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Safety in Moscow and Saint Petersburg

New York
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Safety in Moscow and Saint Petersburg

I will be traveling to Moscow and St. Petersburg with a tour group in May.

In light of world events today, have these cities or Russia in general become more dangerous for American tourists? Should I change my trip to a country other than Russia?

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Mosstreets
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Moscow, Russia
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1. Re: Safety in Moscow and Saint Petersburg

I guess there's already a need for a FAQ article. Please have a look at previous discussions.

In short, please come. There's no change in attitude, no change in safety level in public places. No changes in border control and visa logistics (so far and presumably will remain the same).

Moscow, Russia
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2. Re: Safety in Moscow and Saint Petersburg

Ask yourself, please, in light of world events today, have New York in general become more dangerous for Russian tourists? The answer concerning Moscow and American tourists is the same.

New York
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3. Re: Safety in Moscow and Saint Petersburg

The comparison you made to New York, where I live, is an excellent and fair comparison. I actually made the same point to my friends,but my friends continue to caution me about this trip. I suppose that my post was designed to confirm what I already feel which is that from the perspective of an average American tourist going to big cities like Moscow and St. Petersburg, world events concerning the Ukraine and Russia are unlikely to impact me.

I would love to see some comments by recent American and Western European tourists. Thank you for the perspective from the 2 residents of Moscow who replied. Much appreciated.

Chicago, Illinois
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4. Re: Safety in Moscow and Saint Petersburg

FWIW my wife and I are planning to visit St. Petersburg, Novgorod, and Moscow in May.

We have no hesitation whatsoever about going and are traveling independently - I spent a couple of years in St. Petersburg 16 years ago and I still speak enough Russian to get around. I expect a safe and memorable vacation. We applied for visas last week and have our fingers crossed that we get them without any issues.

My perspective is that there is probably a greater likelihood that we get in car crash on the way to O'Hare than that we suffer some adverse event as a result of the Crimea situation.

Moscow, Russia
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5. Re: Safety in Moscow and Saint Petersburg

> my friends continue to caution me about this trip

Let me guess: your friends have never been to Russia?

> I would love to see some comments by recent American and Western European tourists

You can find those on this very forum page.

Dunlap, California
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6. Re: Safety in Moscow and Saint Petersburg

Positive things:

Great cities, culturally rich, visit-worthy.

Cities (besides the ever present slight petty crimes and chance of demonstration or terrorist activities) are mainly safe and far from activities in Ukraine.

You have time and means right now.

Negative things:

Worst case scenario, I can see US clamping down on non essential travels if, god forbids,"cold /tepid/hot" war escalates. But you just lose some money maybe.

Worst case scenario and bad luck, you get "caught" inside Russia, ? ability of you or embassy getting you out.

How do you feel politically? Many go because of personal agendas, job requirements. Some do feel strongly about US's stance and may be compelled to react personally as well to what is going. Your decision.

Most likely your trip will be safe with regards to current political events. It definitely depends on your personal views, and the consideration for feelings of your family and friends if those matter.

Moscow, Russia
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7. Re: Safety in Moscow and Saint Petersburg

> Worst case scenario and bad luck, you get "caught" inside Russia, ? ability of you or embassy getting you out.

Well true, if you opt to arrive on Arctic Sunrise then most probably your return will be ... delayed.

Liverpool England
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8. Re: Safety in Moscow and Saint Petersburg

Even at the height of the cold war tourists had no problem, I had a girlfriend who went, with college, 30 years ago, sorry I didn't go then, they had a great time, we are going in May and looking forward to it, my experience is people are people wherever you go and just don't discuss politics or religion, and in the case of religion I learnt my lesson not to discuss that in Savannah in the good old USA, still loved my trip there.

Washington DC...
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9. Re: Safety in Moscow and Saint Petersburg

Mark;

I was in Moscow and SPB last September. I would not hesitate because of the current situation.

I would not expect any antagonism from Russians.

My *only* concern right now would be a potential slowdown in the visa application process because of political issues (and I have NOT heard of any evidence that this is occurring). I'd say give yourself plenty of time to get the visa, and once you have it, don't worry!

Plymouth, Minnesota
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for Moscow
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10. Re: Safety in Moscow and Saint Petersburg

I actually think the Russian side would be "happy" to keep tourist visas flowing if for no other reason then to ensure Americans continue to come to see and enjoy Russia without all the crazy, poltically tainted "reporting" and propaganda that is going on...but that is just my guess...

If anything, they get more bang for the buck by causing issues for "rich targets" - ones with visibility - as in, the same kind of folks US declared sanctions on...