Living in Russia Living in Russia

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Living in Russia Living in Russia Powered By Docstoc
of European Businesses
                         STEP BY STEP:

     in Russia                      2011

                                               Foreword by Konstantin O. Romodanovsky,
                                               Director, Federal Migration Service (FMS) Russia                           2
                                               Foreword by H.E. F. Valenzuela,
                                               Ambassador, EU Delegation to Russia                                        3
                                               Foreword by Dr. Frank Schauff, AEB CEO                                     4
                                                Living in Russia – an overview
                                               Introduction to Russia                                                     6
                                               Expatriate life in Russia                                                  6
      Association                              Russian Language and Culture                                               8
of European Businesses                          Current Immigration Procedures in Russia
                                               How to work in Russia legally and the latest changes
                                               in migration legislation                                                   10
                                               Standard procedure                                                         10
                                               Obtaining a work permit for a highly skilled specialist                    12
                                               What are the main requirements of the Russian Federal
                                               Migration Service (FMS) for the highly skilled specialist’s work permit?   12
                                                Moving to Russia
                                               Customs formalities                                                        16
                                               The features of moving to Russia                                           18
                                               Prohibited goods                                                           18
                                               Artwork                                                                    18
                                               Cars                                                                       19
                                               Pets                                                                       19
AEB CEO                                         Living in Russia: Moscow
Dr. Frank Schauff                              The City: step by step                                                     22
                                               Living in Moscow: other useful facts                                       31
Business Development Director                  Time out                                                                   35
Irina Aksenova                                 DOs and DON’Ts                                                             35
                                               Serviced accommodation in Moscow
Publications Manager
Nina Anigbogu                                   Living in Russia: St. Petersburg
                                               Districts of St. Petersburg                                                38
Advertising & Sales                            A Review of the St. Petersburg rental market in 2010
Olga Pavlyuk                                   General Dynamics of the Rental Market                                      54
Ul. Krasnoproletarskaya 16, bld. 3              Living in Russia: Sakhalin
127473 Moscow, Russian Federation
                                               Geography                                                                  58
Tel.: +7 (495) 234 27 64
                                               Historical remark                                                          59
Fax: +7 (495) 234 28 07                        Natural resources                                                          59
Website:                         Transport                                                                  60
The AEB Step by Step: Living in Russia         Sakhalin companies                                                         60
is registered with Roscomnadzor,               Places to visit                                                            62
ПИ № ТУ 50-499. Circulation: 6, 000 copies.     Living in Russia: Sochi
All copyrighted images are taken from          Sochi – life for an expatriate                                             64 and                         Year-round, sun-and-snow resort                                            64                           Working in Sochi                                                           65
                                               Art and Modern Lifestyle                                                   65
The opinions and comments expressed            Family accommodation                                                       65
here are those of the authors and do not       Recreation                                                                 65
necessarily reflect those of the Association   Useful information                                                         65
of European Businesses.                        Living in Sochi: other useful facts                                        66
                                                Short stories                                  9, 14, 20, 26, 42, 48, 63, 71

        Step by step : Living in Russia                                                                               1
  Foreword by Konstantin O. Romodanovsky, Director, FMS Russia

                                 It is only next to the USA that the Russian Federation is the
                              world’s second in the number of foreign citizens arriving to the
                              country (migrants). Russia remains most attractive for migrants
                              amidst the world financial and economic crisis. The total number of
                              foreign citizens entering the country every year is about 13 to 14
                              million people; most of them come mainly from the CIS countries.

                                 In the 21st century, migratory processes significantly influence
                              the economic, political and cultural institutes.

                                  Under today’s conditions, a well-balanced and thought-out
                               migratory policy is important to the Russian Federation in the light of
all-round modernisation of the economy and development of the scientific potential, which needs
inflow of qualified foreign labour, investments and innovative technologies.

   Regular consultations with our partners from the European Union and representatives of
domestic business resulted in the introduction of a preferential treatment of labour activity in the
Russian Federation for highly skilled foreign specialists.

   Today, we are establishing an efficient and mutually beneficial system of attraction and
exchange of work force, with all the states concerned, consistently liberalising our migratory
legislation. In this connection, I cannot but emphasize the fruitful cooperation between the Fed-
eral Migratory Service and the Association of European Businesses, promoting advancement of
the Russian Federation along the way of formation and strengthening of international business

   I am sure that the newest legislative initiatives of Russia in the migratory sphere will largely
contribute to growth of efficiency and investment appeal of the Russian economy.

   Creation of comfortable conditions of staying and labour activity for both foreign citizens in
the Russian Federation and Russian citizens abroad, is nowadays, a priority of the governmental
migratory policy and a weighty matter of state!

   From the bottom of my heart, I would like to wish you all a fruitful and constructive work and
say, ‘welcome to the Russian Federation!’

   Konstantin O. Romodanovsky

   Director, Federal Migration Service (FMS) Russia

   2                                                                     Step by step : Living in Russia
          Foreword by H.E. F. Valenzuela, Ambassador, EU Delegation to Russia

                                     For anyone new in Russia, there are many questions – both
                                  concerning practical aspects of daily life as well as concerning doing
                                  business here. The AEB is certainly a very good partner who can help
                                  to address your questions and to help you with settling in.

                                      The EU and the Russian economy are highly interconnected: The
                                  EU is Russia's main trade partner, accounting for well over half of
                                  its overall trade turnover. It is also the most important investor in
                                  Russia: up to 75% of FDI stocks in Russia come from the EU Member
                                  States. Russia is the EU's third trading partner with almost 10% share
                                  of our trade.

    Concerning our ongoing negotiations with Russia, the EU is currently in the process of nego-
tiating a new EU-Russia Partnership Agreement that should deepen and strengthen our already
wide-ranging cooperation. At the same time, Russia’s WTO accession remains a key priority. On
this front, bilateral issues were cleared at the EU-Russia Summit of 7 December 2010. This is an
important milestone in the accession process and the EU now very much hopes that 2011 will see
Russia becoming a WTO member. Such long-term commitment to a rules-based multilateral trade
system would be a clear indication of Russia’s determination to move towards a diversified, open
and prosperous economy.

   For many years, the cooperation between the European Union Delegation and the AEB has
been very close and frequent contacts take place on a wide variety of issues. Together with the
European Commission and the EU Member States' Embassies in Russia, the AEB actively partici-
pates in the EU Market Access Partnership – we are cooperating very closely in order to reduce
barriers for doing business in Russia. In particular, we have been focussing together on issues of
great importance for business in Russia such as visas and work permits, customs issues, increased
import duties, technical barriers to trade, intellectual property rights and energy-related questions.

   Doing business in Russia is certainly a challenge full of opportunities. Together with the AEB,
the European Union Delegation would like to welcome you to Russia and wish you all the best.

   H.E. Fernando Valenzuela Marzo

   Ambassador, European Union Delegation to Russia

Step by step : Living in Russia                                                                   3
   Foreword by Dr. Frank Schauff, AEB CEO

                                   Last year the Step by Step guide was a smashing success. This is
                                an indication of the fact that people and companies are in fact inte-
                                rested in relocating and expanding their business to Russia.

                                    With a land mass of 17, 075, 400 square kilometres and a popula-
                                tion of 141,927,297 as of January 1st, 2010, the Russian Federation
                                comprises 83 federal subjects and the opportunities here are limitless.

                                   The whole world is moving towards globalisation and Russia is
                                there right alongside. Russia has a market economy, with enormous
                                natural resources, particularly, oil and natural gas. It has the 12th larg-
                                est economy in the world by nominal GDP and the 7th largest by pur-
chasing power parity (PPP). Nowadays, higher domestic consumption and greater political stability
have bolstered economic growth in Russia. Oil, natural gas, metals, and timber account for more
than 80% of Russian exports abroad. The total area of cultivated land in Russia was estimated as
1,237,294 square kilometres in 2005, and is the fourth largest in the world. From 1999 to 2009,
Russia's agriculture demonstrated steady growth, transforming the country from a grain importer
to the third largest grain exporter after the EU and USA. In recent years, Russia has frequently been
described in the media as an "energy superpower". The country has the world's largest natural gas
reserves, the 8th largest oil reserves and the second largest coal reserves.

    This guide is meant to serve as an insight into Russia – to acquaint those interested in relocating
for business reasons, with the culture, customs and ways of getting around in some of the major
cities. In the second issue of the Step by Step guide, we present you with an overview of not only
Moscow, but three other regions – Sahalin, St. Petersburg and Sochi, in addition to the basic facts
about immigration and relocation. The guide has been put together by representatives of AEB
member companies and leading experts in their various fields.

   As you immerse yourself in the pages that follow, we hope that the information acquired will
go a long way in answering some of the pressing questions you may have and convince you that
with its rich culture and warm hearted people, Russia really is a great place to relocate to.

   On a final note I would like to welcome you to Russia and wish you all a great stay!

   Yours sincerely,

   Dr. Frank Schauff

   Chief Executive Officer

   The Association of European Businesses

   4                                                                        Step by step : Living in Russia
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   Living in Russia – an overview

St. Basil's Cathedral – Moscow

Living in Russia – an overview
Introduction to Russia                                    Russia has much to offer the relocating
                                                      expatriate executive, not only in terms of sig-
Russia is a land of extremes. Even after the
                                                      nificant business opportunities, but in terms of
disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991, Rus-
                                                      the richness of its culture, as well as a strong
sia remains by far the world’s largest country,
                                                      heritage in every aspect of the arts and sci-
comprising of over 17 million square kilometers
                                                      ences, of which Russians are justifiably proud.
(Canada, by comparison, is just under 10 mil-
                                                      On the other hand, Russia is still characterised
lion sq Km, the USA, excluding Alaska, 8 mil-
                                                      by a seemingly all-encompassing bureaucracy.
lion sq Km) covering 11 time zones and with a
                                                      An awareness of both immigration formali-
population of around 142 million.
                                                      ties and the ways in which bureaucracy can
     Moscow, the capital, is Europe’s largest city,   affect business is essential in order to ensure a
with a population of 10,524,400 (as of 1st June       trouble free and enjoyable stay.
2009) and is the seat of government, and by
far, the most significant economic centre, as         Expatriate life in Russia
well as being home to the greatest number of
                                                      Life in Russia is full of challenges! However, a
billionaires in the world.
                                                      little preparation both before your relocation
    For foreigners, Moscow can be an expen-           and after arrival can be of immense benefit
sive place to live. In 2008, the city was voted       throughout the rest of your stay. Expatriates
the most expensive city for expatriates for the       who make at least some effort to acclimatise
third year in a row; however, by 2009 it ranked       to their new environment, whether by taking
third behind Tokyo and Osaka.                         Russian language lessons, enjoying the wealth
                                                      of culture the Russian capital has to offer, rea-

   6                                                                      Step by step : Living in Russia
                                                         Living in Russia – an overview

ding up on the country’s rich history, develop-
ing an interest in its architecture or travelling
to the Russian hinterland, beyond Moscow will
invariably lead a much fuller life while in Rus-
sia and take away with them any number of
unique memories and experiences.

Many foreigners associate Russia with long,
cold winters and little else. Those who arrive in
Russia in the summer months ( June to August)
are often pleasantly (and sometimes unpleas-
antly!) surprised by how hot the Russian sum-
mer can be. Spring and autumn tend to be brief
periods of change between very low and very
high temperatures.                                  People's friendship fountain – Moscow
    Winters can indeed be cold and are always           Summers are short and hot. The average
accompanied by snow. Rarely does the tem-           July temperature for Moscow is 18 degrees;
perature in winter fall below -25 degrees cen-      although, heat waves with temperatures in the
tigrade (in Moscow at least) and the average        lower 30s are not uncommon from mid-May to
January temperature is around -8 degrees.           mid-August.

   Living in Russia – an overview

                                                       master completely. However, your time in Rus-
                                                       sia will be much more rewarding if you make
                                                       some effort to learn the language, and at least,
                                                       the basics about Russia’s cultural heritage. A
                                                       working knowledge of the Cyrillic alphabet
                                                       is most useful for reading place names and
                                                       street signs and is easier to learn than one may
                                                       imagine at first glance. Your company should
                                                       be able to arrange Russian language lessons
                                                       for you, as well as a guide to Russian cultural

                                                       Personal Safety
                                                       Moscow is no more dangerous or safe than
                                                       any other large urban area of comparable
                                                       size. Indeed many long-term expatriates often
                                                       comment positively on how safe Moscow
                                                       feels. This is not to say that crime is not a
                                                       problem and every expatriate should try not
                                                       to draw unnecessary attention to themselves
                                                       and be aware of the possibility of petty crime,
                                                       especially, in crowded areas and on public
                                                       transport. Make a list of emergency telephone
                                                       numbers – your office, your embassy, Russian-
                                                       speaking friends etc. and always keep these
Monument to Minin and Pozharsky – Moscow               with you. You should also register yourself
                                                       and your family members with your country’s
Clothing                                               embassy.

For winter, it is best to have ‘removable layers’
of clothing as it may well be cold out on the
                                                                       David Gilmartin
street, but the interior of Russian buildings –
                                                                       David came to Russia as an
both homes and offices – may be very warm
                                                                       expatriate in 1996. Originally
verging on uncomfortably hot. A good, warm
                                                                       working in Consumer Goods,
hat (made of fur or insulated man-made mate-
                                                                       David traveled extensively
rials) is an essential piece of kit, as are scarves,
                                                       throughout Russia, and was based in the
gloves and good warm winter boots.
                                                       regions for a number of years. David has
   Summer wear needs to take into account              worked in Relocations and Real Estate for the
both very warm, humid temperatures, as well            last 5 years. As owner and General Manager
as frequent showers, which occur when the              of Troika Relocations, David has gained an
weather is thundery.                                   excellent insight into the Relocation Industry
                                                       in Russia, and its current strengths and weak-
Russian Language and Culture                           nesses. As an expat himself, David is ideally
                                                       placed to advise expatriate executives and
Russian is not an easy language to learn and
                                                       their families relocating to Moscow.
will require considerable time and effort to

   8                                                                      Step by step : Living in Russia
Only in Russia: “Have a drink in the morning and you
are free for the rest of the day“ (s utra wiypil, ves den
This Russian saying used to apply to the daily business practice of foreigners doing business in Russia
in the nineties. A regular business meeting at around eleven in the morning could take an unexpected
turn when your host would close the door behind you after you entered the room. With the door
cloxxxdsing something else would surely be opened, and that would be the drawer of your host’s
desk, out of which, a bottle of Vodka, and if you were lucky, some dark bread would be produced.
Two hours later, at around lunchtime, you would be trying to find your way back to the office dressed
in a smart suit and tie, but hardly being able to put two straight steps in front of each other. Now, in
the twenty first century, the risk of running into a bottle of Vodka during a time of the day when your
mind can only say “Cappuccino” is not so big anymore. Luckily, Russia’s drinking culture has evolved
in the last 20 years. Where in the nineties the saying “Have a drink in the morning and you are free
for the rest of the day“ (s utra wiypil, ves den svoboden) applied, nowadays, it is “sdelal delo, gulyay
smelo” (having done your business, you are free to party). Still, Vodka is an important part of the Rus-
sian culture, and therefore, of Russian business culture. The farther you are from Moscow, the sooner
this will become clear to you. Drinking Vodka is unavoidable in Russia and the best policy is: “if you
can’t beat them, join them”. And join them you will, sooner or later because saying no to a Russian
who offers you a drink is like trying to avoid death or taxes. You may delay it a little, but in the end, it
will catch up with you. And if you drink, it is important to understand that it is not only what you drink
that is important, but also how you drink. Shots of Vodka are not drunk by little sips. They go down
the hatch in one go. You are allowed though, to loudly express any kind of emotion after you have
downed a shot of Vodka. Delight or suffering may be expressed by groans, gurgles and other noises,
just as long as you do it with conviction. You may eat a pickled cucumber to soften the feeling of a
vodka-burned throat; alternatively, if you want to show your worth, you simply deeply sniff a crust
of brown bread. This may seem tough in the beginning, but you will notice that after three shots of
Vodka it is actually not that bad. The first shot is just as tough for the Russian as it is for you, but the
difference is that the Russian’s genetic memory harbours the knowledge that it gets better after two
or three shots. Contrary to popular belief, it is not necessary to drink bottle after bottle. Everything
from five shots (or 250 grams) and more will do the trick. If after five shots you stop drinking, that
will be respected. But you are free to continue of course. The Vodka drinking is nothing less than a
ceremony, with its own specific etiquette. Every glass you drink will be preceded by a toast and you
will be expected to say a few of them. A good toast is highly appreciated and the third toast (standing
up) is always proposed to the ladies present. A glass can only be poured when the glass is standing
on the table (as opposed to holding it up in the air); an opened Vodka bottle is not closed again and
empty bottles are taken off the table. One rather dangerous moment is when your Russian host starts
drinking ‘na pososhok’ (one for the road). Although you might think that he is delicately trying to get
rid of you, the ‘pososhok’ is actually more often than not, the start of a long line of drinks for the road.
But these are just few of the customs that rule the drinking table. Drinking Vodka is an important part
of doing business, although, no business is usually done during the drinking. Something much more
important takes place while you progress form one glass to the other. A personal relationship and
trust are being established; two crucial ingredients for successful business in Russia.
  Current Immigration Procedures in Russia

The Kremlin – Moscow

Current Immigration Procedures
in Russia
How to work in Russia legally and                   Standard procedure
the latest changes in migration                     The main problem faced by employers when
legislation                                         recruiting foreign nationals using the standard
All foreign nationals, who are going to work in     procedure, is in obtaining a quota. The applica-
the Russian Federation (RF) are obliged meant       tion for the quota should be submitted to the
to obtain work permits. The work permit can         Department of Employment by May 1st of the
be obtained on behalf of a legal entity or an       current year for the quota of the next year.
individual entrepreneur. This can be a Russian      Applying for the quota does not guarantee that
legal entity, a representative or branch office     you will obtain it. Thus, if the employer wishes
of a foreign legal entity. Thus, if you are going   to obtain a work permit for a foreign national
to work in Russia, you will have to do one of       after May 1 of the current year he will only
the following, find an employer, establish your     be able to do so 18 months later and only on
own company or a representative office of a         condition of the confirmation of the quota for
foreign company on Russian Federation terri-        the company for any desired position.
tory. The opportunity to work freelance in the
                                                        However, the Ministry of Health and Social
RF is open only to CIS-citizens.
                                                    Development of the RF publishes a list of posi-
   At the moment, there is a standard proce-        tions that are exempt from the quota. As a
dure for obtaining a work permit and a proce-       rule, this list contains management positions
dure for highly skilled specialists.                such as general director, company director

  10                                                                   Step by step : Living in Russia
  Current Immigration Procedures in Russia

      The AEB “One Window Approach”                 and department director. It is also possible to
             application procedure                  obtain work permits without a quota for teach-
1. A company intending to legalise an expatri-      ers of educational institutions, such as foreign
   ate employee shall notify the AEB by for-        language teachers.
   warding the person’s details – name, profile,
   address, bank details, type of document and          The employer can start the process of
   employee’s name on the company’s letter-         obtaining work permits after receiving a quota
   head, in English and Russian.                    or if he decides to choose any position exempt
2. The company shall pay to the AEB an admin-       from the quota. First, you have to obtain per-
   istrative charge of 1,150 rubles for each        mission to employ foreign nationals. Subse-
   expatriate employee of the company and           quently, you obtain permission to apply for a
   460 rubles for each family member of this
                                                    personal work permit for the foreign employee.
   expatriate employee, in accordance with an
                                                    After that, the employer has to obtain a work
   invoice issued by the AEB.
                                                    visa for the employee and his family members.
3. The company shall provide the AEB visa coor-
   dinator with a complete set of documents.           At the moment, the standard procedure
   The list of documents and the format in which    takes about 4 months. Also, a foreign national,
   they should be completed can be found in the     among other documents, has to present a
   applicable regulatory legal acts that govern-    degree of higher education and a medical
   ing the order for applying to the FMS. The
   package of documents and all subsequent
   documents, if any, shall be delivered to the         The work permit under the standard proce-
   AEB visa coordinator by an employee duly         dure is issued for one year. The work visa will
   authorised by the proper power of attorney,      have the same period of validity. The given
   issued by the company. The AEB visa coordi-      work permit cannot be extended; therefore, the
   nator shall officially accept these documents.   employer will have to repeat the procedure. The
4. In addition to the package of documents,
                                                    work visa can be extended without leaving Rus-
   the company shall provide the AEB visa
                                                    sia provided new work permit is obtained one
   coordinator with a duly executed power of
                                                    month prior to the expiry of the previous one.
   attorney, authorising him/her to represent
   the company at the FMS.                              The work permit will only be valid in the
5. Once the package of documents has been           constituent entity of the RF in which it was
   approved, the AEB visa coordinator shall         issued.
   submit the package of documents to the FMS
   and notify the company thereof.
6. If the FMS requests for any additional infor-
   mation, the AEB visa coordinator will notify
   the company. The company then has to
   provide the AEB visa coordinator with this
   information in time.
7. Once the package of documents has been
   processed at the FMS, the AEB visa coordi-
   nator shall notify the company, receive the
   respective documents from the FMS and
   hand them over to the company’s authorised
   officer, at the AEB office.
For more information please contact Elena
Kuznetsova, Coordinator, AEB Migration
committee at            Moscow City

 12                                                                    Step by step : Living in Russia
                                             Current Immigration Procedures in Russia

   On July 1st, 2010, amendments to Fed-
eral Law – No 115-FZ came into force. These
amendments considerably simplified the pro-
cedure of obtaining work permits for a definite
category of foreign nationals.

    The first and the most important innovation
is the introduction of a new category of foreign
employees – the highly skilled specialists.
                                                     Cathedral of Christ the Savior – Moscow
Obtaining a work permit                              king days. The work permit can be issued for
for a highly skilled specialist                      any position. The list of documents required
A work permit for a highly skilled specialist        is considerably shorter when compared with
is obtained without a quota or permission to         that for the standard procedure of obtaining
employ foreign nationals for the company. The        work permits. Also, there is no need to present
given work permit can be obtained by practi-         a medical certificate and degree of higher edu-
cally any Russian legal entity or a branch office    cation. The employer can estimate the foreign
of a foreign legal entity, which is accredited       national’s qualification himself. If necessary,
according to the standard procedure.                 the work permit can be extended for a period
                                                     ranging from 1 month to 3 years.
    Please note that representative offices of
foreign companies do not have the right to               Please note that as a result of the amend-
obtain work permits for highly skilled special-      ments to the law, a foreign national, having
ists and have to obtain work permits according       obtained a work permit as a highly skilled
to the standard procedure.                           specialist, can subsequently obtain a residence
                                                     permit for himself and his family members that
   The work permit can be issued for a period
                                                     will remain valid for the same duration as the
of 1 month to 3 years. Besides, the work visa
                                                     work permit.
for the foreign national and his family mem-
bers can be issued according to the duration of          Work permits for all constituent entities of
the work permit.                                     the RF can be obtained from the FMS, which is
                                                     located at: 4/1, V. Radischevskaya, Moscow;
What are the main requirements                       office hours are from 10:00 till 17:00.
of the Russian Federal Migration                                     Alexey Filipenkov
Service (FMS) for the highly skilled                                 Alexey Filipenkov is a partner
specialist’s work permit?                                            and one of the founders of Visa-
                                                                     Delight. He has more than ten
One of the main criteria is the foreign national’s
                                                                     years experience in the field of
salary, which cannot be less than 2 million
                                                     migration legislation.
rubles per year. The employer should provide
                                                     Visa-Delight specialises in the provision of
the highly skilled foreign employee and his fam-
                                                     services to foreign companies in all matters
ily members with optional insurance policies.
                                                     related to the legalisation of foreign labor, as
Compared to the standard procedure of                well as practical issues in the application of
obtaining work permits, which can take up            migration law. Alexey has also been the Deputy
to 4 months, a work permit for the highly            Chairman of the AEB Migration Committee
skilled specialist is processed within 14 wor-       since its foundation.

Step by step : Living in Russia                                                                13
Only in Russia: Love and hate
There are two kinds of people in the world:
those who love Russia and those who hate
it. The first group is motivated by the adven-
ture, authenticity, warmth and generosity of
the Russian people, and, not to forget, by the
enormous market potential. The second group
sees a dangerous, dirty, corrupt, inefficient and
unorganised country, with grim and rude people.
Depending on how you look at it, there is some
truth to both views on Russia. And it is a fact that
most foreigners, and even many Russians, oscil- Fountain in Manezh square – Moscow
late between love and hate for Russia several
times per day. But there is one truth that is undeniable, which is, if you do not enjoy and love the
country most of the time, you will have no chance of success in Russia. I often see them sitting
next to me in the airplane before landing in Moscow: The western businesspeople, wiping their
moist palms on their trousers, for fear of what lies in store once they put their feet on Russian soil.
These fearful visitors run the risk of encountering one problem after the other. There is a 50 meter
long queue at passport control and the window closes just when you are next in line; when it is
finally your turn, you almost get arrested because your friendly effort to say ‘zdrazdvuitje’ (hello)
in Russian is misinterpreted by the grim officer in front of you. Subsequently, while waiting for
your luggage at the luggage belt with the sign ‘Berlin’, as that is where you came from, it arrives
at the belt with the sign ‘Paris’. This, of course, you find out only after you have already spent an
hour trying to declare your luggage as ‘lost’. The taxi driver rips you off and at your hotel, they
cannot find your reservation and do not accept your credit card. Business has not even started yet,
but your trip is already ruined and there is little chance that your luck will change for the better.
On the other hand, those business people who focus on the positive side of things and welcome
                                                     the chance to experience something out of the
                                                     ordinary, and who can appreciate the unorgan-
                                                     ised adventure that doing business in Russia
                                                     is, usually succeed. They learn a little Russian,
                                                     wink at the mustachioed lady at passport control
                                                     and are not surprised to find their luggage at
                                                     the wrong luggage belt. These are the people
                                                     who get satisfaction from solving Russia’s daily
                                                     riddles. These are also the people that have
                                                     a genuine interest in their Russian business
                                                     partners, and eventually end up making friends
                                                     with them. Often, people ask me what the main
                                                     secret of success in doing business in Russia is.
 Statue: The old fisherman and the fish (a Russian
                                                     The answer, without a doubt, is – ‘a good sense
 fairy tale) – Moscow                                of humor’.
   Moving to Russia

Flower clock – Moscow

Moving to Russia
Probably, your first reaction when faced with        in some cases, they are not available. However,
the fact that there is a possibility that you will   you may want to rethink bringing along pieces
be moving to Russia would be accompanied by          of furniture; in Russia, most apartments that are
many questions: how to get long-term Russian         for rent come fully furnished, hence, the only
visa? How to adapt to the extreme Russian cli-       items that you may consider are objects that will
mate? How to understand this language? And           help you and your family to adapt to the new
how to move all personal belongings to Russia?       environment. You should also note that due to
                                                     climate peculiarities you will need more clothes
   But when you start preparing to relocate to
                                                     and accessories for a comfortable stay in Russia.
Russia, you’ll find out that the procedure is not
as complicated as was previously imagined.
                                                     Customs formalities
   If your move to one of Russia’s cities is
                                                     The customs procedures in Russia are very
short term, there is a possibility that you may
                                                     specific and it would be unwise try to arrange
want to bring with you as many of your per-
                                                     all the customs formalities on your own The
sonal belongings as you possibly can to give
                                                     best solution is to find good moving com-
you the home-away-from-home feeling.
                                                     pany that will be able to provide you will with
    There is in fact, in most cases, good reason     “Door-to-Door” relocation services. It is bet-
to bring along a good part of your personal          ter to choose a reliable company that is well
belongings. In Russia, most items that you           known on the relocation market as a stable
would be able to purchase at reasonable prices       company, with a long-standing reputation and
in your home country, are more expensive, and        a network of partners all over the world.

  16                                                                     Step by step : Living in Russia
Your reliable
Mover in Russia

Worldwide Moving
Worldwide Relocation
Office Moves
Apartment Moves               phone: (7-495) 937-94-54
                              fax: (7-495) 937-94-55
Export/Import clearance       phone: (7-812) 393-70-54
                              fax: (7-812) 309-12-12
Fine-Art – Antique Shipping
Pets Moving                   phone: (7-4242) 74-22-90
                              fax: (7-4242) 72-31-37
Multilingual Team
  Moving to Russia

    The moving company will provide you with
a set of documents required for a problem free
customs clearance process. Note that you have
to prepare two sets of documents – one is for
the customs clearance procedure in your home
country; the second will be presented to the
office of the moving company in Russia. Bear in     VDNH – Moscow
mind that you will also need to go to a Russian
                                                    ber countries of the European Union and the
notary and make the adequate arrangements
                                                    current legislation is still subject to frequent
for that; this should include asking your employ-
                                                    changes. The recent creation of the Customs
er to provide your with relevant documents.
                                                    Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan has
    Once the legal part of your move is com-        led to some vagueness regarding temporary
pleted, all you need to do is decide on the pack-   import to Russia. Therefore, as of now, there
ing day. To factor in the possibility of unfore-    is a possibility that you may be obliged to pay
seen circumstances, it would be wise to make        import taxes and duties or arrange temporarily
an arrangement for several official packing         import for your household goods. The moving
days. Subsequently, a fight should be booked        company must provide you with the precise
that takes off a couple of days after the last      details with regard to this issue.
packing day. It is strongly recommended that
you not pack any items of personal belonging        Prohibited goods
by yourself. Just rely on the professional pack-
                                                    According to the Russian customs regulations
ers; they use special materials and packing
                                                    some items can not be imported into Russia.
technologies. Professional packers from a mov-
                                                    Make sure you request for an updated list of
ing company will save you time and your goods
                                                    prohibited goods from your moving company.
will be delivered to Russia in perfect condition.
                                                    The list of prohibited items is almost the same
   Also, make sure that your goods are              for companied and unaccompanied luggage and
insured. Most of the moving companies pro-          contains explosives, weapons, food and drugs.
vide insurance as an additional service based
                                                        Bringing in over five liters of alcoholic bever-
on the declared value of your goods.
                                                    ages into Russia is prohibited. The importation of
    Your moving company should tell you             two to five liters of alcoholic beverages is subject
how long it will take for your goods to arrive      to taxation. To avoid additional customs exami-
in Russia. Usually, the smaller shipments are       nation it is strongly recommended that alcoholic
sent by air; they take about a week to arrive.      beverages be part of your companied luggage.
If goods are being transported by road, for         The same goes for tobacco products (with the
example, by truck, they will arrive in about        allowed amount being 250 grams of tobacco).
one to two weeks. A container takes about a
month to arrive.                                    Artwork
                                                    You should be very careful with importing, and
The features of moving to Russia                    particularly, subsequently exporting any items
Do not hesitate to ask the manager of your          of art, for example, photographs, paintings,
moving company for a detailed description           musical instruments, some souvenirs, books
of the relocation process. Russia is a country      that are older than 50 years. Russian legisla-
with a socioeconomic and political system           tion is very strict about exporting any goods of
that differs from that of many of the mem-          historical value to the country. When importing

  18                                                                     Step by step : Living in Russia
                                                                          Moving to Russia

artwork into Russia, make sure that it is first      relevant persons with the veterinary docu-
of all registered at the customs office; this will   ments from your home country.
allow you to export it without any problems
                                                         We believe that choosing a good and reli-
when leaving. Those items, which have been
                                                     able moving company will guarantee that
purchased in Russia must be permitted for
                                                     you are comfortable throughout your stay in
export by the Russian Ministry of Culture. Most
                                                     Russia, including those first days following
moving companies can provide you with all
necessary documents required to export art-
work, all you have to do, is bear that in mind.
                                                                     Rick Minne
                                                                     Rick is the Sales Develop-
Cars                                                                 ment Director and thanks to
The procedure for importing a car for personal                       his personal connections and
use is quite simple in Russia. You need just to                      management style, he runs
arrange for a temporarily import for the car         a very efficient relocation service at IWM.
and you can then send it by companied and            A Belgian national who relocated to Mos-
unaccompanied shipment. In any case, the             cow in 2008, with a tremendous amount of
moving company will assist you with that.            relevant experience, Rick understands what
                                                     expats/customers are looking for.
Pets                                                 IWM is one of the leading moving providers in
                                                     Russia, offering household moves for expats
The procedure for bringing pets to Russia is
                                                     and embassies, and office moves.
relatively simple, you will need to provide the

Only in Russia:
Russians and rules
Russians have an interesting interpretation of
rules. See a ‘no swimming’ sign and you can be
sure that there will be people swimming. See
an emergency exit and you can be sure that the
exit is either used as a regular exit or it is closed
with a lock rendering it useless in the event of
an emergency. See a garbage container, and
usually, you will find the trash next to the con-
tainer. See a ‘no smoking’ sign in airports and Monument to Emperor Alexander II, the Liberator
public buildings and you will see that the largest Tsar – Moscow
congregations of smokers assemble within a 2
meter radius of this ‘no smoking sign’. Moreover, on closer inspection, you will notice that close
to the ‘no smoking signs’ you can actually, in most cases, find ashtrays placed there by the facility
managers. The Russian needs his freedom and when the foreigner gets used to this way of life,
he or she usually starts to appreciate certain aspects of the Russian’s particular relationship with
rules. While standing in a long line at passport control at the airport, the Russianised foreigner
will try the empty line for diplomats and will be gladly surprised that nobody says a word. Next
time, he will try the shorter line for Russian citizens and also understand that this is no problem
whatsoever. He will be happy to understand that you can park your car almost everywhere and
that speed limits only apply there, where the police controls them. The thing in Russia is to under-
stand that most Russians are practical instead of formalistic about rules. Very often, the short term
objective takes precedence over the long term rationale of a rule. This can be exasperating to
foreigners once in a while, but once you get used to it, you will sometimes see the benefits of a
liberal and practical interpretation of rules.

Manezh square – Moscow
   Living in Russia: Moscow

Moscow by night

Living in Russia: Moscow
The City: step by step                               Special Status, or territories. These usually
                                                     include areas with small or no permanent pop-
Living in Moscow could be fabulous, interest-
                                                     ulations, such is the case with the All-Russia
ing and unforgettable: a city of contrasts and
                                                     Exhibition Centre, the Botanical Garden, large
fascinating history offers its inhabitants and
                                                     parks, and industrial zones.
guests a variety of adventures.

    Moscow is the capital of the largest Euro-       Moscow Centre: step by step
pean country and is situated in the heart of
                                                     The centre of Moscow is very picturesque and
what is known as European Russia. Hence,
                                                     extraordinary from an architectural point of view:
this capital city, being the epicenter of life for
                                                     different styles harmoniously collocate side by
people of different nations and parts of the
                                                     side. Here you will discover the most attractive
world, takes the best from “West” and “East”.
                                                     and luxurious areas of Moscow – Step by step.
Twenty years ago, Russia opened wide its
doors to business and tourism from all over the
                                                     1. Ostozhenka
world and Moscow became one of the most
influential and fantastic cities on Earth.           The area has a rich historical background and
                                                     several exceptional sides. It is situated on the
   In that chapter, you will discover Moscow
                                                     river bank near the Cathedral of Christ the
step by step. Have a good trip!
                                                     Savior, the Kremlin, the Red Square and some
    The city is divided into ten administrative      of the most popular museums.
regions (okrugs) and 123 districts. In addition
                                                        Moscow’s aristocracy initially disliked
to the districts, there are Territorial Units with
                                                     Ostozhenka and began to settle there only in

  22                                                                     Step by step : Living in Russia
                                                                          Living in Russia: Moscow

          the 18th century and in the first quarter of the   2. Patriarshy Prudi (Patriarshy ponds)
          19th century. The architecture of the area cor-
                                                             The cultural and aristocratic center of Moscow
          responded to the unpretentious tastes of its
                                                             is situated around the Patriarshy pond. Cur-
          inhabitants: modest apartment houses were
                                                             rently, there is only one pond, which is sur-
          side by side with taverns and bars. Over the
                                                             rounded by a garden. In the 17th century, it was
          many centuries of its existence, it has earned
                                                             a whole district called the Goat Marsh and it
          a reputation for being the most expensive,
                                                             was part of the Patriarch suburb. Here, some-
          prestigious and fashionable area of the city.
                                                             where in the vicinity, was the Patriarch Zhitnii
          Moscow’s guests are attracted by its proxim-
                                                             yard. By order of the Patriarch, the Ponds were
          ity to the historic walls of the Kremlin and the
                                                             dug to “supply” fish for the patriarchal table.
          domes of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior.
                                                                 Nowadays, the best locations in this area
             The area is very calm and cosy. This is one
                                                             are with a view over the pond. During the
          of the areas occupied by Moscow’s elite; it
                                                             warm summer days, the park is filled with
          offers a lot of contemporary buildings, with
                                                             people promenading, children playing games
          unique architectural style, advanced engineer-
                                                             and young people sitting and talking on the
          ing systems and developed infrastructure. At
                                                             benches, while in the winter, the pond turns
          the same time, it offers a very special neigh-
                                                             into an ice skating ring. This area hosts the best
          borhood – wealthy intellectuals and individuals
                                                             restaurants, main theaters and nightlife. This
          from major international and Russian compa-
                                                             area is also legendary from the literary point
          nies and embassies.
                                                             of view: a lot of Russian writers (and their
                                                             protagonists) lived here.
   Living in Russia: Moscow

3. Arbat                                             4. Tverskaya
A wonderful area situated around one of the          This is Moscow’s aorta and was the most luxu-
most ancient streets of Moscow. From the late        rious area during the Russian Empire epoch.
18th and 19th centuries, this area was domi-         The Tverskaya Street has long been considered
nated by the home-estates of nobles; in the          a benchmark for luxury and prestige.
second half of the 19th century, this was the
                                                         In the 15th century, it was a trade road from
place where one would find the majority of
                                                     the Kremlin to Tver, which was one of the
Moscow’s intelligentsia.
                                                     most important and influential cities at that
     The Arbat Street is one of the oldest streets   time. Many innovations in Moscow started
of the capital. For Muscovites, it’s not just a      from the Tverskaya Street, though not all of
street, but a special "piece" of the capital,        them were beneficial to the ancient capital
a kind of "Moscow within Moscow”, with               and its culture. It was completely reconstruct-
its own history, identity and traditions. The        ed in the 1930s. In 1932, the street was named
street’s image is created by its residents. It       after Maxim Gorky, a proletarian writer. This
was always “a closed world”, full of exception-      was a present from the Stalin government,
al people: the aristocracy and intellectuals. The    made during the writer’s lifetime. Soon, the
list of famous arbat people “arbattovsi”, works      Tverskaya street met a tragic fate; it was the
written, masterpieces created and scientific         first street reconstructed according to the
discoveries made in this place could serve as        master plan for the socialist reconstruction
information for an encyclopedia. This is also        of Moscow. Subsequently, it lost not only its
the reason why many memorial museums and             original name, but its personality. This was the
commemorative plates are placed here.                result of L. Kaganovich’s (a powerful "architect
                                                     of socialism") vision.
    Arbat has always been one of the most
beautiful streets of the city. Gradually, century        Once again known as the Tverskaya street,
after century, the street emerged with its own       time has hardly changed its usual trends. The
unique architectural style. It boasts original       modern Tverskaya remains the most impor-
ancient mansions with moldings, balconies and        tant commercial, business and cultural street
caryatids, small cozy lanes, laced lamps, stone      of the capital, with the most expensive and
paved roads. During the Soviet government,           luxurious hotels being located here: the Ritz-
the Old Arbat changed irreversibly: in the early     Carlton, the Marriott, the Hyatt etc. Being a
1960s, it became the laid back street of the         business area, Tverskaya has a limited number
new modern avenue – the New Arbat. This led          of residential buildings; therefore, the prices
to the destruction of many 18 and 19 century         for living here are quite high.
monuments; nevertheless, the Arbat has not
lost its charm. Walking along the streets and        5. Hamovniki and Pluchikha
lanes here, you can touch the history of Russia;
                                                     This area is very popular among business
it is almost every house on Arbat – even the
                                                     people and expatriates. A large number of the
small and seemingly insignificant, when exam-
                                                     buildings were constructed during the Stalin
ined will reveal the names and events that are
                                                     epoch; therefore, the architecture is quite
impossible to forget. In 1986, Arbat became a
                                                     specific, surviving the buildings of “a new era”
pedestrian street. Nowadays, it remains one
                                                     (Soviet period architecture).
of the most prestigious areas of Moscow and
from a cultural point of view, an absolutely            At the end of the 17th century, this green
fascinating place.                                   picturesque area drew a lot of attention.

  24                                                                     Step by step : Living in Russia
                                                                          Living in Russia: Moscow

          This was followed by the rise of suburban          6. Zamoskvorechye
          estates with regular parks, ponds and build-
                                                             This is one of the biggest parts of old Moscow.
          ings belonging to such eminent families as
                                                             Situated on a river bank, this area is composed
          Dolgoruky Volkonskiy, Galitzin, Trubetskoy,
                                                             of different types of buildings, both old and
          Obolensky, Kropotkin, to mention but a few.
                                                             modern. There are also a lot of museums and
              The erection of modern plots on the Frun-      churches in the area.
          zenskaya Embankment and Komsomolsky
                                                                In 1591, the wooden walls on the ground
          prospect began only after the revolution in
                                                             embankment under the Garden Ring were
          the late 1920s. First, there were a few 4 and
                                                             erected in Zarechye. Due to the specificity
          5 storey houses the silk factory workers. Sub-
                                                             the territory, Zarechye settlements were of
          sequently, the area began to develop rapidly –
                                                             the suburban type for a long time. Until the
          the scope of work had tremendous character.
                                                             end of the 19th century, the residential devel-
          The Frunzenskaya Embankment was erected
                                                             opment of Zarechye evolved largely from
          in granite and combined piers for river trams.
                                                             smaller urban mansions with gardens and
          A lot of Stalin style architecture buildings,
                                                             orchards. This created a spacious urban land-
          such as the Ministry of Defense were built
                                                             scape with silhouettes of churches and bell
          in this period. Most of the buildings in the
                                                             towers. Thanks to the flat topography and low
          Hamovniki area are of the business-class. The
                                                             building height, the Kremlin hill is clearly visible
          area is still one of the most rapidly developing
                                                             to the southern outskirts of the city. With a
          in Moscow.
                                                             sharp bend of the river, from the coastal hills to

          Step by step : Living in Russia                                                                 25
Only in Russia:
Better to have 100 friends
than 100 rubles
‘It’s better to have 100 friends than 100 rubles’
is a saying that every Russian will consent to.
Dealing with the daily reality in Russia can be
a daunting task. Many domestic matters, daily
chores or banal issues at work that can be dealt
with in the blink of an eye in many countries,
often manifest themselves as major obstacles in
Russia. The service sector is still underdeveloped Petersgof – Russia
in Russia and official institutions and organisations are still lacking. For the most mundane tasks
that elsewhere, you can solve in minutes by opening the yellow pages or browsing the internet, in
Russia, you will need to rely on the people who you know. This network of people that are close
to you and that you can rely on, is something I call the Micro Cosmos. You will see that every Rus-
sian has this Micro Cosmos around him or herself. After 16 years of living in Russia, I also came to
realise that I created this Micro Cosmos that helps me to deal with most problems in one or two
phone calls. Via friends and friends of friends you can get just about everything done. Your work
permit, the right apartment, your car registration, without the need to stand for hours in a queue,
the best doctor in town or the right business partner. All of this can be easily arranged through
your Micro Cosmos, whereas, the official channels mostly come up blank when you need a solu-
tion. The Micro Cosmos does not only exist on the level of individual people; the government and
big Russian companies function according to this principle. Business and political leaders always
                                                   bring their close group of trusted people when-
                                                   ever they occupy a new post. Even corporate
                                                   and national political policy often stems from the
                                                   idea of this Micro Cosmos. Russian businesses
                                                   prefer to do everything in-house, whereas, their
                                                   Western equivalents would outsource many
                                                   tasks. Also, the Russian national policy is focused
                                                   at establishing independence from the outside
                                                   world. Russian political leaders would deep
                                                   down prefer to deal with other countries from
                                                   the position of autarkic independency. These
                                                   Micro Cosmoses are the building blocks of the
                                                   cohesion of Russian society. Each Micro Cosmos
                                                   functions according to its own rules and systems
                                                   and although Russia often seems unorganised
                                                   and unexplainable to foreign eyes, much can be
                                                   explained by recognising and understanding the
 Iverskaya chapel, Red square – Moscow             workings of the Russian Micro Cosmos.
                                                                 Living in Russia: Moscow

the South-West and South-East of the Kremlin,       historical residences that were preserved as
it offers magnificent views.                        monuments of architecture. Currently, devel-
                                                    opment is being geared towards the recon-
    The significant development that took place
                                                    struction and restoration of private residences.
in this area up until 1917 contributed sig-
nificantly to the erection of many a building.
                                                    8. Sretenka: Tsvetnoi Boulevard
After 1917, Zamoskvorechie was very densely
populated. All the old mansions and apart-          Historically, this was both a residential and
ment houses were turned into communal               commercial area, with craftsmen living and
apartments. Nationalised by the Soviet power,       working here. Nowadays, there are a lot of
Zamoskvorechie was the glory of the industrial      reconstructed old buildings in that part of Mos-
district. In the last decade of the 20th century,   cow. So, if you are interested in living in the “old
extensive restoration and reconstruction work       city”, you should choose the Sretenka area.
was carried out in Zamoskvorechye, with the
                                                        In the 17th century, Sretenka was made up
aim of preserving and restoring this district’s
                                                    of traders’ stands and craftsmen’s workshops.
                                                    The length of the entire modern Sretenka is
                                                    only 800 meters, but it is literally divided by
7. Chistye prudi (Chistye ponds)
                                                    lanes: on the left hand side of the street there
This is Moscow’s historical center, full of parks   are seven, and on right – nine. There are also
and beautiful corners. It is very calm and full     lanes that do not lead directly to Sretenka, but
of old mansions. Subsequently, it has a very        are in immediate proximity.
special architectural style. With a heterogene-
                                                        The area of Sretenka is characterised by a
ous social background and a large number of
                                                    big number of reconstructed buildings, with
theatres, this is one of the most prestigious
                                                    historical facades that are typical of old Mos-
and popular districts, ideal for people inter-
                                                    cow. The paradox of the area is that there is a
ested in cultural life.
                                                    considerable number of dilapidated buildings
    When the White city wall was built across       often adjoining modern and reconstructed
the Moscow river, a pond was formed. Initially,     structures. The area’s buildings are concen-
it served as a garbage disposal site for waste      trated along the streets Sretenka, Trubnaya
from the butcher shops located on the nearby        and Tsvetnoi Boulevard, where coffee houses,
Myasnitskaya street.                                restaurants and shops are located.

   Sweeping changes begun in 1703, when
                                                    9. Krasnaya Presnya. Barrikadnaya
Alexander Menshikov acquired a big manor on
Myasnitskaya street. The prince did not want        In the 17th and 18th centuries, the area devel-
to live in a less than ideal place; therefore,      oped as a craftsmen’s and trade center. Presn-
he ordered that the ponds be cleaned and            ya became a large arts and craft shopping
named “Pure” (“Chistye” in Russian). Thanks         centre of the city and a favorite vacation spot
to Menshikov, this area has of one of the most      for Muscovites. In our days, it is a very popular
well-known historical buildings – the church of     location, where federal and city structures are
Archangel Gabriel.                                  located: the House of the Government of the
                                                    Russian Federation, World Trade Centre, Mos-
    In 1960, the coasts of the pond were lined
                                                    cow Zoo, Cinema House, ITAR-TASS, Expocen-
with stone to prevent erosion. Social status
                                                    tre. The construction of the largest in Europe
wise, this area is a pocket of contradiction with
                                                    international business centre – "Moscow City"
a few recently built elite houses among private
                                                    will increase development and activity in this

Step by step : Living in Russia                                                                  27
  Living in Russia: Moscow

area, eventually turning it into a modern Man-      provide safer ecological conditions for the chil-
hattan of Moscow.                                   dren, though this means sacrificing a consider-
                                                    able amount of time towards travelling to and
   This area is not on the elite areas list
                                                    from work. The table below provides the gen-
despite the fact that one of the very first and
                                                    eral characteristics of the types of accommoda-
well-known elite houses in Moscow – Agalarov
                                                    tion, their features and prices based on the clas-
House – was erected here. On the other hand,
                                                    sification existing currently on the Moscow resi-
the proximity to the Kutuzovsky prospect
                                                    dential market. This is an extended overview;
makes it very attractive to many people.
                                                    for more information, all interested persons are
                                                    encouraged to take a so-called “look-and-see
10. Taganskaya
                                                    tour”, offered by any proper real estate compa-
The district "Taganka" is located between the       ny. This will help them understand what is being
rivers: Moscow and Yauza.                           offered on the market. Rest assured, whatever
                                                    your choice, every part of Moscow is fascinating
    The street Taganskaya itself dates back
                                                    and has its distinctive features. Spending time
to the 14th century. It was a part of the road
                                                    in this city would definitely become one of your
to Kolomna, Ryazan and other cities. After a
                                                    most exciting experiences!
fire in 1812, many large and beautiful stone
houses were built along the street. Some of             It is common knowledge that many people
these houses were converted to factories            prefer living in the suburbs, having their own
by their owners. In 1867, over 60% of the           house and being closer to nature; these are the
houses located 35 yards from the main street        things they sometimes treasure more than the
belonged to merchants, some of whom were            prestige of living in the city centre. An alterna-
at the time already bestowed the title of hon-      tive to renting a town house or a house outside
ourary citizen.                                     Moscow exists; the only reason why it is yet to
                                                    become widely popular is the current location
    Taganka acquired industrial features; the
                                                    of good schools. However, developers have
first decade of the 20th century finally turned
                                                    found a solution by erecting several cottage
Taganka into one of the largest industrial areas
                                                    settlements near famous international schools,
of Moscow. Although, by that time, the inhab-
                                                    the most famous of them are the Rosinka and
itants there were no longer merchants, but
                                                    Pokrovsky Hills compounds at Serebryany Bor.
working class people. After the revolution, the
                                                    These settlements already have many expatri-
area was called “the Proletarian” up until 1936,
                                                    ates living there; with a favourable atmosphere
when it was renamed “Taganskaya”.
                                                    for socialising, this arrangement also helps
                                                    facilitate cultural adjustment. Both of these set-
Where to live and how much does it cost
                                                    tlements have good quality housing, round the
The majority of people who come to Moscow           clock security and own infrastructure, with the
on a long-term employment contract are faced        prices varying between 10,000 and 50,000$.
with the problem of finding a proper residence.
You can opt for staying in the center and enjoy-                     Useful links:
ing the entertainment, shopping and night life
                                                    Real estate companies:
options the city has to offer; this is a common
choice for single persons or couples without
children. Families that come to Moscow with
children mostly opt for staying on the outskirts,
the so-called cottage settlements, in order to

  28                                                                    Step by step : Living in Russia
                                                                     Living in Russia: Moscow

Types of buildings
Types of
                           De luxe                   Luxe                  Business      Econom
       1                      2                        3                      4               5
                 Downtown, inside
                 the Garden Ring, or
                 prestigious areas in                                Any except
                                            The central district,
                 immediate proximity                                 ecologically
Location                                    the Western and                            Any
                 from it. Locations like:                            problematic
                                            South-West districts.
                 Ostozhenka, Arbat,                                  districts
                 Plyuschikha, etc.
                 The unique modern          The unique modern        Modern
Architecture     architectural project,     architectural project,   architectural     Any
                 unique shape               unique shape             project
                                     Has serious                     Has long
            Has serious reputation
Development                          reputation and                  experience
            and authority on the                                                        Any
company                              authority on the elite          on the real estate
            elite real estate market
                                     real estate market              market
                                            Decent light
                 At the highest level,
                                            engineering,             Not very
Interior         expensive light                                                       Simple.
                                            finishing combines       expensive
decoration       engineering, natural                                                  Cheap
                                            natural and artificial   materials
                 finishing materials
Number of
                 Less than 25               Less than 80             Any               Any
                 Advanced systems
                 of ventilation and
                 air-conditioning,          Modern systems of
                                                                     Balanced system
Technique        independent systems        ventilation and                            Simple
                                                                     of ventilation
                 of power supply,           air-conditioning.
                 system of water
                                                                     Might be
                                                                     available for
                 Underground parking,       Underground or
                                                                     payment on a
Parking          minimum 2 slots for        surface. 1 slot for                        No
                                                                     guarded parking
                 apartment                  apartment
                                                                     in about 10 min
                                                                     walk from the

Step by step : Living in Russia                                                                   29
   Living in Russia: Moscow

        1                       2                            3                   4                    5
                   Fenced territory                                                        Not fenced.
                   under professional      Fenced territory                                Surveillance
                                                                        surveillance. The
Security           surveillance.           under video                                     of the
                                                                        territory might be
                   Inner yard with profes- surveillance                                    entrance of
                                                                        partly fenced.
                   sional landscape works.                                                 the building
                   24-hour technical
                   support, reception,
                   delivery service,
                                          24-hour technical
Extra              professional cleaning,
                                          support, delivery             No                     No
services           gardener, children’s
                   playroom with nannies.
                   Fitness facilities,
                   swimming-pool, sauna.
Average                                                                                        Any.
price              10,000–50,000 Euro               5,000–20,000 Euro   2,000-5,000 Euro 500-1,000
(per month)                                                                              Euro

Moscow Elite Residential Rental Market, Price in USD, by Areas as of October 2010
Area                    1-room            2-rooms           3-rooms         4-rooms         5-rooms
Arbat-                  2 700 ± 1 000 3400 ± 1500           5 600 ± 3 000 8 700 ± 4 000 13 500 ± 5 000
Zamoskvorechye          2 500 ± 1 000 3 000 ± 1 000 5 000 ± 2 500 8 000 ± 3 000 12 000 ± 6 000
Patriarshiy Ponds                         3 000 ± 800       5 000 ± 1 500 8 000 ± 3 000 14 000 ± 6 000
Lubyanka-Kitay-         2 000 ± 100       3 500 ± 1 000 5 000 ± 1 500 6 000 ± 2 000 10 000 ± 4 000
Tverskaya-Kremlin 3 500 ± 1 000 3 500 ± 1 000 6 000 ± 2 500 7 000 ± 3 000 11 000 ± 3 000
Tsvetnoy Blvd                             3 000 ± 1 000 5 000 ± 1 500 6 500 ± 2 000 10 000 ± 3 000
Leningradskiy                             3 500 ± 1 000 5 500 ± 2 500 6 500 ± 2 000 9 000 ± 4 000
Krasno-                                   3 000 ± 1 000 4 500 ± 2 000 6 000 ± 2 500 9 000 ± 3 000
Kutuzovskiy             2 000 ± 500       2 500 ± 1 000 4 000 ± 1 500 6 500 ± 3 000 9 000 ± 3 000
Leninskiy Prospect                        3 000 ± 1 000 4 500 ± 2 000 6 500 ± 2 500 11 500 ± 4 500
Prospekt Mira           2 000 ± 500       2 500 ± 500       4 500 ± 1 500 5 500 ± 2 500 8 000 ± 2 000
Sokolniki                                 3 000 ± 500       5 000 ± 1 000
Frunzenskaya                              2 500 ± 500       5 500 ± 2 000 4 500 ± 1 000 10 000 ± 3 000
Kuntcevo                                  3 500 ± 500       5 000 ± 2 000 7 500 ± 3 000 10 500 ± 4 000
Taganskaya              2 000 ± 500       3 000 ± 1 000 4 000 ± 1 000 7 000 ± 500
This information was provided by Intermarksavills

  30                                                                           Step by step : Living in Russia
                                                                 Living in Russia: Moscow

Living in Moscow:                                    Magic World Kindergarten:
other useful facts                         

a. For those with children                           Children’s entertainment
There are over 1800 high schools and 110 col-        There are several options for keeping your
leges in Moscow. There are also over 200 insti-      children entertained in Moscow. These include
tutions offering higher education in Moscow,         ice rinks, horse riding, dance and theater class-
including 60 state universities and the leading      es, roller skate parks and various sport schools.
Russian University – the Lomonosov Moscow
State University, which was founded in 1755.                          Useful links:
                                                     Children in Moscow:
Schools (“shkoli”)
                                                     Wiki List of Parks & Gardens:
Moscow has a number of international schools         wiki/Parks_and_gardens_in_Moscow
that are popular with the expat community.           All Russian Exhibition Center (AREC):
These include the Anglo-American and British
International schools. All offer English speaking    Moscow Zoo:
classes, with academic qualifications recog-         Fantasy Park:
nised worldwide. All schools are fee-paying.         Sand Project:
The fees depend on the grade level, period           Moscow Botanical Gardens:
of enrolment and whether or not your child 
requires any additional support programmes.          Beaches and Pools in Moscow:
In general, the fees are 3,000 to 7,000 euro
a month. The admission procedures for all
schools are quite complex and consist of seve-       b. Health (“zdorovie”)
ral steps (application form, test, interview etc);
therefore, it is better to begin to do it well in    1. Medical centers (“Polycliniki”/ “Gospitolya”)
                                                     The Russian health care system has seen major
                                                     improvements in recent years, both in tech-
                  Useful links:                      nologies and pharmaceuticals. Moscow hosts
English International School of Moscow:              a number of Western medical clinics that can                              look after all of your family's health needs. The
Anglo American School of Moscow (AAS):               clinics are spread out over the city; therefore,                                           regardless of your location, there is sure to be
British International School of Moscow               a good medical facility in the vicinity.
International School of Moscow:                                       Useful links:
                                                     Emergency Number: 03
German School:
                                                     International SOS (The Moscow Clinic, 24 hour
                                                     service to its clients):
Nordic School:
French Lycee:
                                                     American Medical Centers (24 hours service):
The English Nursery School:
Little Angels International Kindergaten:

Step by step : Living in Russia                                                                 31
  Living in Russia: Moscow

European Medical Center (French, British and        Azbuka vkusa *****
American experts):                 Stockmann       *****
American Clinic:              Seventh         ****
US Dental Care (Canadian, American and              continent
Russian specalists. Open 7 days a week):            Perekrestok     ***                                Carrefour       **
American Dental Center: www.americanden-            Auchan          **
                                                    Kopeika         *
The American Russian Dental Center (the
                                                    Piaterochka     *
clinic is Moscow's only Russian affiliate of the
American Dental Clinic):        2. Shopping Centers
Information about pharmacies in Moscow:
                                                    GUM (A huge shopping mall located right on
Internet – pharmacy:
                                                    the Red Square):
Pharmacy 36,6:
                                                    TSUM (Continuing the age-old traditions, TSUM
                                                    today – is the first and only department store
Old Lekar:
                                                    of the country, offering the highest quality
c. Shopping
– Cheap (*)                                         Mega Mall: Mega Mall is one of the largest
– Middle class (**/***)                             shopping malls in Europe and includes a huge
– Expensive (****/*****)                            Auchan hypermarket, skating rink, cinema, food
                                                    court and hundreds of Russian and Western
   For the most part, shopping in Moscow is a
                                                    retail outlets including Zara, Mango, and Mexx.
24hr affair and you can find anything you want.
    Groceries: From small convenience stores        IKEA:
located close to apartment blocks and Metro         Crocus City Mall:
stations to huge shopping centers found
everywhere, including the city outskirts, you       d. Pets
can buy pretty much everything you need. For
                                                    Russian veterinary medicine offers quality ser-
those who like to shop in supermarkets, there
                                                    vice; it is not hard to find the same quality of
is a variety of different chains, offering a wide
                                                    service you are used to in your native country.
range of products, including some that are
                                                    Moscow has a number of veterinary services
popular particularly within the expatriate com-
                                                    to choose from, although not all vets may
munity. Farmers markets, where fresh food
                                                    speak English.
can be purchased also exist.

   Clothing and accessories: These can also                          Useful Links
be purchased everywhere, with the options
                                                    Move One Relocations: Pet Transport:
ranging from everyday affordable to designer
and haute couture. The most expensive outlets
                                                    Moscow Animals:
such as Chanel and Hermes are located on
                                                    English Speaking Vets: www.moscowanimals.
theTretjakov passage and Stoleshnikov Lane;
while the less expensive clothing lines, such as
H&M, Zara etc. can be found in many Moscow
shopping centers.

  32                                                                     Step by step : Living in Russia
  Living in Russia: Moscow

Time out                                          Damas Latinas:
Russians are very friendly and hospitable peo-
                                                  Moskva Accueil (French Women's Club):
ple. Also, there are many expats already living
and working in Moscow who will be happy to
                                                  Swedish Women's Educational Association
welcome a newcomer and offer any advice
being sought.

                                                  a. Art
                 Useful Links
                                                                  Useful links:
The Moscow Expat Site:
The Moscow Guide:           Information about museums:
Moscow Life:        
Expat Blogs:                   Information about theaters:
Ways to Russia:     
Moscow in your Pocket: www.inyourpocket.
com/russia/Moscow                                                 Useful links:

                                                  Information about parks:
International Clubs & Associations:
The International Women's Club of Moscow:         b. Cinema                                                  Useful links:
British Women's Club of Moscow:                               Information about Moscow cinemas:
American Women's Organization of Moscow:                       

McDonald’s                              *                      As everywhere in the world
Elki-palki                              *                      Russian
Mu-mu                                   *                      Russian
Korchma Taras Bulba                     **                     Ukrainian
Yakitoria                               **                     Japanese. Chinese
Il patio                                **                     Italian
Fish house Filimonoff & Yankel          ***                    Fish
Steak House Goodman                     ***                    American
Friday’s                                ***                    Mexican
Vogue Cafe                              ****                   European
Chez Geraldin                           ****                   French
Oblomov                                 ****                   Russian. European
Bellagio Giardino                       ****                   Italian
Cafe Pushkin                            *****                  Russian
Nedalny Vostok                          *****                  Chinese. Japanese
Cantinetta Antinori                     *****                  Italian
Turandot                                *****                  Russian. Japanese. Chinese

  34                                                                  Step by step : Living in Russia
                                                                  Living in Russia: Moscow

c. Sport and outdoor activity                      ■   Do not be afraid to smile and say “hello” to
                  Useful links:                        people. Although relatively new, the culture
                                                       of well-wishing is rapidly developing.
Fitness clubs:           ■   Do not hail a car (gypsy cab) – better call a
Information about ice rinks in Moscow:                 taxi. It will be safer, especially, if you not an                                      “experienced” expat in Moscow. You can not
Skiing:                                   pay with a credit card,
                                                   ■   even in major taxi companies.
Restaurants                                        ■   Do not be afraid to ask if you are lost – it will
                                                       be a pleasure for people to help you.
– Cheap (*)
                                                   ■   Do wait for a few seconds after the green
– Middle class (**/***)
                                                       light lights before crossing the street – the
– Expensive (****/*****)
                                                       traffic is very unpredictable.
                                                   ■   Do always have your documents ( passport
                  Useful links:                        and registration/visa) with you – you could be
Information about restaurants in Moscow:               asked by the police to show it at any point in
                                                       time, also, you are usually required to show
                                                       your passport as a means of identification
                                                       when making payment with a bank card or dur-
                                                       ing transactions involving currency exchange.
d. Night life
The nightlife in Moscow has moved on since         Entertainment:
the Soviet times. Today Moscow houses many
                                                   ■   Do not engage in a drinking contest with a
of the worlds largest nightclubs. Many estab-
                                                       Russian – this may lead to less than desirable
lishments operate as restaurants and cafes dur-
ing the day, transforming into a club at night.
                                                   ■   Do smoke in restaurants – it is still not for-
The major and most popular nightlife areas are
around Tverskaya Street and Krasnaya Presnya.
                                                        Welcome to Russia: enjoy Moscow!

                  Useful links:                                    Marina Markarova
Information about night life in Moscow:                            Managing partner — General                                     Director of the consulting real
                                                                   estate company MAYFAIR
DOs and DON’Ts                                                     Properties. Founded in 2006,
                                                   MAYFAIR Properties is set up to provide
                                                   the highest quality residential and reloca-
■   Do not change money at the airport.            tion advisory services. MAYFAIR Properties
■   Do not use the services of taxi drivers that   is also offering services in the fields of elite
    jump on you when you enter the airport.        residential, land properties and commercial
■   Do engage the services of an official taxi.    real estate. Our Residential Department offers
                                                   a wide range of relocation and residential
City:                                              services to assist your company. Our aim is
                                                   to provide the best and most exclusive services
■   Do prepare cash for buying the tickets in
                                                   for clients with employees looking to work in
    public transport (metro, bus etc) – you can
                                                   Russia or move to live in Moscow.
    not pay with a credit card.

Step by step : Living in Russia                                                                  35
    Living in Russia: Moscow

                                                                                                          Property of Four Squares
Serviced apartment

Serviced accommodation in Moscow
Serviced accommodation can be a good solu-          Serviced Apartments (SA’s)
tion for business travellers and tourists looking
                                                    Serviced Apartments are popular with business
for an alternative to hotels.
                                                    travellers and tourists who are looking for an
    Serviced accommodation in Moscow can be         alternative to hotels. There are a number of
split into three groups:                            western companies who provide this service
■ Hostels (economy level)                           and maintain a portfolio of properties for rent.
■ Serviced Apartments (mid-range)                   Most of the apartments are located in central
■ Apart’hotels (premium)                            Moscow and close to the central business
                                                    districts at Moscow City, Paveletskaya, Smo-
Hostels                                             lenskaya, Belorusskaya. One unique feature of
                                                    Moscow SA’s is that they are usually individual
Ideal for students and budget travellers, there
                                                    properties located in normal residential build-
are a number of western-style hostels that
                                                    ings (in London and other major capitals all the
have opened in central Moscow over the last
                                                    apartments in a block are likely to be serviced
five years. They offer traditional dormitory-
                                                    apartments). This allows you a fascinating
style accommodation (i.e. bunk-beds), as well
                                                    insight into Russian life, through daily interac-
as separate rooms for 2 to 4 people. Rates are
                                                    tion with the neighbours, but also means you
relatively competitive. In line with the econo-
                                                    also share the same building entrance – which
my level status, “functionality” best describes
                                                    may need a good clean now and again.
the level of fixtures and fittings. Hostels may
not be a long-term option for living in Moscow,        A standard serviced apartment is a 1 or 2
but they are an economical solution for those       bedroom apartment, good western-style reno-
on a tight budget – and a quick way to make         vation and fitted out with all mod-cons. Inter-
friends with the other 50 guests in the place       net, satellite-TV and local phone calls are all
JGodzillas (;               free, and apartments should have a welcome
                                                    pack (complimentary tea, coffee) and maps of
■   New Arbat (;
                                                    Moscow. Some companies have 24/7 help-line
■   Oasis hostel (;
                                                    support. For large families or business groups
■   Moscow Home hostel (;
                                                    there are also 4 and 5 room apartments, with
■   Napoleon Hostel (
                                                    baby cots and baby tables optional extras. For

    36                                                                  Step by step : Living in Russia
                                                                        Living in Russia: Moscow

          short stays of 2 to 3 days many businessmen          Apart’hotels include Mamaison (www.
          prefer a hotel stay which includes breakfast, and Ukraine hotel (www.
          but for longer stays a SA is a more convenient
          choice, especially for families

             Serviced apartment providers include Four                      Michael Bartley
          Squares (, Flat Link                          Michael is Partner and General
          (, Moscow Suites (www.mos-                        Director at Four Squares Relo-
, Like Home (                        cations. A British national who
                                                                            speaks fluent Russian, Michael
          Apart’hotels                                      first came to Russia in 1994, and has worked
                                                            in Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. With over
          There are a few Apart’hotels in Moscow, but
                                                            15 years experience in the region, Michael
          the market is very under-supplied, and those
                                                            provides invaluable insight into the Russian
          now in operation cater to the premium seg-
                                                            market from a relocation perspective. Four
          ment. Serviced accommodation here com-
                                                            Squares is a leading Relocation provider in
          prises 1 to 4 room apartments in a VIP-style
                                                            Russia, offering in-house Immigration Services,
          environment. Benefits include 24 hour con-
                                                            Serviced Apartments, House Rentals and Set-
          cierge service and a premium level of interior
                                                            tling-in Services. Four Squares employs a team
          design and fit-out. The price may be beyond
                                                            of Expats and Russian nationals, to ensure the
          the budget of most expats and businessmen,
                                                            ideal mix of professionalism, quality of service
          but this is a niche market that provides a high
                                                            and local expertise.
          level of service.
  Living in Russia: St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg

Living in Russia: St. Petersburg
Districts of St. Petersburg                         Admiralty/St. Isaac’s
The Golden Triangle                                 Some of the grandest apartments on the
                                                    market can be found here, the Admiralty
This is the area North of Nevskiy Prospect
                                                    Embankment has spectacular views over the
bordered by the Neva to the North and Fon-
                                                    Neva River and most apartments have high
tanka on the East. It is the most prestigious
                                                    ceilings and many have restored a lot of the
area, as well as the most popular area to live
                                                    original features. With the spire of the Admi-
in amongst the foreign community. The area
                                                    ralty visible from the far ends of Gorokhovaya,
has four large parks – the Summer, Fields of
                                                    Voznesenskiy and Nevskiy as they all radiate
Mars, Mikhailovskiy and Admiralty Gardens. It
                                                    from it; many may feel this is the true center
also has all the advantages Nevskiy prospect
                                                    of St. Petersburg. The Admiralty was in fact the
can offer with shops, cinemas and museums
                                                    headquarters of the Russian navy from 1711 to
including both the Hermitage and Russian
                                                    1917. It now houses the country’s largest mili-
museums. Nevskiy Prospect itself can be noisy
                                                    tary naval college. The Admiralty Garden is a
to live on, but has a thriving residential neigh-
                                                    public open space with a well kept park, musi-
borhood. Parking can be a problem, therefore,
                                                    cal fountain in the summer and a children’s
if you intend to drive your own car you would
                                                    playground. It is within walking distance to all
be advised to ask your agent about this. There
                                                    the central historical and cultural venues of St.
are several garages, where a designated space
can be rented by the month.

  38                                                                    Step by step : Living in Russia
                                                         Living in Russia: St. Petersburg

Tavricheskiy Gardens and Smolniy                    b. Taxi
                                                    Telephone: +7 (812) 309-00-18 and 970-66-64
Here, you will find many of the consulates,
including British, American, Finnish, German,       c. Emergency car pickup (24 hrs)
Austrian and Indian. The large park at Tavriches-   LAT 001 or 987 0000
kiy was renovated a few years ago. It is now a      SPAS agency +7 (812) 327-7001
good place for walking and has three children’s
play areas and a fenced football field. Some        RENT-A-CAR
houses have parking spaces in their courtyards.
                                                    a. Hertz
                                                    Telephone: +7 (812) 326-4505 or 324-3242
Krukov Canal
The small area between Krukov canal,                Pulkovo airport Terminal 2
St. Nicholas Church and the Mariinskiy Theatre
                                                    b. Europcar
has some lovely buildings. It is away from the
                                                    Collection points: Nevskiy 25 (Atrium)
rush and noise of Nevskiy Prospect, but, other
                                                    or Pulkovo Airport Terminal 2
than the small park around St. Nicholas itself,
                                                    Telephone: +7 (812) 336-32-55
the area is very short of green space. A large
                                                     Website: (Russian, English)
number of communal apartments still exist in
this area.                                          c. Pulkovo Rent-a-car
                                                    Telephone: +7 (812) 332-0101
Petrogradskaya district                             Pulkovo Airport Terminal 2

Petrogradskaya is a busy residential area, par-     d. Avis
ticularly, for wealthy Russians. This neighbor-     Address: Alexander Nevskiy 2
hood includes the green islands to the North:       Telephone: +7 (812) 600-1213
Kamenniy, Kristovskiy and Yelagin islands,          Website:
where many residents relax during the wee-          Avis offer an easy option for collection and
kends.                                              drop off from either of the airport terminals or
                                                    the above address.
Vasilevskiy Island
The intellectual heart of the city; this is where
you will find the university, art academy and       The Metro in St. Petersburg is the deepest in
many other academic institutions.                   the world. It is fast and efficient – you rarely
                                                    need to wait more than 2 minutes for a train.
                  Useful links                      However, during rush hour (8:00 am to 10:00
                                                    am and 5:00 am to 7:30 pm) it can become
AIRPORT                                             very crowded. There are 4 color coded and
                                                    numbered lines. Tickets can be bought at the
Pulkovo St. Petersburg airport                      ticket point found at the entrance ‘kassa’ or
website:                      you can buy plastic cards to be used for ten
All flight information can be obtained online       or more journeys; these cards are valid for
                                                    a fixed period of time (7 days, 14 days or
TAXIS                                               more depending on the number of passes
a. Peterburgskoe taxi
Telephone: +7 (812) 3-200-200

Step by step : Living in Russia                                                               39
  Living in Russia: St. Petersburg

TROLLEYBUS/TRAM/BUS                                 Russkiy Ostrov
                                                    Address: Canal Griboedova 55
The tram system in St. Petersburg is the largest
                                                    Telephone: +7 (812) 571-7877 and 311-7778
in the world, with over 2,400 cars and 690
km track! They are usually very reliable when       Auchan
used to travel within the same neighborhood         The Auchan supermarkets at both Mega Malls –
or getting to the metro, but they can be very       ‘Mego Dubenko’ and ‘Mega Parnas’ will clean
crowded and dirty.                                  just about everything including down duvets
                                                    and pillows and at very reasonable prices.
MARSHRUTKA/ MINIBUS-SHUTTLE                         Telephone: +7 (812) 448-4401
                                                    Website: (the site is in Rus-
A marshrutka is a privately owned minibus that
                                                    sian only for now, but the English version will
runs a fixed route through St. Petersburg and
                                                    be available soon!)
its suburbs. Marshrutkas are fast and cheap,
although, they may be a bit confusing for first-    Gryazi Net!
time users.                                         Telephone: +7 (812) 323-0512
                                                    clean clothes, curtains – many locations for
HOME SERVICES                                       your nearest look on

                                                    WATER DELIVERY
There only one legal satellite TV operator in St.
Petersburg, which offers a package of interna-      a. Nestle Water Coolers
tional channels:                                    Telephone: +7 (812) 332-0340
                                                    Website: (Russian and
NTV Plus
Telephone: +7 (812) 346-8198
Website:                             b. Crystal Springs
                                                    Telephone: +7 (812) 33-44-889
DOMESTIC HELP                                       Website:

(Drivers/Housekeeper/Nannies)                       c. Rosinka-Polystrovo
You should not expect domestic help to speak        Telephone: +7 (812) 320 20 40
English, some do, most do not. The best way         Website:
of finding help is through personal recommen-       They sell both Rosinka and Kluchevaya, but
dations at work or through friends; you can         Rosinka 2 is recommended for children due to
also check out the "Funstuff'' newsletter (see      its mineral content.
section on Women's Clubs for details on how
to receive this excellent source of information)    KINDERGARTENS
for advertisements placed by families leaving
                                                    Note that in addition to those mentioned there
or you can put in your own advertisement
                                                    will probably be Russian kindergartens near to
request when you arrive.
                                                    where you are living some of which are fan-
                                                    tastic – children can stay there from 8:30 am
                                                    any time up to 7 pm at night and they have
a. Balakomp                                         a proper sleep after lunch where they all get
Address: Karavannaya Street 16                      into pajamas and somehow get 20 or 30 kids
Telephone: +7 (812) 571-9306 and 311-9306           to sleep in one room! It is a great opportunity
Small but professional                              for children to get a basic knowledge of the

  40                                                                   Step by step : Living in Russia
Only in Russia: Pride
According to good Russian tradition you may find
yourself at a certain point in time sitting around
a kitchen table, with your Russian friends, dis-
cussing all that is right and wrong in this country.
After a good meal and the customary glass of
vodka you may hear a certain discontent being
expressed by your Russian friends. ‘why is there
such a bureaucracy in this country?’; ‘why can’t
we fix our roads?’ and why don’t the rich do
more for their country?’. It is only natural in such A Russian winter
a discussion to add some views of your own and
contribute some criticism you have to add about Russia. But the moment you do this, do not be
surprised if silence descends over the kitchen table and your Russian friends turn to you in indig-
nation. It is like a husband complaining about his wife to his neighbor. He can tell his neighbor all
about her shortcomings, but the moment his neighbor agrees and adds some more shortcomings
on his own initiative, an invisible line is crossed and an insult is inflicted. With Russians and Russia,
it is the same. They can complain about all they think is wrong in Russia, but as soon as a foreigner
attempts to chime in, the Russian pride gets hurt. No matter what a Russian says about Russia,
he always has a very strong sense of pride when it concerns the Russian people, soul or soil. You
always need to be aware of the Russian pride, especially, when telling a Russian that you – or
“we in the West” – know how to do something better. Apart from the fact that this is not always
true, you are guaranteed that Russia’s doors will remain closed to you by doing so. If you want
to convince a Russian colleague or business partner about a better technology or method, or way
to do something, it is best to expose him to this method or technology and to let him come to a
conclusion on his own. And if ever in doubt, just remember that with respect, you can never go
wrong and that all that Russia requires from the outside world is to be taken seriously.

Luzhniki – Moscow
                                                       Living in Russia: St. Petersburg

a. British Consulate-General Kindergarten         RUSSIAN LANGUAGE SCHOOLS
Address; British Consulate Proletarskoy
                                                  a. Derzhavin Institute
Diktatory Square 5
                                                  Telephone: +7 (812) 740-1925 or 740-1926
Telephone: +7 921 88 11 207
b. International Kindergarten
                                                  b. Language link Herzen at the Pedagogical
Preschool to the International Language
Academy (ILA)
                                                  Address: Kazanskaya Street 5
Address: Nalichnaya Street 34,
                                                  Telephone: +7 (812) 571-3948
Vasilevskiy Island
Telephone: +7 (812) 356-8348
Website:                        c. Zlatoust
Based on the British National Curriculum, takes   Address: Kamennoostrovskiy Prospect 24/25
children from 2 to 7 years old                    Telephone: +7 (812) 703-1176
c. International Preschool
Address: Furshtatskaya Street
(opposite the American Consulate)                 d. Linden & Denz
Telephone: 8 921 977 15 61                        Address: Transportniy per. 11 (4th floor)
                                                  Telephone: +7 (812) 334-0788
d. P’tit CREF (French kindergarten)
Address: Chernoshevskogo prospect 2
Telephone: +7 (812) 579-57-63
and +7(812) 579-59-21                             e. Private Russian Lessons
E-mail:                               Contact person: Nicholai Karmishenskiy
Website:                          Telephone: +7 921 752-7838
e. Montessori
Located on Vaselievskiy Island
                                                  MEDICAL AND DENTAL
Telephone: +7 (812) 3356-3446
or +7 921 970 05 05                               a. American Medical Center
Email:                          Address: Moika Embankment 78
                                                  Telephone: +7 (812) 740 20 90
f. Finnish Kindergarten
Telephone: +7 911 909 76 69
                                                  b. MEDEM International clinic
FOREIGN AND INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS                 Address: Marata Street 6
                                                  Telephone: +7 (812) 336-3333
a. The Anglo-American School of St. Petersburg
                                                  Website: (almost all European
Address: Penkovaya Street 5
Telephone: +7 (812) 320-8925
Website:                               c. Euromed
                                                  Address: Suvorovskiy Prospect 60
b. Finnish School
                                                  Telephone: (812) 327-0301
Telephone: +7 921 967 35 48
                                                  Website: (English, Finnish)
and +7 (812) 633-0607

Step by step : Living in Russia                                                               43
  Living in Russia: St. Petersburg

                                                    a. Homeopathic Pharmacy
                                                    Address: Nevskiy prospekt 50,
                                                    metro Gostiniy Dvor
                                                    Telephone: +7 (812) 571-4498
                                                    It’s open from 9 am to 10 pm

                                                    VETS AND PETS
                                                    a. Veterinary Station
                                                    Address: Ligovskiy Prospect 291
                                                    Telephone: 8 901 302-3486
Petersgof                                           Very good vet station; here you can obtain
d. Dental Palace                                    travel documents for pets (Russian only).
Address: Petropavlovskaya Street (Petrograd-
                                                    b. Vet clinic
skaya Side)
                                                    Address: Chepaeva Street 16a (Petrograds-
Telephone: +7 (812) 325-7500
This place has friendly staff and offers all pos-
                                                    Telephone: +7 (812) 232-5592
sible dental treatment including orthodontic
                                                    They attend to all animals. Do not do home
and children’s dental care. Some of the staff
                                                    visits, but you can call to book an appointment.
speaks English and Finish.
                                                    c. Vet Oxanna
e. Medi
                                                    Address: Enzhinernaya Street 6
Address: Nevskiy prospect 82
                                                    Telephone: +7 (812) 570-5659 or 714-5580
Telephone: +7 (812) 777-0000
                                                    Russian only – will do home visits.
This is a network of clinics located in all city    d. Lutchie Druziya
districts. They offer all types of dental work      Address: Novoizmailovskiy Prospect 51
including unique cases.                             Telephone: +7 (812) 370-9120
                                                    Tatiana Pavlovna
OPTICIANS                                           Website:

a. Eksimer Eye Clinic:
                                                    INTERNET SITES
Address: Apraksin Pereylok 6
Telephone: +7 (812) 325-5535               provides news and
This clinic offers full diagnostics and laser eye   announcements about Russia
correction. Some staff speak a little English. news agency

Fedorov Eye Clinic
S.N. Fyodorov)                                      a. Rive Gauche
Address: Yaroslav Gashek Street 21                  This chain has outlets all over St. Petersburg
Telephone: +7 (812) 771-1616 (9 am - 5 pm)          including Nevskiy 81 and Nevskiy 90.
Information Bureau (registration for consulta-      They have a large stock of well known cos-
tions, registration for planned operations)         metics.
                                                    b. L’Occitane

  44                                                                   Step by step : Living in Russia
                                                                  Living in Russia: St. Petersburg

          i. Nevskiy 25                                    LOCAL MAGAZINES, NEWSPAPERS AND BOOKS
          Telephone: +7 (812) 326-2620
                                                           ■   The St. Petersburg Times, which is also avai-
          ii Savushkina 126
                                                               lable on line;
          iii Effimova 3
                                                           ■   The Russia Journal,;
          Telephone:(812) 335-9370
                                                           ■   'Where' and ‘In Your Pocket’ www.spb.
          L’Occitane shops are also situated in both
                                                      magazines can be found
          Mega Parnas and Maga Dybenko.
                                                               free of charge in most major hotels, many
          c. Irina Anderson                                    central fitness clubs, supermarkets, cafes
          Address: Fontanka 17                                 and restaurants and are in English;
          Telephone: +7 (812) 570-6327                     ■   The 'Traveller's Yellow Pages', available in
          Email:                       large bookshops and online www.infoser-
          Website:                 It is not just a phone book, but
          Hair, manicure and pedicure. Friendly English        contains theatre plans, airport plans, clot-
          speaking staff – book in advance.                    hing sizes and much more.

          d. Posolstvo Krasoti (The Embassy of Beauty!)
          Address: Chaikovskogo Street 38/9
          Telephone: +7 (812) 275-9053 or 273-5365         a. There are 2 huge MEGA malls situated on
          Website:                       the outskirts of St. Petersburg.
          Cosmetics from Biologique Recherche – Paris,     Website: (Russian and English)
          spa, hair, manicure and pedicure, massage etc.   Shops include:
                                                           ■ Auchan (supermarket)
    Living in Russia: St. Petersburg

■   IKEA
■   OBI (DIY)
■   Media Markt (Electrical goods)

b. Gostiniy Dvor (Гостиный Двор)
Address: Nevskiy 35 Open from 10 am – 10 pm
Telephone: +7 (812) 710-5200

c. Furniture
Mega Dybenko Telephone: +7 (812) 332-0055
Mega Parnas Telephone: +7 (812) 332-2252

Mebel City (furniture city) (Мебель Сити)           Church of our Savior on the Blood – St. Petersburg
Open weekdays and Saturday 11 am to 7 pm;           The Open World
Sunday 11 am to 5 pm                                Address: Malaya Morskaya Street 13
Address:                                            Telephone: +7 (812) 715-8938
i Prospect Prosveshenia 27                          One of the best shops for classical music lovers.
Telephone: +7 (812) 296-1808
ii Prospect Prosveshenia 68                         ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT
Telephone: +7 (812) 558-7789
                                                    a. M.Video (M.Видео)
                                                    Many locations round the city – see their web-
                                                    site for the most convenient one for you
a. METRO (МЕТРО)                                    Website: (available in Russian (see website for most con-          and English)
venient location)
                                                    b. Technosila (Техносила)
b. ‘OK’ (ОКЕЙ)                                      Many locations round the city – see their web-
These numerous supermarkets are open 24             site for the most convenient one for you
hours and have a                                    Website: (Russian)
wide variety of quality food stuff. Payment can
be made by cash or credit card. They have a         BOOKS
children’s play area.
                                                    Several shops that sell foreign language books:
Website: (see website for
most convenient location)
                                                    a. The John Parsons Bookshop
                                                    Address: Fontanka 38
                                                    Telephone: +7 (812) 331-8828
a. Play                                   
Address: Nevskiy 51 and Karavannaya 1               Probably the best collection of books in English
Website:                         in St. Petersburg. Books not in stock can be
Probably the best selection of films; also, great   ordered through them and you can pick them
music collection.                                   up in 2 months.

b. Titanik (Титаник)                                b. Anglia Bookshop
Has many outlets including Nevskiy 63 and 158       Address: Fontanka 38
Website:                         Telephone: +7 (812) 579-8284

    46                                                                  Step by step : Living in Russia
                                            Living in Russia: St. Petersburg

          Step by step : Living in Russia                                47
Only in Russia: SUPERstitions and Tfu tfu tfu…
The satellite and the space rocket, the first nuclear power plant, Mendeleev’s Periodic Table and
the first electric tram. Russia’s status as one of the world leaders in science and technological
inventions dates back to, at least, the 19th century. Russia is also well known for its academic
prowess and for having one of the highest literacy rates in the world. But in spite of Russia’s
impressive academic and technological credentials, daily life in the 21st century is still very much
ruled by superstitions.

    Russia is a very emotional country and in many ways, Russians consciously choose the emo-
tional and superstitious over the rational in life. I have to admit that after 16 years in Russia, I have
also started to adapt my daily life according to a number of these superstitions, although I was
once born as a rational and level-headed Dutchman.

    There are superstitions that deal with luck, money, relationships and marriage, as well as
drinking, quite obviously, and many other things in life. Some of them are hard not to notice. For
example, whistling will cause money problems and any Russian will immediately urge you to stop
whistling. Shaking hands, kissing, hugging or greeting someone across the doorway should also
be avoided at all cost! When the threshold of a doorway divides people during a greeting, it will
bring about a quarrel.

    Ladies, don’t put your bag on the floor because that also means you will not have money! And
by the way, to those ladies who are not yet married, after you have taken care of your bag, don’t
sit down at the table facing the table’s corner or you will stay unmarried for seven years!

    If by accident you step on a Russian’s foot, don’t be surprised if he or she will step on your foot
in return. This is done to avoid a quarrel that would have otherwise surely materialised.

   When giving flowers, always make sure to give an uneven number of flowers, unless it is for
a funeral, where an even number of flowers is given. And if you want to break up with a lover,
then giving yellow flowers is a fail-proof method to cause an argument and end the relationship.

    If your nose itches you, better be aware as
you will have a drink (see the previous article
on Vodka drinking), get into a fight or fall in love.
And if the itch leads to a sneeze, while you were
saying something then what you were saying,
or your last thought, can’t be anything but the
truth. If, however, your ears itch, have a look
around the office, because someone is saying
bad things about you.

   If you have forgotten something, and have to
return home after having closed the door behind
you, bad luck awaits you. However, this situation
can be averted by looking in the mirror, before         Russian traditional hohloma design
leaving your home the second time. But make sure the mirror isn’t broken! If you leave on a big
trip you will need to sit down (preferably on top of your suitcase) before leaving and be silent for
a moment. Also a drink is often drunk ‘na pososhok’ (one for the road) in order to guarantee a safe
trip. However, bearing in mind that the average Russian usually doesn’t limit himself to “one” for
the road, this habit may actually increase and not decrease the risks of the trip.

    If you have bought something new (from a pair of shoes to a car or a house) you need to
‘obmiyvat’ (wash it over) by – what a surprise! – drinking something alcoholic. In the case of a pair
of shoes, this can be a glass of champagne. But in the case of a car, this can involve some more
extensive drinking (please refer to the previous article on Vodka drinking). This prevents the item
from getting damaged or stolen and ensures that the item serves you well. It is not known if the
amount of alcohol consumed is directly proportional to the amount of protection provided, but
Russians tend to drink more than enough, just to be on the safe side. As a result, the cost related
to the drinking often exceeds the value of the purchase.

     One of the scariest superstitions is the ‘Sglaz’, comparable to the ‘evil eye’ or the ‘malocchio’.
The Sglaz is a negative influence of one person on another on an energetic level. A Sglaz can hap-
pen consciously and subconsciously. Causes for the Sglaz are usually jealousy, egoism and greed.
A very strong Sglaz is like a curse. Some of the symptoms of a Sglaz are laziness, sleepiness,
irritation, bad luck and regular nose colds. But then again, if one were to go by this superstition,
then every second expatriate and just about every Russian suffers those symptoms (one Russian
friend suggested you get the Sglaz automatically, at passport control in Sheremetyevo interna-
tional airport), so maybe the Sglaz is not so dangerous after all. More importantly, never wish a
Russian good luck; this may also invoke the evil eye (shtob ne sglazit). It is better to wish someone
‘neither down nor feathers’ (ni pukha ni pera); this started as a hunter's ritual, meaning may he
return unsuccessful. The appropriate response to this is ‘go to the devil’ or ‘go to hell’ (k Tchortu).
Also gifts are not given before a person’s birthday.

    And if, in this labyrinth of dangers, you ever feel lonely, then know that a whole army of crea-
tures accompanies your every move. First of all you have a Guardian Angel (Angel Khranitel) stand-
ing on your right shoulder. The nemesis of your Guardian Angel is the Devil (Tchort) who is lounging
on your left shoulder. Is there something you think you misplaced in your apartment or you can’t
light a match? Then that is your Domovoi at play. Your Domovoi is like a good house spirit (imagine
something like a gnome or troll); although he protects the house and its occupants, he can some-
times be a little mischievous and break stuff or hide your keys. Most likely, when you have to return
home to pick up something you forgot, it is your Domevoi at play and he will be laughing, while
you look into the mirror to ward off the bad luck before you leave your home the second time.

     Ever saw a Russian spitting over the left shoulder and emitting a sound that goes something
like ’tfu tfu tfu’? Remember this and learn to copy the gesture and sound! This is the antidote for
all the bad stuff that can possibly happen to you and if you want to get through your stay in Russia
in one piece, the ‘tfu tfu tfu’ will serve you better than a Lloyd’s insurance policy. And why spit
over the ‘left’ shoulder? That is where your Tchort was lounging about of course!

   A book could be written about Russian superstitions, but this short article should get you
through your first year in Russia. The rest you will find out along the way, with a little help by
your Guardian Angel.

   (Oh and by the way, beware of the woman with the empty buckets......!!)
  Living in Russia: St. Petersburg

                                                   Telephone: +7 (812) 233-2293
                                                   This was the first market in St. Petersburg; it
                                                   was located on Trinity square. In 1711 it was
                                                   moved to its present location, which is the
                                                   outskirts of town.

                                                   b. Kuznechniy Rynok
                                                   (Closed every 2nd Monday of the month)
                                                   Address: Kuznechniy Periolok 3 (Vladimirskaya
                                                   metro – behind the church)
                                                   Telephone +7 (812) 312-4161
                                                   This is the best meat and produce market,
                                                   used by many of the city’s restaurant.

                                                   c. Maltevskiy Rynok
                                                   Address: Nekrasova Street 52
                                                   Telephone: +7 (812) 272-3350

                                                   d. Sennoy Rynok
                                                   Address: Moskovskiy Prospect 4a
                                                   Telephone: +7 (812) 310-1209
The gryphon (griffin) – St. Petersburg
                                                   e. Vasiloestrovskiy Rynok
c. Dom Knigi (Дом книги) – Zinger’s House
                                                   (Closed every 1st Monday of the month)
Address: Nevskiy Prospect 28
                                                   Address: Bolshoi Prospect 16
Telephone: +7 (812) 312-5710
                                                   (Vasiloestrrovskiy Ostrov)
Beautiful old shop that has undergone reno-
                                                   Telephone: +7 (812) 323-6687
vation in the last few years. It not only sells
                                                   Cheap but not so well stocked
books in Russian, English, French and German,
but also stationery and has a little cafe with a   f. Pet Market
great view.                                        Polyustrovskiy or Kondratievskiy Rynok
                                                   (Closed every 3rd Monday of the month)
d. Bukvoyed (Буквоед)
                                                   Address:Polyustrovsky Prospect 45
Many locations around the city including:
                                                   Telephone: +7 (812) 540-3039
Nevskiy Prospect 13
Telephone: +7 (812) 601-0601                       g. Art Market
They offer a smaller collection than the other     It is located right in front of St. Catherine of
shops, but at better prices!                       Alexandria Church on Nevskiy 32–34.
                                                   Open every day and consists of open-air
MARKETS                                            stands, where artists display their paintings.

The markets tend to be expensive, but offer        h. General Market
quite an experience. If you become a regular       Yunona Rynok (Рынок ЮНОНА)
customer of a particular stall holder, you will    Address: Marshala Kazakova 40.
get a better deal and fresher produce!             Website:
                                                   Very large market selling everything from CDs
a. Sytniy Rynok                                    (none of which are original copies) to clothes and
(closed every 4th Monday of the month)             electrical items. On Saturdays, it also has a huge
Address: Sytninskaya Ploshad 3/5                   flea market selling anything and everything!

  50                                                                   Step by step : Living in Russia
                                                         Living in Russia: St. Petersburg

WOMEN’S GROUPS AND FAMILY INFORMATION               b. American Women's Organisation (AWO)
                                                    The AWO is a Moscow group that many may
a. International Women's Club (IWC)
                                                    find useful. Full AWO membership is open to
The IWC invites members of every nationality.
                                                    American women living in Moscow and to non-
They have regular meetings, lots of clubs and
                                                    American wives of Americans. The AWO also
social events. The IWC is a good way to get to
                                                    welcomes women of other nationalities who
know St. Petersburg using the experiences of
                                                    are not married to Americans, as non-voting
other foreign women. They also have several
                                                    associate members. Please check the Moscow
fund raising events and support various chil-
                                                    Times for details.
dren’s charities in St. Petersburg.


Name                   Type         Location – Contact           Comments
                       Cuisine $$
Fiolet                 Oriental –   Lomonosovskaya               Very good food and service.
                       Fusion $$    Square 6                     Informal and formal style.
                                    Tel: +7 (812) 713-5207       Booking recommended.
Ryba                   Italian $$   Academica Pavlova Str. 5     Excellent pasta dishes and fresh
                                    Tel: +7 (812) 234-5060       fish. Informal atmosphere.
Chin Chin              Oriental /   Mytninskaya Emb. 3           Small restaurant with good service
                       European     Tel: +7 (812) 232-1042
Mops                   Thai $$      Pushkinskaya Street 12       Only Thai in St. Petersburg.
                                    Tel: +7 (812) 572-3834       Cafe area and restaurant area.
                                                                 Good authentic Thai food.
Old Customs House European          Tamozheniy per. 1            Excellent food and wine. Probably
                  $$$$              Tel: +7 (812) 331-9612       the best in St. Petersburg
Dve Palochki           Japanese $$ Various                       Reasonable prices and fresh.
                                                                 Service hit and miss!
Bistrot Garcon         French $$$ Nevskyi Prospect 95            Good, authentic French food –
                                  Tel: +7 (812) 717-2467         breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Stolle Cafe            Russian      Konushenniy per. 1/6,        Excellent piroshki (pies) both
                                    1 Linya V.O. 50              savoury and sweet. Very simple
                                    Dekabristov Str. 19 and 33   concept – counter service.
                                          Can order take out large Piroshki
Borsalinos         Italian $$$$ Malaya Morskaya 24               Excellent Italian food.
(Angleterre Hotel)                                               Good bar with live jazz.
Fasol                  European/    Gorokhovaya Str. 17/56       Informal atmosphere,
                       Russian $$   Tel: +7 (812) 571-7454       reasonable prices.
SADKO                  Russian $$$ Glinki Street 2               Russian food, well cooked and
                                   Tel: +7 (812) 920-8228        good service.

Step by step : Living in Russia                                                                   51
  Living in Russia: St. Petersburg

                                         , or www.inyour-
                                          or in ticket offices at various
                                                   locations all over St. Petersburg, including the
                                                   central ticket office on Nevskiy Prospect 42.
                                                      Telephone: +7 (812) 571-3183.
                                                      The St. Petersburg Times also has listings of
                                                   coming events.

                                                   OPERA AND BALLET
A cathedral in St. Petersburg                      a. The Mariinskiy Theatre (Kirov)
c. St. Petersburg Women Entrepreneurs              Address: Teatralnaya Square
English speaking foreign and Russian women         Telephone: +7 (812) 326-4141
meet once a month to exchange and discuss          Website:
ideas with regard to development and socialise.
                                                   b. The Hermitage Theatre
                                                   Address: Dvortsovaya Embankment 34
                                                   Telephone: +7 (812) 710-9030
a. World Class
                                                   c. Shostakovich Philarmonia
Address: Efimova Street 4a
                                                   Address: Mikhailovskaya Street 2
Telephone: +7 (812) 313-0000
                                                   Telephone: +7 (812) 710-4257 or 710-4290
Website: (Russian)
b. Planet Fitness                                  Famous conductor Yuri Temirkanov presents
Many locations throughout St. Petersburg           some of the very best festivals and concerts in
including                                          St. Petersburg – 2 halls, Bolshoy Zal (Great Hall)
Kazanskaya Street 37                               and Maliy Zal (small Hall) Nevskiy 30
Telephone: +7 (812) 315-6220 or 315-7175           Telephone: +7 (812) 311-8333
Grand Hotel Europe
                                                   d. Mussorsky (Mikhailovsky) Opera and Ballet
Telephone: +7 (812) 329-6000 or 329-6597
                                                   Address: Iskusstva Square 1
Petrogradskaya embankment 18
                                                   Telephone: +7 (812) 545-4284
Telephone: +7 (812) 332-0000
Website: (English)
                                                   Not as grand as the Mariinskiy but some nice
c. Flying Dutchman                                 performances.
Address: Mitninskaya Embankment
                                                   e. Yusupov Palace Theatre
(on a boat!)
                                                   Address: Moika Embankment 94
Telephone: +7 (812) 336-3737
                                                   Telephone: +7 (812) 314-9883

d. Maxi Sport
Address: Hotel Pribaltiyskaya Vasilevskiy Island
Telephone: +7 (812) 448-0488

Information about the times and locations of
cultural events can be found on-line at www.       St. Petersburg

  52                                                                   Step by step : Living in Russia
                                                       Living in Russia: St. Petersburg

f. Jazz Philharmonic                              Telephone: +7 (812) 273-6672
Address: Zagorodniy Prospect 27
                                                  b. Circus
Telephone: +7 (812) 764-8565
                                                  Address: Fontanka 3
This well known venue has 2 bands – straight
                                                  Telephone: +7 (812) 570-5411
jazz and Dixieland; also, many guest/foreign
bands. Concerts are every evening starting
at 7 pm.                                          b. Children’s Philharmonia
                                                  Address: Bolshoy Sampsonievskiy Prospect 79
g. JFC Jazz
                                                  Telephone: +7 (812) 245-4267
Address: Shpalernaya 33
Telephone: +7 (812) 272-9850                      c. Children’s Music Theatre
Very good small club, with jazz, blues and folk   Address: Rubinshteina 3
bands including many guest/foreign bands.         Telephone: +7 (812) 316-5480
                                                  d. Upsala Circus
Although it is possible to see all the latest     Performances at various venues around
American and European films, they are usually     St. Petersburg
dubbed into Russian. Occasionally, they are in    Telephone: +7 (963) 320-1159
the original language, with Russian subtitles.    Website:
Check the St. Petersburg Times. Below are         (Russian, English and German)
some of the better cinemas, but for a list of
                                                  e. Dolphinarium
all possible venues, please visit the website:
                                                  Address: Konstantinovskiy Prospect 19
                                                  (Krestovskiy Island)
                                                  Telephone: +7 (812) 235-4631
a. Avrora
Address: Nevskiy Prospect 60                      If you have any questions regarding real estate
Telephone: +7 (812) 315-5254                      or relocation issues in St. Petersburg, please,
Website:                        do not hesitate to contact us in Moscow:
                                                  8 (495) 502 9553
b. Crystal Palace
Address: Nevskiy Prospect 72
                                                                  Irina Yakimenko
c. Dom Kino
                                                                  Head of Intermark Relocation
Address: Karavannaya Street 12
                                                                  Irina joined Intermark in 2006.
Telephone: +7 (812) 314-5614 or 314-0638
                                                                  In this role, Irina ensures the
                                                                  provision of professional reloca-
d. Mirage                                         tion and immigration services and efficiency
Address: Petrogradskaya, Bolshoi Prospect 35      of expatriate management. Irina also manages
Telephone: +7 (812) 498-0563                      Intermark Relocation's expansion into Russia
Website:                            and strives for constant diversification and
                                                  evolution of the company's services. Born in
CHILDREN’S ENTERTAINMENT                          Moscow, multi-lingual and having been an
                                                  expatriate herself, Irina knows what an expa-
a. St. Petersburg Bolshoi (Big) Theatre
                                                  triate goes through and what it's like to live in
Of Puppets
                                                  Moscow and move to Russia.
Address: Nekrasova Street 10

Step by step : Living in Russia                                                              53
   Living in Russia: St. Petersburg

Isaac's Cathedral – St. Petersburg

A Review of the St. Petersburg rental
market in 2010
General Dynamics of the Rental                       and in May, 2010, it reached its minimum for
Market                                               the 1st half-year of 2010 – 37,420 roubles). Such
                                                     increase in rental rates only reflected their cor-
In 2010, the cost of the elite real estate stopped
                                                     rection in relation to euro-currency, and not
falling; the market became stable. From Janu-
                                                     changes in the market cost of property objects.
ary to mid February, 2010, the market situa-
tion was marked by the traditional seasonal             Insignificant price fluctuations in 2010 were
recession during the winter holidays and in the      caused both by seasonal changes in the supply
post-holiday period. An increase in the demand       and demand structure, and the adaptation to
for real estate in the corporate segment was         the situation in the world currency markets,
observed starting from mid February, 2010;           but not by internal structural changes of mar-
most requests came in from medium-size and           ket conditions.
large companies. Peak demand was reached by
the middle of May, 2010; this period was noted       Tendencies of the rental market
for the highest quantity of rental transactions.     of elite residential property
    When compared to rental rates as at the          in St. Petersburg in 2010
end of December, 2009, there were no consid-         1. Supply and demand decentralisation in the
erable changes in rental rates throughout the        market of corporate residential property rent.
1st half of 2010. On the whole, for the half-year,
                                                     Due to the formation of two new industrial
rental rates increased by 5 to 10%, but it is
                                                     zones in the south (factories of such large indus-
noteworthy that the increase mainly referred
                                                     trial companies as General Motors, Philip Morris,
to marketable residential property objects.
                                                     Toyota, Bosh and Siemens) and in the northwest
   The inconsiderable growth in rental rates         of St. Petersburg (automobile cluster, presented
in May was caused by fluctuations of currency        by such large motor-car manufacturers as Nis-
rates (euro exchange rate in relation to rouble      san, Magna Cosma International, Hyundai, Suzuki
had been going down since February, 2010,            etc.), apart from the traditional demand for the

  54                                                                     Step by step : Living in Russia
   Living in Russia: St. Petersburg

elite apartments located in the central districts    Geography of the Offered Elite Objects
of the city, a growing demand for business-class
                                                     Among the areas still in high demand are the
apartments located in new residential com-
                                                     Central area of St. Petersburg, with its well-
plexes in the south and the north of the city was
                                                     known “golden triangle”, including the Nevsky
observed. For many employees of the above
                                                     Prospect, with such streets as Italianskaya,
mentioned companies, residing in close vicinity
                                                     Karavannaya, Millionnaya, Malaya Konjushen-
to the office, allowed them to minimise time
                                                     naya, etc., and part of the Admiralteyskiy area.
spent on transportation, without prejudice to
                                                     Of particular interest to clients are the elite
the quality of residing conditions. Meeting these
                                                     apartments with an all-around view over the
requirements becomes possible due to active
                                                     Moyka River, the Fontanka, the Griboedov's
and infill real estate development in the northern
                                                     channel, as well as the Petrogradsky area,
and southern districts respectively.
                                                     including Krestovsky and Kamenny islands.
    2. Amid the receding economic crisis, the
                                                         The current lack of new housing devel-
largest international industrial companies still
                                                     opment projects in the historical city-center
remain the main tenants of elite apartments.
                                                     has led to a very high demand for the newly
In the general structure of requests, the share
                                                     built elite houses, such as, for example, “Le
of requests from small and medium-size busi-
                                                     Grand” house (152, Nevskiy Prospect), block
nesses, as well as individual entities, was
                                                     of apartments developed by “Renaissance
rather insignificant.
                                                     of St. Petersburg” corporation (137, Nevskiy
   3. Corporate clients are very much concerned      Prospect), club houses on the quay of the
about choosing the right professional real estate    Fontanka river (house 1) and building No 12 on
agent as it guarantees better terms and service      Italianskaya street.
with regard to obtaining an elite apartment,
                                                          Residential developments in Petrogradsky
as well as beneficial lease conditions and the
                                                     area and the Krestovsky Island, in particular,
maximum protection of the tenant’s interests.
                                                     still remain especially attractive. The main
    4. The rental market still has strongly pro-     reason for this is convenient location and
nounced characteristics of a “tenant’s market”,      ecologically-friendly conditions of residing on
with its inherent features: exclusive require-       the island. Kamenniy Island remains the most
ments of the tenant to an apartment and lease        closed, private territory of the Petrogradsky
conditions, flexibility of the landlord in terms     area. Thus, offers on elite apartments on the
of price setting (frequent mark-down of the          Kamenniy Island are unique.
rental rate by 10%, from the declared rate dur-
                                                         In 2010, 80–150 sq.m. elite apartments
ing the negotiating process) and implementa-
                                                     within the Central area of St. Petersburg,
tion of improvements in the rented apartment.
                                                     located in newly-built houses with developed
    5. In comparison with the 1st half-year of       infrastructure and in reconstructed historical
2009, the year 2010 showed a general revival         residential buildings and a modern access con-
in the market of the elite residential property      trol system were in great demand.
rentals, manifested itself in the growth of the
quantity of inquiries, stop in the landslide of
                                                                    Marina Markarova
rental prices and even some growth in rental
                                                                    Managing partner — General
rates (5 to 10%), which testifies to the fact that
                                                                    Director of the consulting real
there is a gradual normalisation of the market,
                                                                    estate company MAYFAIR
with the supply and demand equation gradu-
ally reaching a balance point.

  56                                                                    Step by step : Living in Russia
  Living in Russia: Sakhalin

                                                                                                         Property of Coleman Services

Living in Russia: Sakhalin
The Sakhalin region was founded on the 2nd          and birch. The undergrowth is of dwarf Sibe-
of January, 1947.                                   rian pine, and Kuril bamboo. The usual forest
It includes the Sakhalin and bordering islands      inhabitants are bear, marten, wolverine, sable,
and the Kuril islands.                              squirrel, Northern deer, musk deer and adder.
The Sakhalin Region is a part of the Far East       There are two mud volcanoes and more than
Federal District.                                   sixty thousand rivers and streams, the largest
Territory – 87,1 thousand sq. km.                   of which are the Tym and Poronai Rivers. The
The population 608,000                              lakes number about 16,120. The largest among
The regional centre – Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk.            them are the lagoon lakes, Tunaicha (174 sq
                                                    km) and Nevskoye (178 sq km). The climate is
Geography                                           moderate-monsoon. Average January temper-
                                                    atures range from -6°C in the South to -24°C
Sakhalin is one of the largest islands in Russia.
                                                    in the North of the island. The average tem-
Washed by the Okhotsk and Japanese seas, the
                                                    perature in August is +19°C in the South and
island stretches 948 km, from North to South.
                                                    +10°C in the North. The Kuril Islands stretch
The coastline is slightly indented. Nearly two
                                                    from north to south for 1,200 km. Their total
thirds of the Sakhalin area is mountainous. The
                                                    area is nearly 15.6 thousand square kilometers.
Lopatin mountain is the highest, at 1.609 m.
                                                    Among the islands of the Kuril archipelago are
The Northern part of the island is a swampy
                                                    30 large islands; more than 20 small islands
plain, covered with deciduous taiga. Mountains
                                                    are of volcanic origin. The highest waterfall in
of the central and southern parts of the island
                                                    Russia, Ilija Muromets, is located on the Iturup
are covered with forests of Ayan spruce, fir
                                                    Island and is 141 m. high. The climate of the

  58                                                                   Step by step : Living in Russia
                                                                Living in Russia: Sakhalin

Kuril Islands is typically marine-like, without    and commercial aquaculture industries, thrive
strong frosts or extensive summer heat. Rain       in these waters.
and fog are quite frequent in the summer.
                                                   Mineral resources
Historical remark                                  Petroleum: The are 112 deposits. Sakhalin oil
the Sakhalin region, in its present form, was      is suitable for the production of high-octane
officially defined and integrated as a part of     fuel and lubricating oil. The condensate is suit-
the Russian Federation on January 2nd, 1947.       able for manufacturing diesel fuel, petrol and
The region lies off the eastern coastline of       aircraft kerosene.
mainland Russia and includes the island of
                                                       Coal: There are 60 deposits of coal. The
Sakhalin, the islands of Tyulenyi and Moneron
                                                   grades of coal in these deposits vary, with the
and the Kuril Islands.
                                                   coal used as high-quality power fuel being the
    The region is separated into 17 admin-         predominant grade. Other grades are suitable
istrative districts. There are 19 towns and        for chemical processing and reception of fuel oil.
33 urban-type settlements. Important cities        Peat: There are 200 deposits. Peat is used as a
and towns are: Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Kholmsk,         constituent in fertilisers, heat-insulating mate-
Korsakov, Okha, Poronaisk, Alexandrovsk-           rial. It is also used for the absorption in water
Sakhalinsky, Nevelsk, Uglegorsk, and Dolinsk.      and soil of pollutants resulting from petroleum
The Sakhalin Region existed in various forms,      products.
prior to 1947:
                                                   Timber resources
■ From 1909 to 1914 the Sakhalin region com-
  prised of the northern part of the Sakhalin      Most of the Sakhalin island, is located in the
  Island;                                          taiga zone and is covered in forest. The forests
■ From 1914 to 1920 it also included the Udskyi    of the Sakhalin region occupy 6.9 million hec-
  district and the city of Nikolaevsk-on-Amur;     tares, which is 87% of the territory. Coniferous
■ On October 20th, 1932 the Northern part of       forests are prevalent. The silver firs and white
  the Sakhalin region was merged with that of      woods produce valuable softwood. Sakhalin is
  the Far East;                                    one of the economic leaders in timber resourc-
■ Since 1938 has been part of the Khabarovsk       es of the Russian Far East.
    On January 2nd, 1947, South Sakhalin and the
Kuril Islands were made part of the Sakhalin
region. Simultaneously, the region was des-
ignated as a separate territory of the Russian

Natural resources
                                                                                                        Property of Coleman Services

Marine resources
The area where the seas wash the coast of the
Sakhalin and Kuril Islands is among the most
economically viable in the world. This basin is
Russia’s largest fishing ground. Many species
of fish, which are of great value to the food      The streets of Sakhalin

Step by step : Living in Russia                                                               59
  Living in Russia: Sakhalin

                                                                                                         Property of Coleman Services

Transport                                          linsk airport plays a vital role in facilitating
                                                   transportation Sakhalin. In addition to local
тransport is one of the main segments in the
                                                   flights, there are regularly scheduled interna-
economic complex of the Sakhalin region. The
                                                   tional flights to Hakodate ( Japan), Seoul, Pusan
transport branch is comprised of all types of
                                                   (Korea), as well as charter flights to Niigata,
transport: sea, railway, motor and air.
                                                   Tokyo, Sapporo ( Japan), Dalian, Kharbin and
   The sea transport is the main means of          Shanghai (China).
transportation in the region. The region has
eleven seaports. There are eight sea trade         Sakhalin companies
ports located in Kholmsk, Korsakov, Alexan-
                                                   There are several companies operating in
drovsk, Poronaisk, Uglegorsk, Shakhtyorsk,
                                                   various economic spheres within the Sakhalin
Boshnyakovo, and Krasnogorsk. There are two
sea fish ports in Kholmsk, and Nevelsk and
one departmental seaport at Moskalvo, which
                                                   Oil & Gas
belongs to JSC “Posneft-Sakhalinmorneftegaz”.
                                                   DRC Sakhalin Group
   The railway transportation accounts for
                                                   Liebherr www
about 30% of all transportation related activity
                                                   Sakhalin Energy
within Sakhalin.
    Sakhalin has railway lines stretching from
Nogliki in the north to Korsakov in the south.     Production
There is also a departmental narrow-gauge
line at Nogliki – Okha extending 228 kms; it
                                                   Sakhalin Energo
belongs to JSC “Rosneft-Sakhalinmorneftegaz”.
                                                   Sakhalin Machinery, LLC
   The main function of air transport is to        www.
carry passengers over long distances and in        SDM Sakhalin (the official Hyundai dealer)
most cases, to places which can not be easily
accessed by other means of transportation.
There are regular flights from Sakhalin to Mos-    Telecommunications
cow, Khabarovsk, Vladivostok and other cities
                                                   Beeline www.
of Russian Federation. The Yuzhno-Sakha-
                                                   Dal sviaz

  60                                                                   Step by step : Living in Russia
  Living in Russia: Sakhalin


                                                                                                          Property of Coleman Services

Coleman Services
Kapital Insurance
Sakhalin Engineering
Swift worldwide resources                           Sakhalin
                                                    Lake Tunajcha
Finance                                             This is the largest and most beautiful of the
                                                    Sakhalin lakes.
Alfa Bank
ATB                                          There are many other unique features
Royal Haskoning              within the Sakhalin region. This includes the
VTB                                      island of Moneron, which has been declared a
   …and many others                                 specially protected area for its unique natural
                                                    habitat and the Seal island popular for its rook-
Places to visit                                     eries of seals and huge bird markets. In Okha
                                                    city boasts of an oil derrick, which was estab-
Sakhalin local lore museum
                                                    lished at the end of the XIX century.
The museum was founded in 1896. Since 1947,
                                                       With its unique nature and vast possibilities,
the museum has been located in Yuzhno-
                                                    Sakhalin is the perfect place to explore and
Sakhalinsk, in a building belonging to the for-
                                                    invest in.
mer Japanese governor Karafuto. The building
was constructed in 1937. The museum collec-                        Alexandra Lubchenko
tions cover the period from the most ancient                       Alexandra Lubchenko is the
history up to nowadays: archeologic, ethno-                        Head of special division, South
graphic, historical, paleontological, geological,                  Sakhalin
botanical, zoological and others.                                  The Coleman Services story
                                                    in Russia started in March 1998, when the
Sakhalin regional art museum                        company offered search and selection
                                                    of permanent personnel. In 1999, it was
The museum is located in a building formerly        one of the first to provide outstaffing – a
belonging to the Japanese bank “Hokkaido            completely new service for Russia. In 2001,
Takuseku”. This building is an original archi-      Coleman Services opened a specialised
tectural monument that was erected at the           department that provides industrial
beginning of the 1930s. In the 80s, it was          enterprises and warehouse complexes with
                                                    skilled and unskilled personnel.
reconstructed and converted into a museum.
                                                    Today, Coleman Services provides a full
The regional artworks are exhibited in the big
                                                    range of HR- services and offers its services
hall on the ground floor. The first floor has       in Saint Petersburg, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk,
been let out for the organisation of frequent       Yekaterinburg, Omsk, Stupino, Obninsk, Tula
expositions: “Old Russian art”, “Art of Japan”,     and Novosibirsk. Coleman Services also has
“Art of Korea”.                                     vast experience in rendering its services
                                                    on a remote basis.

  62                                                                    Step by step : Living in Russia
Only in Russia: Authority works!
It doesn’t take a long time for newcomers to Russia to understand that to attract the attention of
a waitress in a restaurant, it is not sufficient to look in her direction or raise an arm. The only thing
that gets her attention is to call out loud: “Devushka” (Miss); an action that would get you almost
thrown out of most restaurants in Europe. In the office, you will notice that after having had a long
meeting with your team, during which you thought everything was discussed and agreed upon,
everyone is still looking at you to take the final decisions. In a newspaper, you may read with some
surprise that next to Vladimir Putin, Josef Stalin is the most popular Russian leader of all times.
    There is one common denominator to all three situations described above and that is the con-
cept of authority. Authority is important in Russia and a key ingredient for making things work. For
effective leadership in Russia, authority is much more important than consensus, whereas, in most
western countries the exact opp osite is the case. In Russian companies, the director decides on
everything. Very little power or mandate is delegated to lower management levels. In the work-
place, the boss is expected to know everything and to carry a paternalistic responsibility for his
employees. Russians in general work harder and longer than most Europeans. The formal nine to
five culture does not exist in Russia. Working until late at night or meetings during the weekend is all
within the normal course of business. But the Russian worker needs to genuinely respect his boss. If
respect is lacking, then it is very hard to motivate a Russian worker to ‘go the extra mile’ and in that
case, no HR process, training or management technique will increase the output of your employees.
    For foreign managers in Russia, this means that they need to be more firm and decisive than
they are used to being in other countries. This also means that you should be careful not to lose
the respect of your employees. Losing your cool too often and starting to shout is seen as losing
control, and consequently, leads to a loss of respect. Once respect is lost, it is very hard to regain.
    Another proof of the fact that ‘authority works’ in Russia can be seen in traffic or in queues.
You may be surprised that drivers cut right in front of other drivers without any repercussion.
Something that would cause road-rage in Europe and a shoot-out in the USA, is calmly accepted
in Russia. If you want to merge into traffic hesitantly using your turn signal indicator you won’t
get anywhere in Russia. You need to be bold and just cut in. Just try it! You’ll see it works. If you
are afraid to dent your car you can start with the queue at passport control. Just cut in front of the
queue, acting as if you own the place and see what the reaction will be. If you do get a reaction,
next time, try it with more authority!
    Being nice and gentle is not yet really understood in Russia. It is often mistaken for weakness.
You can be many things in Russia, but at least you have to be firm and strong. Otherwise you won’t
get anywhere. This is one of the things that is often difficult to understand for newcomers to Russia.
    It is not for nothing that Russia knows something called the ‘komandniy golos’ (the command-
ing voice). It’s the tone of voice you need to use if you want to get something done here. Even
after 16 years in Russia, I find it hard to find the right ‘komandniy golos’. When the ‘banshik’ (sto-
ker or bath attendant) in the Russian banya (bathhouse), where I usually go proposes to increase
the heat and steam, I am usually the first to say ‘khorosh’ (it’s enough, no need to increase). But
no matter how I say it –loudly or softly, with a deep bass – the stoker always continues to increase
the heat. But, if one of the Russians around me says ‘khorosh’ or ‘esho’ (more), this one word is
enough to spring the stoker into action.
    Russians and authority, one more aspect of Russia’s unfathomable mystery. And for most of
us foreigners, there is only one conclusion we can come to – ‘if you can’t stand the heat, stay out
of the banya’!
   Living in Russia: Sochi

The Summer theatre – Sochi

Living in Russia: Sochi
Sochi – life for an expatriate                         timelessness, friendliness and sophistication
                                                       heighten the values of Sochi life, enhancing
Foreign employee, married, with children, not
                                                       its rapid transformation into a city that is fully
speaking Russian
                                                       ready to host the Olympic Games in 2014! Sea
    Sochi, a city in the Krasnodar region is situat-   and snow are real ambassadors here and we
ed just north of Russia's border with the de facto     invite you to join their powerful inner energy!
republic of Abkhazia, on the Black Sea coast.
                                                       Year-round, sun-and-snow resort
    It is the largest Russian resort city; 145 km
spanning along the shores of the Black Sea and         Speaking of the climate, one can hardly talk
against the background of the Caucasus Moun-           about four seasons in Sochi. Actually, there are
tains. In 2006, the population was estimated to        only two seasons in Sochi – the warm period
be 395,012.                                            from April till November, and a cooler period
                                                       from November till April. Sochi’s ‘winter’ is mild,
   In addition to being selected to host the
                                                       with no frosts, and the snow makes the palms
12th Olympic Winter Games and 11th Paralympic
                                                       look so beautiful and floppy that you can not help
Winter Games in 2014, the Russian Formula 1
                                                       but enjoy it. The warm sea and nearby Main Cau-
Grand Prix will also be held in Sochi from 2014
                                                       casian Range have formed in this land of Russia a
up until at least 2020.
                                                       unique climate of humid subtropics, which is not
   Sochi is a dream city! It can offer that rare       typical of this latitude elsewhere on the globe.
harmony in life, where work is combined
                                                          Sochi citizens are fond of mountain skiing
with an eco-lifestyle and precious emotions
                                                       and sports in general. The Krasnaya Polyana
we share with family and friends! Purity and

  64                                                                        Step by step : Living in Russia
                                                                      Living in Russia: Sochi

ski resort at the foot of the North Cauca-            art exhibitions and theater performances fol-
sus mountain range is the most popular and            low each other; aqua parks and attractions
famously a favorite ski getaway for Prime             in the Riviera Park keep the children enter-
Minister Vladimir Putin. From December till           tained all through day and night, and fashion
spring time, there is plenty of snow here.            stores demonstrate charm and chic, enhancing
600 m above the sea level and 40 km from              women sensuality. The restaurants, night clubs
the coast make this place a truly unique mix          and cafes are all just a step away from you. At
of sea and mountain. Today, Krasnaya Polyana          the moment, most recreational activities are
has many chalets, hotels, and restaurants;            accessible to those who speak Russian only;
quite soon, it will offer new luxury facilities for   however, this issue is being addressed right
recreation and different winter sports planned        now by the city’s authorities.
for the Olympic Games in 2014 that will take
place at Krasnaya Polyana.                            Family accommodation
   There are six thousand species of flow-            As part of the effort to cater to the expected
ers, trees and shrubs in Sochi. This is the only      influx of both Russian and foreign wealthy
Russian city, where palms decorate streets;           clientele, Sochi is currently erecting luxury
the sights of blooming magnolia trees can be          houses, villas, hotels, shopping centers, hospi-
enjoyed only in Sochi!                                tals and schools, as well as building new roads.
                                                      The end result will make Sochi a must-visit
   Sochi people love their environment; they
                                                      tourist attraction to all and a home away from
are kindhearted, attentive and always ready
                                                      home for expats thinking of relocating to this
to welcome people of all nationalities. It is a
                                                      wonderful city.
very safe city, where traditions of south and
north are equally respected and where people
respond with a smile even when they can not
understand your language. Hospitality and the         Sochi is the perfect place for relaxation and
desire to show the best of their city are traits      revitalisation!
character of all the locals.

Working in Sochi
Sochi has tremendous business potential in the
construction, tourism, sports and recreation
and the agricultural industries. The September
international economic forum usually attracts
thousands of foreign experts and businessmen
to Sochi. Other months of the year do not wit-
ness as many foreigners in the city. For foreign
investors, this means that the potential is
                                                                                                         Property of Intermarksavills

huge and opportunities, limitless, to invest in a
growing city and build a multinational society.

Art and Modern Lifestyle
Sochi life is exciting for all family members,
especially during the summer. Concerts with
Russian and international music celebrities,          The Caucasus mountains – Sochi

Step by step : Living in Russia                                                                 65
  Living in Russia: Sochi

Useful information                                  c. Commuter trains from Adler station (20
                                                    minutes south of Sochi
Transportation infrastructure is being prepared     Russian Railways is going to establish a high-
to support the Olympics. This will include more     speed Moscow-Adler link and a new railroad
roads, tunnels, bridges, interchanges, railroads    (more than 60 km long) that will pass by the
and stations in and around Sochi.                   Ukrainian territory.

                                                    The Sochi Light Metro will be constructed
Sochi International Airport: this airport is        between Adler and Krasnaya Polyana. It will
located in the Adler District of Sochi.             connect the Olympic Park, the airport and the
Website:                             venues in Krasnaya Polyana.
Telephone: +7 (8622) 440 088
A new terminal has been built and a 3.5 km          Cars
runway extension is being planned. The run-
way may overlap the Mzymta river.
                                                    Like in most other cities, locals put their hand
                                                    out and stop a private car and negotiate a
                                                    price. For expats this may have serious safety
                                                    issues and is not recommended. Do not get
                                                    into a car that has another passenger apart
                                                    from the driver.

                                                       There are several official taxi companies;
                                                    however, bear in mind that these companies
                                                    do not have English speaking staff.
                                                    European Taxi
Railway:                                            Telephone: +7 (8622) 34-80-34

Sochi trains                                        Taxi in Sochi
a. Sochi train station
                                                    Telephone: +7 (963) 163-06-03
Address: Gorkiy ul., 56, Sochi
Telephone: +7 (8622) 609 009
                                                    Buses and Route (Marshrutnoe) Taxis
b. Lazarevsky train station
                                                    Buses are the main means of transportation in
Address: Odoevsky Street, Lazarevsky village,
                                                    Sochi. There are about 100 routes connecting
                                                    all parts of the city. During rush hour, they are
Telephone: +7 (8622) 723 544
                                                    particularly crowded. Marshrutnoe taxis are
Sochi Elektrichki (commuter trains)                 private vans that drive along specific routes.
a. Commuter trains from Sochi train station         Normally, the route number and a list of stops 2064130      is located on a placard in the window, but only
b. Commuter trains from Lazarevsky station          in Russian language. Most expatriates will
(city district of Sochi)   find it simpler (and relatively inexpensive) to
stat.php?code=2064030                               simply call a taxi.

  66                                                                    Step by step : Living in Russia
                                                                Living in Russia: Sochi

Rent-a-car                                      b. Aquarium
                                                Address: Tcheltenkhema alley, 4, Sochi
                                                Telephone: +7 (8622) 67-72-26
They have English speaking staff.
Address: Morskoy per, 12, Sochi                 c. The Zoo
Telephone: +7 (8622) 35-71-00                   Address: Karla Marksa str, 8, Sochi
                                                Telephone: +7 (8622) 44-50-74, 44-52-65
Living in Sochi: other useful facts
                                                d. Madagaskar
For those with children                         This is a children’s entertainment centre
                                                Address: Kuybysheva str, 36, Sochi
                                                Telephone: +7 (8622) 40-80-08
There are no Anglo-American schools in Sochi.
                                                e. Zolotaya Nadezhda
There are however schools with a very strong
                                                This is a children’s theatre
English language programme:
                                                Address: Teatralnaya str, 2, Sochi
Gimnasium #1 (intensive English studies)        Telephone: +7 (8622) 99-77-09
Address: Yunih Lenintsev str, 5/1, Sochi
                                                f. Sochi Circus
Telephone: +7 (8622) 64-69-91
                                                It is located at the intersection between Push-
For those who want to learn Russian             kin and Kurortniy avenues, in the immediate
Russian language school                         proximity to the famous Sochi Arboretum
Address: The London School, Chaikovskogo str,   (Dendrarium).
43, Sochi
Children’s entertainment
                                                It is recommended that you register with a
a. Botanic garden                               medical clinic immediately upon arrival. Contact
This garden hosts an exclusive collection of    your medical insurance company for a list of
plants.                                         clinics you can register in. Check how payments
Address: Kurortniy prospekt., 74, Sochi         can be made. In an emergency, a clinic should
Telephone: +7 (8622) 62-18-42                   be your first point of contact, along with your


Step by step : Living in Russia                                                             67
   Living in Russia: Sochi

                                                                                    Most medicines are available in pharmacies
                                                                                    in Sochi. In some cases, prescription drugs,
                                                                                    for example, some classes of antibiotics, may
                                                                                    be procured as over the counter medication
                                                                                    (OTC). However, we recommend that you
                                                                                    visit a doctor to obtain your prescription-only-
                                                                                    medicines. Trade names of drugs may differ
                                                                                    may go by other names and again we suggest
                                                                                    that you seek advice if unsure about these

                                                   Property Cathedral – Moscow
                                                   St. Basil'sof Intermarksavills   This pharmacy has several retail outlets:
                                                                                    Address 1: Morskoy per., 12, Sochi
                                                                                    Telephone: +7 (8622) 62-28-66
                                                                                    Address 2: Vorovskogo str., 53
                                                                                    Telephone: +7 (8622) 64-73-64
                                                                                    Address 3: Gagarina, 72
                                                                                    Telephone: +7 (8622) 55-99-98
medical insurance company. A local hospital                                         Veterinary services
should be your second choice and if you do not
                                                                                    a. 4+1 Vet Services
speak Russian, you should certainly be accom-
                                                                                    Address: Yasnogorskaya str, 20, Sochi
panied by a translator. Also, in local hospitals
                                                                                    Telephone +7-8622- 97-86-25
you will often need to pay cash upfront so
make sure you have enough money with you.                                           b. Aybolit
                                                                                    Address: Golubie dali str., 20/4,Sochi-Adler
   You should make arrangements for both
                                                                                    Telephone: +7 (918) 409-33-77
medical treatment and evacuation insurance.
                                                                                    Approximate rates for veterinarian services:
Always know where your passport is.
                                                                                    Regular examinations: from 100 rubles, at clinics.
                                                                                    Surgery: depending on the type of surgery, can
                                                                                    range from 50 to 300 Rubles.
a. Elisa                                                                            Vaccination: At regional vet clinics you can get
Address: Dagomisskaya str., 42A, Sochi                                              them done for free, a house call will attract a
Telephone: +7 (8622) 662-777                                                        50 to 80 rubles fee.

b. Medical Centre (incl. stomatology)
                                                                                    Home services
Address: Donskaya str, 27, Sochi
Telephone: +7 (8622) 55-75-66                                                       a. TV
                                                                                    Most expats have satellite TV, which offers
                                                                                    access to western channels including CNN,
Best optics                                                                         BBC Prime, NBC, MTV, Eurosport, Euronews,
Address: Navaginskaya str., 16, Sochi                                               Cartoon Network, RTL and many others. Most
Telephone: +7 (8622) 64-20-54                                                       foreign housing developments have this faci-

  68                                                                                                      Step by step : Living in Russia
                                                                   Living in Russia: Sochi

lity; private landlords may not. However, these    d. Water delivery
can be easily installed for about $100; the sub-
                                                   In general, the water in Sochi is safe to drink,
scription fees are about $10 per month.
                                                   but most expats use some form of water fil-
                                                   tration system such as Brita. These are readily
                                                   available for purchase. You can buy bottled
Address: Vinogradniy per., 2A, Sochi
                                                   water in supermarkets or arrange delivery
Telephone: +7 (988) 235-00-69
                                                   of water with or without the cooler systems,
                                                   hand pumps, and ceramic water dispensers.
b. Domestic help (drivers/housekeepers/
                                                   i. Chistye Kluchi
You should not expect domestic help to speak       Address: Iskra str., 68, Sochi
English, very few do. The best way of finding      Telephone: +7 (8622) 47 28 64
help is through personal recommendations at
                                                   ii. Aqua Life
work or friends.
                                                   Address: Severnaya str., 12, Sochi
                                                   Telephone: +7 (8622) 64-43-73
c. Dry cleaners
There are many all over Sochi. They can pro-       Time out
vide pick up and delivery services directly to
                                                   a. Theaters
your home. All you need to do is give your
name and telephone number and a detailed           i. Organ and Chamber Music Hall
description of items of clothing to be dry         Address: Kurortniy prospect, 32, Sochi
cleaned. Payment is usually when you drop off      Telephone: +7 (8622) 62-24-04
the items of clothing, which is also when you      +7 (8622) 62-33-99
will be given a copy of your order form.
                                                   ii. Zimniy Theatre (Winter Theatre)
i. Galar                                           Address: Teatralnaya Str., 2, Sochi
Address: Konstitutsii str., 34, Sochi              Telephone: +7 (8622) 62-20-06
Telephone: +7 (8622) 64-33-35
                                                   iii. Riviera Park Green Theatre
ii. Deutch cleaner                                 Address: Egorov Str., 1, Sochi
Address: Donskaya str, 15, Sochi                   Telephone: +7 (8622) 64-10-14
Telephone: +7 (8622) 55-22-73

The black sea – Sochi

Step by step : Living in Russia                                                              69
  Living in Russia: Sochi

b. Cinema                                          d. Peter the Great
                                                   Address: Kurortniy prospekt, 103, Sochi
There are many cinemas in Sochi. Most films
are shown in Russian language. Sometimes,          e. Sakura
they do play English language films with Rus-      Japaneese, Chineese cuisine
sian subtitles. The cinema times are displayed     Address: Chernomorskaya str, 2/3, Sochi
at each cinema.                                    Telephone: +7 (8622) 66-11-75

i. Premiera                                        f. “Signor Pomidor” pizzeria
Address: Navaginskaya str., 7, Sochi               European cuisine
                                                   Opening hours: from 12 noon till 20:00
ii. Yubileyniy
                                                   Average bill: 1000 roubles
Address: Tchekhova str., 48a, Sochi
                                                   Address: Sochi, trade gallery the first block
Telephone: +7 (8622) 55-57-82
                                                   Telephone: +7 (8622) 64-11-92
iii. Sochi                                         Note: A parking lot is not available
Address: Abrikosovaya str., 12, Sochi
                                                   g. “Prague” French Confectionery
Telephone: +7 (8622) 68-10-20
                                                   Specialty of the house – the “Prague” cake
                                                   Average bill: 700 roubles
                                                   Opening hours: from 11:00 till 13:00
Eating out                                         Address: Morskoy Side Str., 14/10, Sochi
New bars along with restaurants and night-         Telephone: +7 (8622) 62-43-33
clubs pop up all the time. For the latest infor-   Note: A parking lot is available
mation, check the local papers, with weekly
                                                   h. “Japona Mama” sushi-bar
reviews on what’s new in town. A wide vari-
                                                   Japanese cuisine
ety of restaurants offering cuisine from many
                                                   Address: 25 Ordzhonikidze Str. Central district,
nations are located throughout the city; these
include Russian, European, American, Japanese
                                                   Telephone: +7 (8622) 33-41-11
and Korean, and there is even a pizza delivery
                                                   Open: from 10:00 till 03:00 in the morning
place. To dine in the high end restaurants, like
                                                   If you have any questions regarding real estate
everywhere else, reservations must be made.
                                                   or relocation issues in Sochi, please do not hesi-
In some restaurants, a 10 to 15% service
                                                   tate to contact us in Moscow: 8 (495) 502 9553
charge will be added to the bill, if not, that
amount should be left as a tip.                                    Irina Yakimenko
                                                                   Head of Intermark Relocation
a. Aleksandr
                                                                   Irina joined Intermark in 2006.
Address: Vinogradnaya str, 12/1, Sochi
                                                                   In this role, Irina ensures the
Telephone: +7 (8622) 53-26-82
                                                                   provision of professional reloca-
b. Bosfor                                          tion and immigration services and efficiency
European and Asian cuisine                         of expatriate management. Irina also manages
Address: Moskovskaya str, 3, Sochi                 Intermark Relocation's expansion into Russia
Telephone: +7 (8622) 92-04-36                      and strives for constant diversification and
                                                   evolution of the company's services. Born in
c. Dionis
                                                   Moscow, multi-lingual and having been an
                                                   expatriate herself, Irina knows what an expa-
Address: Chernomorskaya str, 3, Sochi
                                                   triate goes through and what it's like to live in
Telephone: +7 (8622) 66-18-92
                                                   Moscow and move to Russia.

  70                                                                   Step by step : Living in Russia
Only in Russia:
The Russian people
   Foreigners and Russians alike often ask me
why I have been living in Russia for such a
long time. ‘Is it the money or the adventure
that keeps you here? If not, then it must be the
enchanting Russian ladies’.

   All valid reasons for staying here of course,
but the actual answer is different.

     In 1993, in a train in Switzerland, I met a
Russian family from Irkutsk – Yuriy, a Russian
scientist, his wife Galya and their two young
sons Mitya and Lonya. As I was a mere law
student from Holland, meeting Russians rather
impressed me and we struck up a conversation.
Before I got off the train, we exchanged tele- Celebration of Shrovetide (Maslenitsa) in Russia
phone numbers and that was the end of it. I had forgotten all about them until one year later; in
the summer of 1994, early in the morning, I arrived by train to the city of Irkutsk in order to visit
the Lake Baikal. Hesitantly, I called the telephone number I had been given one year ago and when
I heard the ‘allo-a’ on the other side of the line I said: ‘Yuriy, this is Jeroen. Do you still rememb….’.
Before I could finish my sentence I heard a mighty roar from the other side of the line: ‘JEROEN,
it is you! We have been waiting for you the entire year!’. Before I knew it, I found myself sitting
in their apartment, with their entire family around the kitchen table loaded with food and drinks.
It was unthinkable that I would stay in a hotel, so a place was found for me in their two room
apartment. I stayed for a week. Yuriy took some days off from work and showed me all around
Irkutsk and Lake Baikal. He and his family have been great friends ever since.

                                                         It is now 16 years later and I have been
                                                     fortunate to befriend many more extraordinary
                                                     Russians. Only after making Russian friends did
                                                     I understand that the grumpy, cold and harsh
                                                     impression Russians often give in public, is
                                                     more than offset by the warmth and emotion
                                                     they display in their private lives. My Russian
                                                     friends have taught me what it really means to
                                                     be human, to be sincere and generous. Uncondi-
                                                     tional friendship is something I first encountered
                                                     in Russia. In Europe, agendas, expectations and
                                                     conditions dominate friendships. In Russia, there
                                                     are no bounds to the depth or width of friend-
Matreshka                                            ship. More often than not, when you make a
friend, you practically become a member of the
entire family of that friend. During my 16 years
in Russia, by making a couple of friends, I have
acquired a great number of mothers, cousins,
uncles, aunts and grandparents! You happen
to turn up while your friend happens to have a
dinner party? No problem; an extra chair, plate
and glass are easily provided and food is loaded
on to your plate from the plates of the other
guests. You just want to have some company
after a hard day’s work? No problem; you can
always crash on your friends couch without say-
ing a word.

    It took me a long time to understand that
there is a very specific Russian expression for
the feeling that has kept me bound to Russia for
all this time. It is the word ‘radnoy’. Literally, it
means something like ‘a relative’ or ‘native’, but
the exact Russian meaning of the word cannot
be translated into one specific English word. In
a wider sense, it means feeling at home with a
person or with a country. A ‘radnoy’ person is
like ‘one of our own’.                                  Samovar used traditionally to drink tea

    When you get to know Russian people, you will unavoidably come to understand what I am
talking about. And when you do, you will blink an eye, and realise that you have been here much
longer than you ever imagined or planned to stay, and that Russia has become a part of you.

   The short stories were sent in by Jeroen Ketting, Lighthouse.

                                                                        Jeroen Ketting
                                                                        Jeroen is Founder and Mana-
                                                                        ging Director of Lighthouse.
                                                                        He has been living in Russia for
                                                                        over 15 years giving him fluen-
                                                                        cy in the Russian language and
                                                        a thorough understanding of the Russian busi-
                                                        ness culture. Jeroen has founded and oper-
                                                        ated numerous businesses in Russia and has
                                                        assisted in the establishment of more than 20
                                                        Western-Russian business ventures. Jeroen's
                                                        extensive experience in the Russian market is
                                                        backed by a strong track record in strategic
                                                        business advisory. He is an expert negotiator
                                                        and mediator in the Russian-Western context
                                                        and is a regular speaker at international
                                                        events and seminars related to Russia. He
The Holiday of St. Cyril and Methodius,                 frequently contributes to Russia related inter-
the creators of Cyrillic alphabet, May 24, 2010         national publications.
in Moscow, Russia

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