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    (Original post by Helpful_Charlie)
    Thank you for your informative response, I appreciate it

    When is the best time to go? Summer or Winter? Thanks.
    Summer! Well, August or late Spring is best, I think - not too hot, not too cold. If you want an adventure then feel free to come in Winter! Things do look lovely with a dusting of snow, some things maybe even look a bit better with snow than without, but seriously, it can be really annoying. They aren't too quick to clear the snow and ice here, so even short journeys can become an epic assault course...

    (Original post by Helpful_Charlie)
    That is quite bizarre, and strangely enough, comforting.
    As for icicles - it's not comforting at all! A few people have died this winter from falling icicles, falling snow and falling roofs from lack of snow clearance. It's a geniune risk and one that still scares me every day living here. I've had a few close shaves and so have a few of my other friends. Cannot wait for it to all melt for good

    (Original post by Inzamam99)
    Hey, I'am Asian (obviously) and am fascinated by Russian history especially the period from reign of Peter the Great to the collapse of the Soviet Union (in particular Stalin). I'am learning Russian and want to visit the country but I'am worried by the apparently considerable threat posed by the Neo-Nazis who I've read a fair bit about and who seem somewhat mainstream instead of on the fringe minority groups. Would I be safe do you reckon?
    Right, I have very little experience of this, but I have to say I think you'd be absolutely fine. I wouldn't call Neo-Nazi groups here mainstream, but from what I've heard they have pretty specific racism (they don't like people from the Caucasus) and it's more towards the people who move here rather than tourists. If you remain in the touristy areas I can't see anything happening, since there are lots of police everywhere. The police may be another problem in themselves though, since I often see people of visibly different race (especially young men) being stopped for passport checks. Since you'll be here perfectly legally though, you should have no problem. Either use your Russian to get yourself out of any situations with the police, or speak at them in English and they'll probably leave you alone. I heard that a law has been passed that stops the Militsia being able to hand out fines to foreigners for not having the correct documents (they used to do this all the time)...

    Honestly, a few of the people I study with are of Asian appearance, and they're living here for 9 months and I haven't heard of any problems or anything. Also, I've seen a few black Russian people who actually live here, and they were all walking about getting on with their daily business. I think most racism is just fear of the unknown, and as far as I know Petersburg is becoming more and more multicultural by the day... Also FYI, there have been fewer race-fuelled riot things (about workers not tourists) in Petersburg than in Moscow, it's all pretty multicultural up here

    Hope I've sort of helped answer your question... Feel free to ask anything else!
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    (Original post by mimimimi)
    Summer! Well, August or late Spring is best, I think - not too hot, not too cold. If you want an adventure then feel free to come in Winter! Things do look lovely with a dusting of snow, some things maybe even look a bit better with snow than without, but seriously, it can be really annoying. They aren't too quick to clear the snow and ice here, so even short journeys can become an epic assault course...


    As for icicles - it's not comforting at all! A few people have died this winter from falling icicles, falling snow and falling roofs from lack of snow clearance. It's a geniune risk and one that still scares me every day living here. I've had a few close shaves and so have a few of my other friends. Cannot wait for it to all melt for good

    Hope I've sort of helped answer your question... Feel free to ask anything else!
    I thought the icicle situation was simply a couple of people each year. Do they honestly pose a health problem? In the UK the only danger in the winter is the ice, which can be hazardous.

    I'd like to go in the winter as I think everyone associates Russia with the cold and snow. Aside from a nice jacket and gloves would any special preparations be needed?

    Thanks.
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    (Original post by mimimimi)
    Summer! Well, August or late Spring is best, I think - not too hot, not too cold. If you want an adventure then feel free to come in Winter! Things do look lovely with a dusting of snow, some things maybe even look a bit better with snow than without, but seriously, it can be really annoying. They aren't too quick to clear the snow and ice here, so even short journeys can become an epic assault course...



    As for icicles - it's not comforting at all! A few people have died this winter from falling icicles, falling snow and falling roofs from lack of snow clearance. It's a geniune risk and one that still scares me every day living here. I've had a few close shaves and so have a few of my other friends. Cannot wait for it to all melt for good



    Right, I have very little experience of this, but I have to say I think you'd be absolutely fine. I wouldn't call Neo-Nazi groups here mainstream, but from what I've heard they have pretty specific racism (they don't like people from the Caucasus) and it's more towards the people who move here rather than tourists. If you remain in the touristy areas I can't see anything happening, since there are lots of police everywhere. The police may be another problem in themselves though, since I often see people of visibly different race (especially young men) being stopped for passport checks. Since you'll be here perfectly legally though, you should have no problem. Either use your Russian to get yourself out of any situations with the police, or speak at them in English and they'll probably leave you alone. I heard that a law has been passed that stops the Militsia being able to hand out fines to foreigners for not having the correct documents (they used to do this all the time)...

    Honestly, a few of the people I study with are of Asian appearance, and they're living here for 9 months and I haven't heard of any problems or anything. Also, I've seen a few black Russian people who actually live here, and they were all walking about getting on with their daily business. I think most racism is just fear of the unknown, and as far as I know Petersburg is becoming more and more multicultural by the day... Also FYI, there have been fewer race-fuelled riot things (about workers not tourists) in Petersburg than in Moscow, it's all pretty multicultural up here

    Hope I've sort of helped answer your question... Feel free to ask anything else!
    Thank you, that's very helpful
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    (Original post by Paul PTS)
    If you have any doubts to go to Russia or not, you may find places which may be much more interesting for you than Moscow or Peterburg.
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...ollage_big.jpg
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi..._Sharif%22.jpg
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kazan
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1XDymkUMouA
    Thanks! I'll definitely have a look
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    (Original post by Helpful_Charlie)
    I thought the icicle situation was simply a couple of people each year. Do they honestly pose a health problem? In the UK the only danger in the winter is the ice, which can be hazardous.

    I'd like to go in the winter as I think everyone associates Russia with the cold and snow. Aside from a nice jacket and gloves would any special preparations be needed?

    Thanks.
    Well, it's not that many per year, but I think around 10-20 per year in Petersburg? I have no idea where to get exact numbers, though. It's not very common but I'm a worrier and it's always in the back of my mind... Plus way more people than that get injured by falling icicles and also falling plasterwork from buildings. The ice on the floor can also be hazardous, my flatmate broke her arm in January after she slipped over on it, and I've seen several other nasty falls. Obviously I'm not telling you not to come, I'm just saying it's probably worse than people expect!

    It's true that everyone thinks Russia is snowy! So yes, feel free to come in the Winter, just make sure you are prepared. The weather can be pretty unpredictable but it's best to have good, waterproof, grippy boots like hiking boots, a really warm jacket (one with feathers in is best - it can go down to -25 occasionally!) and of course a warm hat and gloves. Apart from those I can't really think of any other necessary things... The state-controlled heating is actually immense, so once you're inside any building it's usually lovely and warm... Sometimes a bit too warm though, haha. All the museums and shopping centres have cloakrooms as well, so you don't have to lug your coat around everywhere!
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    (Original post by Helpful_Charlie)
    Thanks, I keep up to date with the Foreign office. It said 10 packs, not 1 which is why I was so concerned.
    Sorry typo i meant 10. The standard unit for how much you have smoked is pack-years (equal to smoking 1 pack per day for 1 year). 10 packs is absolutely nothing and would not impact your long term health at all.
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    (Original post by Helpful_Charlie)
    Obviously there is an increased threat of terrorism from Chechnya and Dagestan, but is the national security high enough to ensure a safe visit?

    If so, which would be better for a 10 day visit - Moscow or St Petersburg? Or should I spend 5 days in each, allowing me to soak in more culture?

    Thanks

    (Also, any personal accounts would put me at ease)
    Hi there,

    I would say its all a myth. I spent 6 months in Russia and its really safe. I mean there has been terrorism in Britain as well, so who knows where will be next targeted.

    There can be racial attacks sometimes though, are you black or asian, or will you blend in a lot more?

    I recommend flying to Moscow (cheaper with BMI, not BA) and at some point taking a train to st.petersburg, overnight, third class is only about £30! And its really nice, you'll meet Russian people.

    Can you speak any Russian at all? Bear in mind that the staff at train stations can never speak English and neither can taxi drivers. Hostels, shops and restaurants you'll be fine though.

    Hope this helps!
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    Every country is trying their best to boycott the terrorism to protect the peace of the whole world.
    We should not worry more about that,just do what we should do
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    (Original post by Elissabeth)
    Hi there,

    I would say its all a myth. I spent 6 months in Russia and its really safe. I mean there has been terrorism in Britain as well, so who knows where will be next targeted.

    There can be racial attacks sometimes though, are you black or asian, or will you blend in a lot more?

    I recommend flying to Moscow (cheaper with BMI, not BA) and at some point taking a train to st.petersburg, overnight, third class is only about £30! And its really nice, you'll meet Russian people.

    Can you speak any Russian at all? Bear in mind that the staff at train stations can never speak English and neither can taxi drivers. Hostels, shops and restaurants you'll be fine though.

    Hope this helps!
    Thanks for the response.

    I suppose you're correct, everywhere in Europe is at risk from a terrorist attack. It's just the Domodedovo bomb attack was shocking.

    I'm white and have been told that I 'look' Eastern European/Russian, so I think I'd be fine.

    I can speak some basic Russian at the moment, and am currently teaching myself some of the vital phrases.
 
 
 
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