns in May.

A White House spokesperson declined to comment.

As a senior adviser to Trump and as someone tasked with helping orchestrate Middle East peace talks, Kushner likely has access to highly sensitive intelligence. According to the letter, his top-secret clearance is temporary, pending a routine screening by the FBI.

The FBI has not identified Kushner as a target of its investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, recently taken over by special counsel Robert Mueller. Sources familiar with a parallel probe by the Senate Intelligence Committee, however, have confirmed to ABC News that Kushner’s previously undisclosed meetings with Russian officials have drawn the attention of its investigators. Senate investigators have requested documents from Kushner and are negotiating with him to arrange an interview. Through his attorney, Kushner has indicated his desire to cooperate with that probe.

The challenge to Kushner’s security clearance comes as the White House is facing questions about its decision to continue to allow retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn to access to the nation’s most carefully guarded secrets when he served as Trump’s national security adviser, even after Department of Justice officials warned that Flynn may have been susceptible to blackmail by Russian diplomats. The New York Times reported Wednesday that, for three weeks before he was fired, Flynn sat in on the most sensitive intelligence briefings in the White House.

He has denied anything improper occurred during his contacts with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. and sources close to Flynn have told ABC News they consider it ludicrous that anyone could have concluded he was vulnerable to blackmail.

Cummings, however, takes issue with the administration’s decision to continue allowing Flynn access to sensitive information after Justice Department lawyers notified the White House of their concerns.

“Concerns about Gen. Flynn’s false statements — as well as his concealment of communications with the Russian ambassador — raised obvious security concerns that should have resulted in an immediate suspension of his clearance while an investigation of the allegations proceeded,” Cummings wrote.

Kushner’s lawyer Jamie Gorelick. a deputy attorney general under Bill Clinton, said that on Jan. 18, Kushner filed an extensive security questionnaire known as the SF86, with an offer the next day to the FBI to provide omitted details of his Russian contacts during his background check interview by agents in person, The New York Times reported.

The SF86 requires applicants for security clearances to disclose — under criminal penalty for significant omissions — minute details of their life, including specific dates and purposes of foreign travel and any “close and/or continuing contact” with foreign nationals or receipt of foreign payments in the previous seven years.

The fact that Kushner received an interim security clearance despite failing to disclose all his contacts with the Russian ambassador and a Kremlin-owned bank is very unusual, according to one legal expert.

“It’s highly out of the ordinary for how it’s supposed to be done,” said Bradley Moss, a national security lawyer who handles cases involving intelligence community workers’ clearance problems.

Investigators conducting government background checks for those applying for top-secret clearances understand that people make mistakes on their SF86 disclosures and sometimes have to submit supplemental information, but Moss said he has never heard of an interim clearance being given to anyone who failed to disclose contacts with a foreign government.

“If Kushner’s clearance is still being adjudicated and there is this red flag of his failure to properly report numerous contacts with foreign government officials on his SF86, that would be major matter of concern, in terms of him being in charge of this mission to the Middle East,” Moss said.

Cummings and other House Democrats have no power to force the administration to rescind Kushner’s clearance. Trump has final word on who gets a security clearance when it comes to his staff, as the chief executive, by law, is the ultimate authority.


30/09/2017

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Indian Punjabi Sikh Wedding Videography Photography Toronto Wedding Videographer Photographer Brampton


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About Us

We believe your wedding is one of the most special day for your life and our sole aim is to catch this precious moments for you. Family and friends, romance and ritual, atmosphere and emotion – and one opportunity to capture it all in breathtaking, cinematic quality.
People only talk but we do. Across Canada we are the first one who buy tools when they are on pre order. We upgrade our tools every year to run with today’s technology. Sky is not the limit we believe in creating new ideas. We believe the most beautiful film has not been made yet it could be your event. We are the only studio with 5 Star rating on Facebook page and Google search. Our team always awake so you can sleep with a peace of mind. So stop thinking and book your spot today.

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28/09/2017

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DEBKAfile, Political Analysis, Espionage, Terrorism, Security #bashar #assad, #barack #obama, #binyamin


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DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis Jul 27, 2017, 7:04 AM (IDT)

The Netanyahu government has caved in to combined Palestinian and Israeli Arab pressure. By Thursday morning, July 27, all the security measures, metal detectors, cameras and fences, had been removed from Temple Mount, and the bodies of the three Israeli Arabs who murdered to Israeli police officers handed over to their families.They were hailed as martyrs of occupied Umm al-Fahm. In the Old City of Jerusalem, joyous Palestinians handed out candy, fired off crackers.

DEBKAfile Exclusive Report Jul 25, 2017, 4:08 PM (IDT)

Russia quietly moved troops to a point in southern Syria that lies 8km from Israel s Golan border, in the face of Israeli objections. Moscow used the uproar over the Temple Mount standoff and the diplomatic crisis between Israel and Jordan to cover its creeping troop deployment almost up to Syria s borders with Israeli and Jordan. Israeli leaders inspected the new deployment Tuesday, July 25..

DEBKAfile Special Report Jul 24, 2017, 11:48 PM (IDT)

The diplomatic crisis between Jordan and Israel lasted a day and a half before it was resolved. By late Monday, July 24, the Israeli embassy staff was free to leave Amman and drove through the Allenby Bridge crossing on their way home. Among them was the security guard, who Sunday shot dead two Jordanians in a struggle after he was stabbed with a screwdriver.

DEBKAfile Special Report Jul 25, 2017, 4:28 PM (IDT)

Thousands of splinter organizations dedicate their every waking moment to posting falsified narratives, videos and pictures on the web with the aim to mislead students and try and draw them into joining what is known as the BDS movement. Whilst the raging wars of yesterday were once on the ground, today they are most certainly fought in cyber space.


19/08/2017

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Russia travel advice. #travel #extras

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Entry requirements

Visas

To enter Russia you’ll need a visa before travel – make sure you apply for the correct type and duration of visa. During periods of high demand, you should apply for your visa well in advance. From 10 December 2014 Russian diplomatic missions and the visa application centres in London and Edinburgh will collect biometric data (scanned fingerprints) from visa applicants above the age of 12. This applies to each Russian entry or transit visa application. For further information see the  Russian Embassy website and the website of VFS Global who manage Russian visa applications on behalf of the Embassy. Tourist visa applications can take 10 working days to be processed, and longer during busy periods.

On receiving your visa you should check the details of the visa including the validity dates and passport number carefully to ensure they are correct. Before you travel to Russia make sure you are aware of the terms and conditions attached to your visa, for both entry and exit. Please note that you should carefully adhere to the validity and conditions of your visa. Overstaying your visa without authorisation from the Federal Migration Authorities can result in a delay to your departure from Russia, fines, court hearings and possible deportation and a ban from re-entry. You should arrange an extension of your visa before it expires.

According to Russian law, cruise or ferry passengers can stay in Russia for 72 hours without visas only if they have booked tours through the companies officially licensed by the Russian government. These companies will supply you with a tour ticket, which is called a blanket visa or booking confirmation, and let you pass the customs/immigration offices without any other documents except your valid passport and the migration card that you will be given onboard.

This visa-free exception applies only to those who travel within an organised group and who don’t intend to explore the cities on their own. Cruise passengers are free to use any authorised local travel agencies (not only cruise ship tour companies) for visa-free shore tours.

Russia’s port cities where travellers won’t need a visa for up to 3 days are:

  • St Petersburg
  • Kaliningrad
  • Vladivostok
  • Sochi
  • Vyborg
  • Korsakov (Sakhalin Island)
  • Novorossiysk

If your passport has been lost/stolen while ashore and a replacement ETD is issued, or you would like to continue your journey by air or land, you must get a visa to leave Russia

Registration

If you’re staying for more than 7 working days you must register with the local branch of the Federal Migration Service. Most major hotels will do this automatically. If you’re staying in private accommodation the owner of the property must do this for you.

Passport validity 

Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months after the expiry date of your visa.

The Russian authorities have confirmed they will accept British passports extended by 12 months by British Embassies and Consulates under additional measures put in place in mid-2014.

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) are accepted for entry, landside transit and exit from Russia only if they contain a valid Russian visa. The Russian authorities will only put a visa for Russia in an ETD in some circumstances. Contact the nearest Russian Embassy outside Russia or local migration office in Russia to find out if a visa can be issued. You also need to check with the Russian Embassy or migration office on the required length of Emergency Travel Document validity. UK Emergency Travel Documents without a visa are accepted for airside transit only. You should check with your travel company or airline that transit zones will be available at the airports of your planned route.

Migration cards

All foreign nationals entering Russia must sign a migration card, which is produced electronically at passport control in the major airports. Some airports may still require you to complete the migration card manually. The card is in two identical parts. One part will be retained by the Immigration Officer on arrival. You should keep the other part with your passport; you will need it when you leave Russia and if you are stopped by the police for an ID check during your stay. There are many hotels and hostels that will not check in guests if they don’t have the stamped white immigration card with them. You must complete a new migration card each time you enter Russia, even if you have a multiple entry visa. If you lose the second part of the card you will be fined, and your departure from the country could be delayed.

Travelling with children

Children born overseas and added to their parents’ Russian passports may now have to get their own passport to exit Russia. Check with the Russian Embassy or Consulate before travel to ensure you have the necessary paperwork.

Transit through Belarus

If you intend to travel by train on popular routes such as Warsaw-Moscow or St Petersburg-Kiev you will need to get a transit visa for Belarus before travelling.

Dual nationality

Under international law, the British Embassy can’t formally intervene with the Russian authorities on behalf of dual Russian/British nationals.

Legislation came into force on 4 August 2014 regarding Russian nationals who are also citizens of other countries. Russian passport holders must inform the Russian authorities of the other passports they hold. If you hold both British and Russian citizenship you should take legal advice and/ or contact the relevant Russian authority (the nearest Russian Embassy if you are not in Russia or your local Migration office if you are in Russia) to find out how the legislation might impact you. See the Federal Migration Service of the Russian Federation (in Russian only) for more details.

If you come to Russia to renew your Russian international passport, it may take up to 4 months for a new passport to be issued. You will not be able to leave Russia on your British passport if you entered Russia on your Russian passport, and will therefore have to remain in Russia until your new Russian passport is issued.

Customs

You can import up to 10,000 US dollars (or equivalent) into the country and export foreign currency up to the equivalent of 10,000 US dollars from Russia without declaring it.

If you import over 10,000 US dollars or certain categories of goods like electrical items, jewellery, antiques and valuable musical instruments, you must complete a customs declaration form.

If you wish to import certain advanced electronic items (e.g. Global Positioning System instruments), you must get an operating licence from the Russian authorities before you travel. Check with the Embassy of the Russian Federation before your departure.

If you complete a declaration make sure the form is stamped by a Customs official at your port of entry, otherwise your foreign currency and non-declared items may be confiscated when you leave Russia and you may be fined.

There are strict regulations governing the export from Russia of antiques, icons, medals, artwork and other items of historical significance. This includes modern art and even posters if they are particularly rare or valuable. You must get approval from the Ministry of Culture.

For further information visit the website of the Russian Federal Customs Service.





21/07/2017

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Russia tours 2016. Best Russian tour packages – prices #baby #travel

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Travel All Russia offers the most unforgettable tours to Russia!

With so many natural and manmade wonders to see within an area consisting of one-sixth the entire land mass of the world, any of our Russian tours will be a once-in-a-lifetime, even if this isn’t your first time to Eurasia!

We also offer the most complete tour packages for this part of the world. In fact, our Russian trips have set the standard for the inbound tourism to Russia! We offer a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see Russia and its neighbors in two types of tours – private and small group. Our private tours are customized to your style, schedule, and budget, while our small group programs allow you to enjoy comprehensive Russian tours for about half the price of a private tour. We were the first travel company ever to be nominated and win the prestigious World Travel Award as “Russia’s Leading Inbound Travel Agency,” we are here to organize your most memorable journey to Russia. Welcome to Travel All Russia – Where Your Journeys to Russia Begin!





27/05/2017

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Russia: Travel Tips #borneo #travel

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Russia: Travel Tips

Tourists / Visitors Travelling In Russia

Here are some tips from a first time visitor to Russia.

In winter, bring some good shoes with good traction. Sweeping of ice and snow from walks is spotty in Moscow and Kazan and it is easy to slip.  The Russians seem just to truck through it all. Also, steps in buildings can be uneven and there are unexpected changes in level in the floors in some buildings. Watch your step.

Russian outlets take round 2-pin Euro plugs. A flat Euro plug adapter did not fit into the socket.  Current is 220V.

Buildings and cars tend to be overheated. Not always obvious how to adust the heat in the hotel room.

Almost all signs are only in Russian. Familiarize yourself with the alphabet before arriving so you will feel a little less lost.

Crosswalks are only respected sometimes. Be careful crossing streets.

Many people in the tourist trades speak some English but most people don’t.

When you leave your hotel, take your passport with you and take a business card from the hotel so that if you get lost you can show it to a taxi driver to get home. Police can ask to see your passport at any time.

Russian food is plentiful, home cooked, and delicious. Soups are very good. The bread is delicious. Food in the supermarkets is plentiful and reasonably priced. There is a wide variety of teas, chocolates, dairy products, produce, candies, and vodka in a supermarket in a small provincial town in Tatarstan. Gas costs about the same as in the USA currently, about $1 a liter.

Carry plenty of cash. Card readers may not work when you need them, nor may ATMs.  Many businesses accept only cash. Taxis do not take credit cards, or at least the ones I took didn’t. At Kazan airport it was impossible to pay for excess luggage with a credit card. Luckily the ATM worked. Make sure you have some coins in case you need to use a public toilet.  There is usually someone there who collects a small fee and keeps it clean. In Moscow there are even  portapotties with an attendant!  Toilet paper may or may not be available. Carry some with you.  Paper towels are often absent, so carrying a small washcloth to dry your hands may be useful. Provincial toilets may be the squat kind and may be smelly.  The toilet in one gas station in Tatarstan is just a portapotty cabin with a hole in the floor.  Don’t drop anything down the hole.

If you bring an unlocked GSM phone with you may bes able to get a SIM card (with the help of a Russian associate) that allows reasonably priced calls to the USA. This card was reloadable at various ATMs and terminals, using cash or a credit card. There are many phone plans and they tend to be complicated.  Phone plans tend to be regional, so get one for the region you will be staying in. Roaming can be very expensive.  A Russian helper in the phone store may be essential.

Allow lots of time at the airport, even for domestic flights. Security and checkin are inefficient and the lines move slowly.  Baggage is screened at the door to the airport so if you have suspicious items in bags you intend to check you may have to show them and explain them. Often you have to take a bus from the terminal to the plane. If you are not at the gate when the last bus leaves, you are out of luck. Announcements are often incomprehensible and signs misleading. Russians tend to be pushy in crowds and you may have to defend your place in line. In Kazan, for example, there was only one security lane at each of the two screening points.  You are screened entering the airport and then entering the departure area. There may not be many services inside security, depending on the airport. In Kazan the checkin staff was pretty clueless and very slow (They apparently work for a terminal operator, not the airline, judging from the uniforms).  Be sure your frequent flier numbers are in your reservation; the desk clerk you get may not have a clue on how to enter one, especially for a codeshare flight.





15/04/2017

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