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Preface Last Updated: 12/16/2004 2:07 AM

Russia sprawls across nearly one‑sixth of the Earth's land mass (about 17 million square kilometers). It embraces a varied topography and has every type of climate except tropical.

The Ural Mountains mark the traditional division between European and Asiatic Russia. To the west, Russian territory stretches over a broad plain, broken only by occasional low hills. To the east are the vast Siberian lowlands and the deserts of central Asia. Beyond are the barren Siberian highlands and the mountain ranges of the Russian Far East. Great pine forests cover half the country; south of these are the steppes (prairies), where the soil is rich and dark. A small subtropical zone lies south of the steppes, along the shores of the Black and Caspian Seas.

Climate is varied. Winters are long and cold and summers brief. In parts of the eastern Siberian tundra, temperatures of -68 °C (-90 °F) have been recorded.

The Russian Federation is a multiethnic state that comprises more than 100 ethnic groups. The majority of the population is Eastern Slavic, but it is made up of peoples belonging to less numerous ethnic groups, including Eskimos. Although most groups are distinguished by their own language and culture, Russian language and traditions are well established, with Russian the common language in government and education.

Religion, long suppressed under the Soviet regime, now flourishes, and examples of all major and many less widely practiced religions can be found. The Russian Orthodox Church has grown rapidly in stature since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, with many adherents returing to the Church and a strong ongoing campaign to reach out to Post-Soviet youth.

Once an underdeveloped, peasant society, Russia made considerable economic progress under Communist rule, mainly by the force of a centralized command economy and basic industrialization. Soviet communism, already stagnant by the 1980s and ill‑equipped to meet the demands of Mikhail Gorbachev's glasnost and perestroyka, collapsed by 1991, forcing Russia into a difficult transition toward a democratic state and market-based economy.

The Russian Federation continues to seek to redefine its relationships with its new independent neighbors, as well as its role in the world.

The Host Country

Area, Geography, and Climate Last Updated: 12/16/2004 2:11 AM

The Russian Federation is physically the largest country in the world, covering 17 million square kilometers or 1.8 times the size of the U.S. The territory of the Russian Federation covers 11 time zones and stretches 6,000 miles from east to west. It has a population of about 147.5 million compared with the 265 million in the U.S. Politically, the Russian Federation is a union of 89 constituent republics, regions, and territories that enjoy varying degrees of economic and political independence from the central government located in the capital, Moscow.

In the 19th century, most Russians lived in small, isolated villages, with little freedom to travel. Now, Russia is predominantly urban. Traditionally, Russia's population, with the exception of the upper class, has had few modern comforts and conveniences. Enclosed by long borders, with few natural defenses, Russians have a history of xenophobia. Given Russia's long history of authoritarian governments, until recently few Russians had much experience with pluralist democracy and market-based economy. New democratic institutions established after the fall of the Soviet Union continue to face challenges in forging political and social currency. A dynamic private sector has given rise to a growing middle class in and around the major metropolitan centers, with Moscow, to a lesser degree St. Petersburg, remaining the economic and social nexus of the country.

Moscow is the largest city in Russia and is located west of the great Russian plain on the banks of the Moscow River at 37°73' E and 55°45' N. The city is built on several low hills varying from 25 feet to 815 feet above sea level. Moscow's short summers are as warm as those in the northern U.S. Winters in Moscow are comparable to winters in Chicago. Snow begins in October and continues periodically through April, although snowfall in May is not unusual. Annual rainfall averages 21 inches, with the heaviest rains falling between May and October. Prevailing winds are southerly and southwesterly. Due to Moscow's northern location, daylight varies from 7 hours in December to 17‑1/2 hours in June. The average temperature in June and July is 66 °F, but the summer temperatures frequently reach the low 90s. In the winter the temperature may fall to minus 40 °F, but the average December and January temperature is 14 °F. Though Moscow's winter air usually is dry, the wind chill factor makes the temperature feel much colder.

St. Petersburg, Russia's second largest city and the former imperial capital, is located on a flat plain at the mouth of the Neva River on the Gulf of Finland at 55°57' N and 30°20' E. Established in 1703, the city is built on a series of 101 islands, and is laced by canals and various streams of the Neva. The climate in St. Petersburg is milder than in Moscow but is damp and misty. Average temperatures are 64 °F in July and 17 °F in January. St. Petersburg is famous for its “white nights”which occur in June when the sun shines for nearly 19 hours and sunset only brings semidarkness.

Yekaterinburg, Russia's third largest city with an estimated population of 1.5 million, is located near the center of Russia, at the crossroads between Europe and Asia. It is the Russian equivalent of Pittsburgh and second only to Moscow in terms of industrial production. Founded in 1723, Yekaterinburg today is the seat of the government for the Sverdlovsk region, which contains numerous heavy industries, mining concerns, and steel factories. In addition, Yekaterinburg is a major center for industrial research and development as well as home to numerous institutes of higher education, technical training, and scientific research.

Vladivostok, the largest city in the Russian Far East and home to the Russian Pacific fleet, is an important center for trade with the Pacific Rim countries. Closed to foreigners from 1958 to 1992, the city now is home to many foreign businesses and consulates. The climate in Vladivostok is milder than in many other Russian cities due to its location on the Pacific Ocean. Winter temperatures range between -68 °F and 25 °F.

Population Last Updated: 4/30/2001 6:00 PM

The majority of Russia's 148 million inhabitants is predominantly Slavic. The Federation consists of 89 subjects, including constituent republics, territories, and autonomous regions that enjoy varying degrees of economic and political independence from the central government. Moscow is Russia's largest city (population: 9 million) and is the capital of the Federation. St. Petersburg is Russia's second largest city (population 5 million). In the Russian Far East, the predominant city is Vladivostok, which is becoming an important commercial center in the Federation's trade with the Pacific Rim.

Public Institutions Last Updated: 4/30/2001 6:00 PM

Politically, economically, and socially, the Russian Federation continues to be in a state of transition. Although constitutional structures are well‑defined and democratic in concept, genuine democratization continues to be a slow, but generally positive transition. The 1993 Constitution provides for an elected President and a government headed by a Prime Minister. There is a bicameral legislature, the Federal Assembly, consisting of the State Duma and the Federation Council. The President and the members of the Federal Assembly have won office in competitive elections judged to be largely free and fair, with a broad range of political parties and movements contesting offices.

The most recent elections to Russia's lower half of the Federal Assembly, the State Duma, were held in December 1999. The last presidential election took place in March 2000. Membership in the upper house of the Federal Assembly, the Federation Council, was made elective in 1996. Each of the Federation's 89 constituent republics, regions, and territories is represented by two members, the head of the local executive branch and the chair of the local legislature. The State Duma comprises 450 seats, of which half are from single-mandate districts and half are from party lists. Both chambers participate in shaping policy and enacting legislation, though the State Duma bears the brunt of the legislative workload.

Although it is beginning to show signs of independence, Russia's judiciary remains relatively weak and ineffective compared with the legislative and executive branches of the government. Judges are now only starting to assert their constitutionally mandated powers. The country's highest court, the Constitutional Court, reconvened in March 1995, after the new 1993 Constitution entered into force. The Constitution empowers the court to arbitrate disputes between the other two branches and between the central and regional governments. It also is authorized to rule on violations of constitutional rights, to examine appeals from various bodies, and to participate in impeachment proceedings against the President. The Constitutional Court, however, may not examine cases on its own initiative and is limited in the scope of issues it can hear.

A vigorous and critical media demonstrates that freedom of the press continues to exist in Russia. However, financial constraints make it nearly impossible for the print and broadcast media to survive without the support of business or political sponsors, who, as a result, have the power to influence public opinion. Such sponsors generally represent a sufficiently broad cross section of the Russian political spectrum to provide a variety of points of view on political developments in Russia. Russian television and radio are similarly affected, but provide a narrower spectrum of political viewpoints than the print media.

Arts, Science, and Education Last Updated: 4/30/2001 6:00 PM

Russian research, in some physical and mathematics sciences and in some branches of medicine, is of a high order. In history, sociology, psychology, political science, and, even in certain biological sciences, Marxist and Leninist preconceptions seriously retarded the development of objective scholarship. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russian scientists have been allowed more academic freedom, but this freedom has resulted in a serious depletion of the country's human resources, as many Russian scientists have emigrated to other countries, creating “brain drain.”

Commerce and Industry Last Updated: 4/30/2001 6:00 PM

Russia remains in the process of developing the legal basis of a modern market economy. Since for several generations the economy was ruled by a command system that prohibited private enterprise, this task is formidable, and was exacerbated by the August 1998 financial crisis and threefold ruble depreciation. Business operating costs are relatively high, as are interest rates for business loans; and tax and accounting regulations remain murky. Interpretations of laws and regulations often vary. Reflecting this environment, foreign investment has entered Russia at a cautious pace, albeit one that seems to be accelerating again as of mid-2000, since the advent of the Putin administration has been perceived as promising greater political and economic stability. Various sources estimate cumulative foreign direct investment in Russia through 1999 at between $12‑$13 billion, most of which has gone into oil extraction and food and consumer goods manufacturing. Russia's government coffers have received a boost from taxes on higher oil export revenues in 1999‑2000, although it remains to be seen whether this windfall can be used to leverage the broader economy and promote the restructuring that Russian enterprises must undergo if they are to become more competitive.

In downtown Moscow itself, the economic and commercial transition are more advanced than in the country at large. Western consumer goods are generally available in Moscow, although retail and wholesale outlets are fewer and farther between than in Western countries. The service sector (in everything from internet service and residential cable TV to dentistry, hotels and restaurants to department stores and fast‑food delivery) is developing rapidly, fueled by the inflow of Western companies over the past decade (most of whom have retained a presence here despite belt-tightening during the economic downturn in 1998‑99).


Automobiles Last Updated: 4/30/2001 6:00 PM

Driving in Russia requires constant attention, as Russian traffic regulations and procedures differ from those in the U.S. Speed limits are seldom observed; there is little, if any, lane discipline; and defensive driving is mandatory. Many pedestrians, oblivious to oncoming traffic, cross the street at random, which presents a real hazard. Streets are dimly lit at night and pedestrians wear dark clothing that makes them difficult to see. Although trucks are not allowed inside the Garden Ring without a special pass, numerous trucks and outsized, overloaded vehicles transit the rest of the city.

Embassy employees can obtain a Russian drivers license for a small fee without taking a test. Only a valid U.S. drivers license is necessary.

Accredited diplomats may import duty‑free one personally owned vehicle into Russia. Vehicles may not be imported with the intent of resale or transfer. Embassy personnel, regardless of rank, may import any make of American or foreign vehicle. The Embassy discourages importing more than one vehicle per 2‑year tour and advises against importing older models. Parts may be hard to find, and the cold temperatures and poorly maintained roads take a heavy toll on cars.

Some Embassy employees purchase Russian‑made vehicles locally. In mid‑1999, a new Niva or Lada cost about $3,500, while a Volga was more and a Zhiguli less. Transaction time to purchase and register a Russian vehicle is usually 7‑10 working days.

All imported vehicles should be new or in first‑class mechanical condition to pass the strict Russian inspection requirements for vehicle registration:

Each automobile must have at least two headlights, each with high and low beams. Supplementary lights are permitted, including side lights and fog lights. Front parking lights must be white; rear lights must be red, not yellow or tinted. Front and rear turn signals are required. Front turn signal must be white or orange; rear must be red or orange. Each vehicle must be equipped with a first-aid kit, fire extinguisher, and emergency warning reflector triangle. Bring these items in your household effects (HHE) shipment. Vehicles should have a low‑compression engine.

Russian gasoline comes in 82, 92, 95, and 98 octane. Unleaded gasoline is widely available, and diesel fuel, although available, is usually of poor quality. There is no need to remove the catalytic converter unless extensive travel is planned for outside the city, where unleaded fuel is not as widely available.

Front-wheel- and four‑wheel‑drive vehicles offer the best handling in the Russian winter. The main streets in Moscow are regularly plowed; however, some side streets and housing complex parking lots may remain covered with snow and ice throughout the winter. The Embassy recommends that employees install a rear‑window defroster.

Personnel planning to ship a car to Moscow should include as original options on a new vehicle items such as side-view mirrors (bring extra), steel‑belted tires, undercoating, a heavy‑duty battery, and shock absorbers. Many employees “Moscowize" their vehicle before coming to post by having a dealer apply extra undercoating for protection. Remove all exterior emblems that attract vandalism. The radiator should be protected to withstand temperatures to ‑45 °F.

You may wish to include the following items in your HHE:

1 special cold‑weather thermostat 1 set of contact points 1 condenser 1 quart matching paint 1 set of rubber floormats, front and rear 1 set of patches for tubeless tires 1 extra set of keys

Ship these and all loose articles separately, as well as hubcaps, cigarette lighters, radios, and glove compartment contents, to minimize the risk of pilferage during transport. Bring an extra set of keys and send a set with the car. For vehicles using diesel fuel and shipped to Russia by sea, attach a note stating “diesel only” to the ignition key.

The following items are usually available locally at prices comparable to the U.S.: motor oil, door‑lock antifreeze, inner tubes, snow tires, valve caps, antifreeze and windshield solvent, gas treatment, five‑gallon jerry cans, fan belts, oil filters, windshield ice scrapers, snow removal brushes, aerial antennas, locking gas tank caps, jumper cables, distributor caps, tire pumps.

Secure outdoor parking is available at the Embassy for residents and all off‑compound housing locations. Residents of the Rosinka and Hines complexes have covered garages. The Embassy pays fees for the parking spaces in the secure parking lots.

Both Embassy policy and the Russian Government require that cars be covered by third‑party liability insurance. Personnel driving to post must arrange, in advance, for third‑party liability insurance and, if desired, comprehensive‑collision coverage, by writing directly to the appropriate company. The Motorpool Vehicle Registration Office can assist employees with the local purchase of liability insurance. Although the Embassy cannot endorse or recommend any particular company, most employees use one of the following:

Ingosstrakh, an official Russian insurance company that offers third‑party liability and comprehensive’collision coverage. Most Embassy employees use this company. Policies may be arranged within 2 days. Coverage is immediately invalidated if a driver is charged with drunk driving. The policy may require that covered vehicle damage be repaired in a Russian garage. Ingosstrakh rates are based on engine size, as measured by engine displacement. Insurance for six‑and eight‑cylinder cars costs more through Ingosstrakh than through a U.S. company. Ingosstrakh third‑party liability insurance has two categories with different amounts of coverage. Most Embassy personnel choose a combination of Ingosstrakh third‑party liability and another company's comprehensive‑collision coverage. The average cost in 2000 for Ingosstrakh third‑party liability insurance was $250 for an American car.

United Services Officers Insurance Brokers, Ltd., 44 High Street, Winchester, Hants, England, offers policies, including third-party liability and comprehensive and collision coverage.

Clements and Company, 1625 Eye Street, NW, Washington, D.C., has a policy that provides coverage for transportation of v ehicles from anywhere in the world to Russia. Coverage includes comprehensive collision and protection against marine, fire, and theft loss. However, it does not cover third‑party liability. Clements' rate structure is based on the U.S. Bluebook value of the car, and costs may be somewhat lower than those of Ingosstrakh.


Local Transportation Last Updated: 4/30/2001 6:00 PM

The Moscow street plan is a wheel with the Kremlin and Red Square at the hub. Around the hub are three concentric circles—the Boulevard ring, the Garden ring, and the outer ring highway (MKAD). A fourth ring is under construction and should be completed by 2003. The extensive public transportation system consists of buses, streetcars, trolley buses, and the metro. This system covers the entire city, but riders should be prepared to contend with pushing and shoving. The prices for riding the public transport are constantly changing but remain inexpensive. The metro runs from about 0600 until 0100. Stations are clean and safe, and many are internationally famous for the beauty of their interior design.

Taxis can be ordered from private companies. Private cars can be hailed on the street; however, the Regional Security Office advises against this practice. Drivers are sometimes reluctant to stop late in the evening or in bad weather, and the price must be negotiated in advance. Always ride in the back seat and never engage a vehicle that already has another passenger.


Regional Transportation Last Updated: 4/30/2001 6:00 PM

Rail and air transport networks are extensive, and service is adequate on both systems. First‑class train fares are inexpensive. The overnight train to St. Petersburg is comfortable, but there is the danger of crime. The country's size makes flying to some of the more remote cities more convenient than train travel. Air traffic is sometimes unreliable due to delays caused by bad weather.


Telephones and Telecommunications Last Updated: 4/30/2001 6:00 PM

Telephone service from Moscow to the U.S. and to most European cities is not up to Western standards, but is improving. Direct‑dial, international calls are possible from the Embassy switchboard and from some off-compound Embassy housing. Recently, U.S.‑based telephone companies such as AT&T and Sprint have established direct‑dial facilities in Moscow. International calls can be placed by using telephone credit cards made available by these companies. Bring a personal AT&T, Sprint, or MCI calling card for personal long‑distance calls.

Personal fax service is available through the Embassy Unclassified Reproduction Room. Employees who use these services will be billed by the Embassy's Financial Management Office. Employees' families may telephone residences or offices directly, as many Embassy numbers are accessible by direct dialing and not routed through the Embassy switchboard.


Mail and Pouch Last Updated: 4/30/2001 6:00 PM

Personal mail may be sent to and from the Embassy via APO or international mail through Helsinki. The Embassy usually receives APO mail faster than mail sent through Helsinki. The APO address should also be used for subscriptions to American magazines and newspapers. Packages sent and received via APO may not exceed 70 pounds and 100 inches in length and girth combined. Mail is sent and received according to U.S. postal regulations.

Prohibited items include firearms, flammable items, such as paint and varnish, tobacco, coffee, currency, alcohol, matches, or any other items that would not be accepted by the U.S. Postal Service for parcel post. Use the following APO address:

Name PSC 77 (office symbol) APO AE 09721

Embassy personnel may receive letter mail and packages from Europe at the applicable international rates. These should be addressed as follows:

Name American Embassy (office symbol) Box M 00140 Helsinki 14, Finland


Radio and TV Last Updated: 4/30/2001 6:00 PM

All media are in transition in Russia. There are now many joint venture radio stations, with English-speaking announcers who play America's top 40. For example, Radio Maximum, FM 103.7, is English speaking each morning from 6 am until 10 am. The station airs news, weather, business reports, and contemporary rock music. Open Radio on both AM 918 kHz and FM 102.3 MHz rebroadcasts Voice of America (VOA) and BBC programs, plus business and local news programs of their own. Reception of these radio stations is excellent, even on the cheaper “jam boxes.” In addition, there is a wide range of excellent Russian radio stations on both AM and FM bands; however, the Russian FM spectrum does not conform to the U.S. FM bands. To receive all Russian FM radio stations, purchase a Russian radio.

Outside of Moscow and St. Petersburg, a good short-wave radio is needed to receive the VOA and BBC broadcasts. Frequency schedules are available. The Embassy provides cable TV connections for on-compound housing as well as for Armed Forces Network (AFRTS) stations that are broadcasted in the American (NTSC) format. For a monthly fee, decoders can be leased from the American Embassy Community Association (AECA) for local cable access. Programming includes International CNN, BBC, Super Channel, Eurosport, and Worldnet. The Worldnet channel carries the MacNeil/Lehrer Newshour and other public TV programs.

The Russian system is SECAM. American NTSC TV's will usually receive a black‑and‑white video signal but will not receive audio. Bring or buy a multisystem set that will enable the viewing of Russian programs and cable channels. A multisystem VCR is also helpful, as this enables one to watch Russian and U.S. videotapes.


Newspapers, Magazines, and Technical Journals Last Updated: 4/30/2001 6:00 PM

An increasing number of Western newspapers is available in Moscow. The International Herald Tribune, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Time, Newsweek, and the Economist are available at tourist hotels. Western newspapers arrive in Moscow the day after publication. The American Embassy Community Association (AECA) sells the International Herald Tribune, USA Today, Newsweek, Reader's Digest, and other publications. Although delivery through APO can take 2 to 3 weeks, it is the best method to ensure subscription delivery of U.S. publications.

In Moscow, there are several English‑language newspapers for the foreign community. Most are free and include lists of upcoming cultural events, restaurant reviews, TV schedules, and general news of the city and community. All of these papers contain news of the foreign community and coverage and analysis of Russian news and events.

Many publications are available for those who read Russian. In addition to the 2,000 newspapers and magazines that are published in Russian, there is a growing number of Western publications now available in Russian.

Health and Medicine

Medical Facilities Last Updated: 4/30/2001 6:00 PM

The Embassy maintains a Medical Unit that provides primary care to the official community. It is staffed by two State Department medical officers, a Foreign Service health practitioner, a medical technologist, two registered nurses, an office manager, and an administrative assistant. The Medical Unit is equipped and staffed as well as any family practitioner's office in the U.S. and services all routine health care needs.

Moscow has three dental clinics with American‑trained dentists and laboratory technicians. The Adventist Dental Clinic also has a Western‑trained orthodontist on staff.

When hospitalization is needed, Michurinskiy Kremlin Clinic is utilized for diagnostic and in‑patient care. The facility offers the highest level of Russian medical care available and has a 24‑hour ambulance service. In addition, the American Medical Center has opened a full‑service clinic on a membership basis. Embassy personnel are considered members of the Center. The international medical center is also an option for all‑comers.

For cases requiring advanced diagnostic procedures, surgery, or complicated treatment not available at the Michurinskiy Kremlin Clinic, patients are evacuated to London, Frankfurt, Helsinki, or the U.S. In the event of a medical or surgical emergency, local Russian hospitals are used at the discretion of the RMO.

Health and Medicine

Community Health Last Updated: 4/30/2001 6:00 PM

Although the standard of public cleanliness in Russia does not equal that of the U.S. and Western Europe, garbage collection is relatively dependable, and sewage is treated adequately. Public restrooms are usually unsanitary. Streets and public buildings are not clean, but conditions do not pose health hazards.

Moscow's water may not be adequately treated, and drinking water should be boiled or filtered as a precaution. Potability of tap water is assured in all Embassy housing by either in‑line filters or distillers. Intestinal pathogens have not been a serious problem for the Embassy community.

The Moscow area, as is the case in many parts of Russia, has the potential for environmental hazards. No serious detrimental health effects have been demonstrated from microwaves, NPPD, or nuclear fallout. The State Department's Office of Medical Services takes serious views of these environmental factors and will continue to monitor substances and evaluate and inform personnel on this subject.

Health and Medicine

Preventive Measures Last Updated: 4/30/2001 6:00 PM

During the winter, the air in Moscow, especially in Embassy offices and apartments, becomes very dry. This sometimes causes dry skin and aggravates respiratory problems. Dry mucous membranes of the respiratory system are vulnerable to infection and irritation. Respiratory infections are common during winter. The General Services Office (GSO) provides some humidifiers for Embassy personnel, but families with small children should bring a cold mist vaporizer.

Reliable food sources are plentiful in Moscow. These local markets and the import stores offer a wide variety of foods, including fresh, dried, and canned products. There is also a well‑stocked commissary at the Embassy.

Personal Health Measures. All personnel assigned to Russia should have a complete medical evaluation before coming to post. All health problems should be cared for before arrival. This includes optical exams, glasses or lenses, and medical and dental requirements. All immunizations should be current, including diphtheria, hepatitis A, and hepatitis B.

The Medical Unit attempts to maintain an inventory of drugs in order to respond to as wide a range of problems as possible. Although medications will be available for acute illnesses, they cannot be provided for chronic medical problems. Individuals on regular medication, including birth control pills, should bring a 6‑to 12‑month supply. There are many reliable pharmacies in Moscow, and many medicines that require a prescription in the U.S. can be obtained over the counter in Moscow. Many Western medications are available in these pharmacies, but not all, and sometimes there are shortages of previously available medications. The best advice is still to bring several months' supply of any medication that is taken regularly or needed for urgent situations.

Several optical services have opened in Moscow, but bring an extra pair of glasses, plus the prescription. Those who wear contact lenses sometimes experience discomfort because of the dry, dusty Moscow air.

Expectant Mothers. Prenatal care is offered until the 34th week. Most women choose to have their babies in the U.S., and that is what's officially recommended. However, other options include Germany, England, Ireland, Finland, and some have chosen to remain in Moscow. Women have the freedom to choose where they want to deliver, but the State Department will only pay what it would cost to go to the U.S.

Employment for Spouses and Dependents Last Updated: 4/30/2001 6:00 PM

In 1992, Embassy Moscow renewed employing Russian nationals. However, because many positions require a security clearance the overall number of part‑time, intermittent, temporary (PIT) and Personal Service Contract (PSC) jobs remains high. Eligible Family Members (EFMs) with equal or higher position qualifications are given hiring priority over other applicants.

Vacancy Announcements are prepared by Personnel and are listed in the community newsletter This Week in Moscow and posted on the employment board. Department of State positions include: secretary, administrative assistant, personnel assistant, APO clerk, GSO assistant, mail clerk, pouch assistant, commercial assistant, technical assistant, financial management specialist, consular assistant, visa assistant, security engineering assistant, procurement assistant, economics research assistant, CLO assistant and CLO coordinator, nurse, and systems operator. EFMs may also apply for positions with other agencies. DAO, FAS, FCS, USAID, U.S. Customs and the Treasury Department all offer positions to EFMs.

In addition, some spouses have found work with the AECA, the Anglo-American School, or the Moscow Embassy Child‑care Association. When funds are available, high school and college students may work at the Embassy during summer and Christmas vacations.

Because of the changing situation in Moscow, dependents are working outside the Embassy as well. New opportunities include working with airlines, joint ventures, international banks, science foundations, or teaching locally. Approval to work on the economy must be obtained from the personnel officer, regional security officer, and the DCM.

Family members interested in working at the Embassy should send a letter expressing their interest to the personnel officer with an SF-171, Application for Employment. AECA, AAS, and MECA may also be contacted directly:

Personnel Office c/o American Embassy Moscow PSC 77 APO AE 09721

St. Petersburg. The Consulate General has several State PIT positions and PSC positions. PIT and PSC positions are distributed throughout various sections, including the Administrative and General Services Sections. Some positions require Russian-language capability. The Consulate General encourages full‑time employment for dependent spouses. Part‑time schedules have been arranged with individual supervisors. Dependents interested in employment at the Consulate General are encouraged to contact the administrative officer and submit a complete package of employment forms to EUR/EX/PMO before coming to post. Spouses with prior government service should bring a copy of their latest SF‑50 (Notification of Personnel Action).

Vladivostok. Post has consular associate, general services officer, and facilities maintenance positions which have been filled by Eligible Family Members in the past. There may be other opportunities available, depending on spouse and dependent's skills and interests. Contact the post administrative officer for current listings.

Yekaterinburg. Employment opportunities for spouses and dependents are limited. The Consulate General has one PIT position as a consular/administrative assistant. No spouse or dependent at post has worked on the local market.

American Embassy - Moscow

Post City Last Updated: 8/2/2005 2:20 AM

Moscow’s official population is approximately 9 million. It is the center of government and plays an important role in the country’s political, economical, cultural, scientific, and military activity. Moscow is first mentioned in history in 1147 A.D. as Prince Yuriy Dolgorukiy’s hunting camp. Due to its strategic position on a north‑south trade route from Rostov to Ryazan, Moscow was the center of trade and government in what eventually became the Russian Empire.

As the Russian Empire expanded, so grew Moscow’s influence and importance, until the early 18th century when Peter the Great moved the nation’s capital to St. Petersburg. As Russia's second city, Moscow retained its primacy only in trade, until the leaders of Soviet Russia transferred the capital back to Moscow early in 1918. Subsequently, Moscow more than quadrupled in population and territory (878 square kilometers). In the past 20 years, the city’s difficulties in housing and in supplying its large and growing population have led to calls for limits on growth and crackdowns on the huge “unregistered” population; despite this, Moscow and its suburbs have experienced a real-estate boom in recent years and the landscape is littered with newly developed and under construction developments.

After a decade‑long lapse, the U.S. entered into diplomatic relations with the U.S.S.R. in 1933. In 1991, the U.S.S.R. was formally dissolved. The Russian Federation emerged as the largest of the new independent states of the former Soviet Union. Russia has diplomatic relations with most of the world’s countries, and more than 100 of these maintain missions in Moscow. News correspondents, business representatives, and students from throughout the world live in the Russian capital. There is a heavy, year‑round flow of foreign tourists and official delegations. Moscow's resident American community numbers about 5,000 (including dependents), consisting of Embassy personnel, business representatives, correspondents, clergy, exchange students, and professors.

American tourists number about 100‑200,000 annually. Moscow contains many attractions of interest for visitors. Those open to the public include the famous Kremlin; monasteries and churches in and around Moscow, as well as museums, parks, permanent exhibition centers, and a variety of musical, dramatic, and dance attractions. Many small towns of interest lie within a day's drive of Moscow, including the old monastery town of Sergiyev Posad (formerly Zagorsk), Yasnaya Polyana, Tolstoy's home, and the Borodino battlefield, site of the greatest battle of Napoleon’s 1812 invasion of Russia.

Moscow offers a rich cultural environment, and warrants the enormous local pride in its treasures and traditions. Myriad museums are devoted to the various arts, literature, music, politics, history, and sciences. Hundreds of small churches and large cathedrals throughout the city are open to visitors. In addition to the famous Bolshoi Theater, with its large repertoire of Russian and internationally famous opera and ballet, other theaters and concert halls feature popular and classical plays, concerts, recitals, and all of the performing arts. Children’s theater, a puppet theater, a planetarium, and other performances geared especially to younger people are also available. The Russian circuses with their rich history are overwhelmingly popular with children and adults alike.

On the negative side, life in Moscow can be difficult and stressful. Air pollution, severe winter conditions, language barriers, chaotic rush hour traffic, and long hours at work take their toll on even the most well-adjusted residents. Street crime is still a problem and African and Asian Americans have been victims of racially motivated attacks.

Moscow is 3 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time, and 8 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time. Information about the U.S. Diplomatic Mission to Russia can also be found on the Internet at:

Housing Last Updated: 4/30/2001 6:00 PM

The Embassy's interagency housing pool, with the exception of the Ambassador's residence, consists of apartments and townhouses. All quarters are completely furnished, including major kitchen appliances.


Temporary Quarters Last Updated: 4/30/2001 6:00 PM

No designated transient housing is currently available. Every effort is made to put newly arriving personnel directly into their permanent quarters. If this is not possible, new employees are housed in vacant units of the housing pool or in hotel apartments until their permanent quarters are available. In such an event, the Embassy will notify the employee. He/she may choose to come to post separately from his/her family and have them join him/her when permanent housing is ready.


Permanent Housing Last Updated: 4/30/2001 6:00 PM

Permanent housing in Moscow consists of 130 units located on the NEC, 100 apartments in the city, 44 townhouses in the suburban community of Rosinka, and 40 townhouses in the suburban complex of Pokrovsky Hills, also known as Hines.

Housing assignments are proposed through the Housing Office to the Interagency Housing Board (IAHB) which makes the final decision. Moscow housing units tend to be small and rarely exceed the 6 FAM 700 maximum space standards. Housing assignments are not made more than 2 months prior to the employee’s arrival.

Post housing policy allows the IAHB to consider special family requirements, such as a handicapped family member or allergies when making assignments. The following factors are not formally considered when making assignments: long work hours, shift work, pets, domestic staff, representational responsibilities, and eligible family members not residing full time at post. The Overseas Briefing Center at the Foreign Service Institute has photographs and descriptions of the different housing options available.

All Embassy apartments lack storage space. Keep this in mind when planning your HHE shipments. Except for the townhouses at Rosinka and Pokrovsky Hills and 11 dedicated townhouses on the NEC, there are no basement or garage storage spaces. In city apartments, bicycles must be kept in the apartment and not left in the hallways of buildings. Dog owners should be aware of the requirement to keep their dogs on leashes when outdoors in every housing location.

New Embassy Compound Apartments. The NEC contains 130 apartments, divided as follows:

DCM's 5‑bedroom townhouse 10 five‑bedroom representational townhouses 22 four‑bedroom apartments 26 three-bedroom apartments 45 two‑bedroom apartments 26 one‑bedroom apartments

The apartments, designed by American architects to American standards, are small. The kitchens and bathrooms are designed and fitted to American expectations, and the living rooms, dining rooms, and bedrooms are the sizes that would be expected in an American apartment. The three‑and four‑bedroom apartments are townhouse style, with the bedrooms on a different floor than the living room.

The 10 representational townhouses consist of a large reception room and dining room, plus a full pantry kitchen and a guest toilet on the entry floor; four bedrooms and three full baths on the upper floor; on the floor below, a bedroom, two maids’rooms, a full kitchen connected to the pantry kitchen on the floor above by a dumbwaiter, and two full baths; and, below that, a basement with storage. The DCM's home has a large reception room and dining room, a pantry kitchen and two guest toilets on the entry floor; five bedrooms, three full baths, and a walk‑in dressing closet on the upper floor; on the lower floor, a private living room, a library, a guest bedroom, a full kitchen connected to the pantry kitchen on the floor above by a dumbwaiter, and two‑and‑one‑half bathrooms; below that level is a basement with storage.

A substantial recreational facility is located on the below‑ground concourse level of the NEC, including a pool, basketball gymnasium, handball court, squash court, sauna, weight room, exercise area and lounge. The cafeteria, commissary, video club, barber/beauty salon, bank and travel agency are also located on the NEC concourse. The Medical Unit and the daycare facility, currently located in NEC apartments, are scheduled to move to the NEC concourse by April 2002.

City Apartments. The city apartments are located in various areas of Moscow. Although individual tastes vary, some areas, for reasons of attractiveness, maintenance, and/or distance from the Embassy, are more appealing than others. Most of the apartments are large and close to shopping, restaurants, and frequent, inexpensive public transportation. Some of the units were created by combining two or three smaller apartments and therefore have unusual, but functional, layouts. All the buildings are secure and have designated parking areas. GSO performs all routine maintenance and renovates the units between occupants.

Suburban Townhouses. In the early 1990s, the Embassy acquired 20 two-bedroom, 20 three-bedroom, and 4 four-bedroom Western-style townhouses from an American-Russian joint venture, Rosinka. The complex is located about 45‑60 minutes' drive from the Embassy and is situated in a large, wooded area overlooking a lake. The units include Western kitchen appliances, central heating, air‑conditioning and a fireplace. Each unit has a two-car garage. Rosinka has a state‑of‑the‑art fitness center, with a swimming pool, sauna, whirlpool, tennis courts, basketball gym, and other facilities. Rosinka also has a beauty/barber shop, daycare‑preschool, video store, and cafe. Rosinka Management provides limited free daily bus services to and from the Embassy. Bus service is provided to the Anglo‑American School for children housed in Rosinka.

The Embassy recently leased 40 modern, Western‑style townhouses in the new suburban development of Pokrovsky Hills (Hines). All the units are tri‑level and have three bedrooms and a private garage and driveway. The development is in the city, but surrounded by forests and parks. Commuting time by car to and from the Embassy varies from 30 to 40 minutes, depending on traffic. Pokrovsky Hills Management provides daily shuttle service to a nearby metro station, from which it is possible to commute easily anywhere within the city, including the Embassy.

Pokrovsky Hills is also the site of the new Anglo‑American School. The school includes preschool, kindergarten, primary, middle and upper school, and has a total capacity of 1,200 students. Pokrovsky Hills Management also runs a small daycare/preschool and a small convenience store in the development and performs maintenance on all units.


Furnishings Last Updated: 4/30/2001 6:00 PM

All apartments, except for the Ambassador’s residence and DCM’s home, are furnished as follows:

Living Room. Couch or sofa, one or two easy chairs, loveseat (if space allows), end and coffee tables, lamps, draperies, and bookcase/wall unit.

Dining Room. Dining table and chairs, sideboard or china cabinet, and draperies. China and glassware are provided only for the Ambassador and DCM.

Bedroom. Twin- or queen-sized beds, chest of drawers, double dresser (if space allows), wardrobes or built‑in closets, lamps, and draperies. Many of the larger apartments at the NEC are equipped with bunk beds in one or more of the children’s bedrooms. An additional, limited supply of bunk beds is available for apartments outside the NEC. If you need beds longer than the standard 6‑foot length, bring them.

Kitchen. Gas or electric range, microwave oven, sink, refrigerator, freezer, washer, dryer, and cabinets. All NEC and most off‑compound apartments have dishwashers. Only NEC apartments are equipped with garbage disposals. (Note: Some apartments, both at the NEC and around the city, have a separate utility room where the washer and dryer, and sometimes the freezer, depending on space availability, are located.)

As is the case at all posts where housing is government furnished, bring personal items to add an attractive and individual touch. The following list of equipment, supplies, appliances, and furniture shows some items you should consider shipping. Almost all items are available locally, although prices may be higher than in the U.S. A limited number of the items marked with an asterisk (*) should be included in your airfreight or accompanied baggage:

Household *steam iron and ironing board (extra pads and covers) *bed and table linens *blankets, bedspreads *pillows *bathmats *shower curtains and curtain hangers *ashtrays and candles *strong canvas bag (large) or basket for shopping *flashlights *wind-up or battery-powered alarm clocks *children's lunchboxes with unbreakable Thermos bottles *wooden and wire clothes hangers hamper throw rugs lamps, especially halogen floor lamps clothesbags wastebaskets pictures and other wall decorations picture hooks, wire, and anchors for masonry walls vases mothproof bags and mothballs extension cords small set of household tools padlocks vaporizer and/or humidifier pet supplies plant spray and food Christmas tree lights, decorations, and ornaments portable ice chest wide-mouthed Thermos bottle small grill portable sewing machine with supply of fabric and notions portable home computer with a word-processing program assorted gifts, cards, and gift wrappers “space savers”such as shoe boxes and tie racks artificial flowers TV tables or trays for buffet entertaining card tables and folding chairs heavy-duty doormats

Kitchen *china and glassware (for everyday use and entertaining) *cooking utensils *cutlery, including good bread knives *flat silver *salt and pepper shakers *mixing bowls *plastic glasses for children *mixing bowls *measuring cup and spoons *can opener *food storage containers for refrigerator and plastic freezer bags *plastic garbage bags (garbage must be disposed in tied garbage bags) *corkscrew colander and sink strainer toaster casseroles shelf paper electric mixer waffle iron popcorn popper coffee grinder blender or food processor dish drainer and rack trash/garbage containers

Cleaning brushes (utility, cleaning, clothes, etc.) brooms mops dustcloths dustpans flat sink stoppers (needed also for travel in Russia)

Infants *disposable diapers (cases are too large to meet APO requirements, so ship adequate supplies and sizes) *baby food, including cereals and juices, bottles, nipples, and sterilizing equipment *strollers *large supply of toys crib playpen

School-aged Children * indoor games and puzzles * books and comic books * large supply of toys ice skates sleds large supply of birthday gifts with gift wrappers craft or hobby kits art supplies, felt-tip markers washable paste, crayons, construction paper, etc.

Converter Plugs. A limited number of converter plugs, available at low cost locally, are provided by GSO. The NEC electrical outlets are all NEMA standard (American) 220v, 15 ampere, which take a NEMA 6-15, 2-pole/3-wire grounding, nonlocking plug. This plug has two prongs, one of which is perpendicular to the other, instead of being parallel. Apartments outside the NEC have two round pins, similar to European plugs, but thinner. Outlet types vary from apartment to apartment and sometimes even within the same apartment. All electrical current citywide is 220v/50 Hz, although frequency stability is poor by U.S. standards.


Utilities and Equipment Last Updated: 4/30/2001 6:00 PM

All apartments have hot and cold running water. During the summer, hot water is cut off in city apartments for a three-to four-week period for city water pipe cleaning. These apartments have small water heaters installed for the annual hot-water outages. Heating is more than adequate, but the Embassy provides space heaters and insulation materials to seal windows during winter. Heat is centrally controlled and is turned on later in the fall than in Western Europe and turned off earlier in the spring. As winters are exceptionally dry, the Embassy provides one humidifier per household. If additional humidifiers are needed, these should be brought to post. All homes have at least one telephone. Occupants of Embassy housing are required to maintain local telephone service at personal expense. In fall 2000 the cost of this service was $25 per month.

Transformers are provided for Embassy‑owned appliances, and two additional transformers per apartment may also be checked out for personal appliances. Electric clocks and other electrical items with motors designed for 60 cycles may not work correctly; 220v 50hz items can be purchased locally, if needed. Since many apartments do not have a sufficient number of electric outlets, either bring a number of 9‑to 12‑foot extension cords or be prepared to purchase locally. Extra 220v bulbs for lighting may be purchased locally.

Food Last Updated: 8/2/2005 1:52 AM

For the Western consumer, the availability of food and household products is improving and approaching European standards. Since most food and household products used by a typical American family can now be purchased locally, the Department of State no longer authorizes a consumables shipment for employees assigned to Moscow. This change in policy does not apply to constituent posts in St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, or Vladivostok. U.S. Government employees of AID, DOD, and other agencies are still authorized consumables. Please check with your parent agency for current regulations and shipping weight authorizations. The Community Liaison Office (CLO) at Embassy Moscow will have suggestions for a consumables shipment.

When American brands are not available locally, a European equivalent can usually be purchased. Vendors other than Russian stores and markets include Western outlets such as Stockmann, diplomatic supply houses, the American Embassy Community Association (AECA) commissary, and a plethora of modern grocery and superstores (Ikea, Ashan, etc.). Through AECA it is also possible to make personal frozen food orders. Groceries may also be ordered through the mail via online internet services. Prices for these types of services are in most instances higher than in the U.S., especially where shipping costs are involved.

The AECA commissary or “Liberty Store” is comparable in size to a stateside 7–11. Located in the basement concourse of the New Embassy Compound (NEC), it offers a variety of grocery supplies to full members of AECA. The stock includes items such as soft drinks, juice, milk and other dairy products, eggs, bread, assorted frozen meat, dry cereal, snack food, bottled water, a limited selection of wine, U.S. and European beer, liquor, cigarettes, canned goods, paper products, health care products, pet food, a limited supply of disposable diapers, and laundry and cleaning products. One cannot depend on a constant stock of baby items in the AECA commissary, since it does not stock baby food or baby formula at all.

The commissary accepts U.S. dollars (cash) and personal checks. AECA must charge a significant mark-up to cover shipping from suppliers in the U.S. and Western Europe. The commissary's location and hours make it convenient, but most employees explore the other shopping opportunities in Moscow for variety and price comparison.

Some employees do a lot of shopping at local “rynoks.” These are open-air farmers' markets located in different parts of the city, typically near metro stations. Rynoks carry a large selection of fresh bread and seasonal as well as imported fresh produce. Meat is also available for purchase, but buying fresh, unrefrigerated meat is risky. Rynoks often have stalls that stock non‑food items, such as cleaning products, soft drinks and liquor, health care products, pet food and paper goods at prices that are cheaper than in the AECA commissary and other stores. In many instances the quality of the products tends to be lower. Larger rynoks also sell flowers, plants, clothing items, and leather goods. Be aware, however, that shopping in rynoks can pose challenges, including the need to maneuver through crowded spaces and language problems for non‑Russian speakers. Bargaining is an accepted and common practice at rynoks but not at conventional stores and supermarkets, where prices are marked.

Clothing Last Updated: 8/2/2005 1:53 AM

Temperatures during the year can range from ‑40° to +95 °F. Moscow winters can be very cold, especially if one is used to winter temperatures above freezing. It is necessary to be prepared for the harsh winter climate with plenty of warm clothing and outerwear. Men and women often wait until they arrive at post to buy a fur hat, and many women also purchase fur coats and boots locally. Other locally available winter gear may not meet American standards and/or style. Summers are short and often cool. Sweaters and a coat are necessary no matter what time of year you arrive.

The best type of clothing to have in Moscow is washable since clothing soils easily. Sturdy, waterproof clothing and footwear with good treads is essential. Sidewalks can be slick in winter and muddy and wet during the rest of the year. One should consider bringing enough clothing to last until replacements can be ordered through catalogs or while on leave outside of Russia.

Slippers or clogs are useful around the house in winter and spring as mud, ice, salt, and dirt can be tracked in off the streets and playgrounds. Russians usually take off their shoes when entering a home (and children are expected to), so it is appropriate to have a couple of extra pairs of slippers for guests who do not feel comfortable coming into your home with their shoes on. Slippers can be purchased locally.

Sports equipment and sportswear should be brought to Moscow when possible. There are various recreational activities at hand, including swimming, soccer, baseball, volleyball, cycling, rollerblading, etc. AECA Recreation has some life vests, bathing suits, and water wings available for purchase. Traditional Russian wooden children’s sleds are available for purchase in the city, but may be hard to find. Western winter sports equipment can be found around town but the prices tend to be high. Cross‑country skiing, ice‑skating and sledding are all common winter sports. In the past, a grassy area of the upper Embassy compound has been turned into a small ice-skating rink in the winter. The outdoor tennis court at Rosinka is also turned into a skating rink during the winter.

It is helpful to bear in mind that Western brands of clothing and sporting equipment are increasingly available throughout Moscow, but that prices remain higher than will be found in the U.S.


Men Last Updated: 4/30/2001 6:00 PM

Both heavy and light topcoats are desirable for spring and fall. Men wear down parkas and heavy topcoats appropriate for evening over their suits in the winter. Lined raincoats are not warm enough in the dead of winter although many people wear them in the spring and fall.

Warm gloves, warm and waterproof boots, and a warm hat are all essential. Building interiors are often too hot by American standards in winter, but in fall and spring, when there is no central heating, indoors can be uncomfortably cool. Light sweaters or vests that can be worn under suit jackets are convenient. Bring appropriate cold-weather clothes for outdoor sports. Lighter wool suits are desirable for summer wear. Dark suits are worn for representational affairs. Full dress (white tie) and morning dress are never worn in Moscow, but some formal occasions (such as the Marine Ball) call for dinner dress (black tie).


Women Last Updated: 4/30/2001 6:00 PM

In general, women in Moscow wear the same style clothing as worn in the U.S. Moderately dressy suits with nice blouses and dresses are worn most often for receptions, dinners, and evenings out. Embassy employees often go straight from work to receptions, dinners, or the theater. Cocktail dresses are not necessary, but there is the opportunity to attend one or two formal occasions a year, such as the Marine Corps Ball.

Women need a light coat, raincoat, and heavy coat. These could include anything from a mid‑calf washable down coat with a hood, to fur coats, and/or a raincoat with a zip‑out liner. Warm, waterproof, thick‑soled boots, rainboots, warm gloves or mittens, and thermal or silk long underwear are useful. It is quite common (and completely acceptable by Russian standards) to wear sturdy boots to a dinner or reception, carrying “inside”shoes and changing upon arrival. Sportswear, a bathing suit, and a large supply of stockings, tights, and underwear are important to bring, although they may all be obtained locally at prices higher than in the U.S.


Children Last Updated: 4/30/2001 6:00 PM

Children can never have enough hats and scarves, sets of gloves and mittens, rain boots and rain gear, as well as snowsuits, pants and boots. Since they grow out of clothes and shoes quickly, they should have an extra size larger of each item to hold them over until replacements can be ordered and received. Locally purchased clothing may not meet American standards and/or styles and in many cases is more expensive than in the U.S. The Anglo‑American School requires that each child have a pair of ice skates, sweatpants and shirts for gym. These can be brought to post, bought locally, or acquired through a school Parent‑Teacher Organization (PTO) clothing swap.

Babies need warm winter clothing. Scarves, hats, mittens, and wool clothing for infants are available locally, but the prices are much higher than one would pay in the U.S. The CLO can be contacted for more details on needs for babies.

Supplies and Services

Supplies Last Updated: 4/30/2001 6:00 PM

European toiletries, paper goods, household cleaners, film, and basic children's toys and games are available in local shops. Be aware that prices are often much higher than in the U.S. The Anglo-American School provides school supplies only for the lower and middle grades. Upper School children provide their own-brought from the U.S. or purchased locally (European A4 size items). Party supplies, film, stationery items, and other household supplies are available in Moscow, but it's always wise to bring some of these items to post in case nothing but a favorite brand will suffice.

For school-age children, a computer with CD-ROM, modem and printer is a near-necessity. Children are expected to type their major school reports as early as the fifth grade. Encyclopedia and other reference materials on CD would be practical to bring since the school libraries are small. CDs are available for sale in kiosks around town and in music stores. There is even a CD rynok. There are numerous computer stores and a computer rynok in Moscow, but it could be more affordable to buy dual-voltage equipment, computer games and supplies in the U.S. Computer paper, ribbon cartridges and other computer supplies are available at computer stores, kiosks and large bookstores. Be advised that the locally available A4 size paper may not fit all printers.

E-mail and Internet surfing helps keep employees in touch with the U.S. There are several providers from which to choose. Plan to spend about twice as much for an internet connection in Moscow as you might in the U.S.

A multisystem television set and multisystem VCR receiving NTSC, PAL, and SECAM (Russian) signals are useful in Moscow. Cable service is available for a monthly fee to all housing units areas operated by the Embassy, including CNN as well as English-language broadcasts from BBC, EuroNews, EuroSport, MTV, a movie channel, and Cartoon Network. The cable service also includes German, French and Italian channels. Some Embassy housing may also include access to four Armed Forces Network (AFN) channels with broadcasts of sports events and other American television programming.

The AECA video store on the Embassy compound stocks a large number of NTSC (American format) videotapes for rent.

Supplies and Services

Basic Services Last Updated: 4/30/2001 6:00 PM

All American personnel permanently assigned to Moscow are eligible for full membership in AECA. AECA administers the recreation facilities which include dachas (country homes), a swimming pool, gymnasium with a full basketball court, exercise room with free weights and Nautilus equipment, squash court, handball/racquetball court, and men's and women's locker rooms and saunas. It also runs the video store, commissary, Liberty Bar, Hair Salon and dry‑cleaning concession.

The Embassy community has the use of three dachas in two locations. The “Near Dacha”at Serebryanny Bor is a 20-minute drive from the Embassy. The two “Far Dachas”are located at Tarasovka, outside Moscow's city limits and about 45 minutes from the Embassy. These areas provide venues for winter and summer recreation, including tennis, volleyball, and cross‑country skiing. The Near Dacha has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a large recreation room with a fireplace, a kitchen, and a dining room. There are barbecue grills and a tennis court on the dacha grounds. The tennis court may be reserved separately by AECA members. The Far Dachas include a large, two-story dacha with spacious, representational‑sized living room with fireplace, dining/party room, two bathrooms, and three bedrooms to accommodate 12. The other dacha at Tarasovka has three bedrooms that sleep six people total, one bathroom, and a small living/dining room with a wood‑burning stove. Each dacha is equipped with a full kitchen, including basic cooking and dining utensils.

The Liberty Bar on the Embassy compound provides a relaxing atmosphere for adults to unwind with a drink and a game of darts. It is open nightly except weekends and holidays unless otherwise noted. Many use the bar as a meeting point before a night on the town at one of Moscow's numerous restaurants or dance clubs.

The Hair Salon is located on the Embassy compound and offers haircuts, permanents, coloring, and styling. Facials, manicures, pedicures and tanning beds are also available. Other hair salons are located throughout the city.

The Embassy cafeteria is operated by AECA. It serves three meals a day, Monday through Friday, including a salad bar, and serves breakfast and lunch on Saturdays and Sundays. It also provides a coffee bar after breakfast and catering service for parties and other events.

Supplies and Services

Domestic Help Last Updated: 4/30/2001 6:00 PM

Embassy families are allowed to employ Russian domestic employees, but Russian domestics may not live with an Embassy family on compound. Russian domestics employed by those living at the NEC are allowed onto the compound only during restricted hours; newcomers will be briefed on the specific policy in effect when they arrive. The average wage is the ruble equivalent of $3‑$5 an hour. Many third‑country nationals are also available for household help (including childcare), with less stringent access restrictions than those that apply to Russian domestics. Cost for third‑country nationals averages $5-$6 an hour.

A small number of Embassy families arrange to bring nannies with them to Moscow. The employer provides room and board and wages averaging $350-$600 a month, depending on the number of children and duties required. Nannies are given an Embassy‑sponsored visa, which is for a single entry/exit good for 3 months and must be registered with the Office of Visas and Registration (UVIR) in order to have the (longer term) registration in their passports. They also need to apply for subsequent exit and re-entry through UVIR. Contact the Russia Desk (EUR/RUS), Room 4227, for more information, if you plan to bring a nanny. Inquire early, as the process of obtaining a nanny visa may take anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months. Anyone planning to bring a nanny who is not from the U.S. should contact the Embassy Personnel Office directly.

Religious Activities Last Updated: 4/30/2001 6:00 PM

Most major religions are now represented in Moscow although services in English are not always available. The Embassy CLO office can supply you with a current listing of places of worship.


Dependent Education Last Updated: 4/30/2001 6:00 PM

The Anglo‑American School (AAS) is supported by the U.S., British and Canadian embassies. The school accepts children from pre‑kindergarten through 12th grade. It is located at the Pokrovsky Hills (Hines) complex; children living in Pokrovsky Hills can walk to school. Since AAS follows only the international baccalaureate program in grades 11 and 12 with very limited flexibility, an away- from-post education allowance is offered for those grades to enable students to receive a more traditional American curriculum. The school usually opens during the third or fourth week in August. It is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

For families with school‑age children, registration forms for the Anglo‑American school (AAS) will be provided in the pre-arrival orientation materials sent by the CLO office. Sponsoring Embassy family members are given priority for available space in the school, but may not be guaranteed a space until all admissions paperwork is completed and submitted. The application fee is waived for dependents of U.S. direct‑hire Embassy employees.

Embassy employees have also successfully placed their children in local Russian, German, and French schools. The CLO office can provide more information on local schools other than AAS. Most schools in Moscow are unable to accept children with special needs. If your child has an individual educational program (IEP), or needs assistance outside the classroom, please discuss these requirements with school officials as far in advance as possible.

Preschool and Child Care. The American Embassy Childcare and Preschool (AECP) is a sub‑unit of AECA and is located on the NEC compound. The AECP also offers a summer camp for younger children. Pokrovsky Hills also has a small day care facility that always has a long waiting list.

Some families choose to hire a nanny to care for children in the home. Frequently, departing families will advertise and recommend their nannies. Contact the CLO for more information.


Higher Education Opportunities Last Updated: 4/30/2001 6:00 PM

Piano rentals, music lessons, horseback riding, fencing, gymnastics, ballet classes, and private tutors for Russian and other languages are reasonably priced. The International Women's Club and American Women's Club both offer a variety of activities, such as yoga, aerobics, and Russian conversation groups, depending upon interest and availability of instruction.

Recreation and Social Life

Sports Last Updated: 4/30/2001 6:00 PM

Spectator sports include hockey, football (soccer), and basketball. A large number of international tournaments and championships are held, with increased participation by U.S. teams. Some Embassy employees have participated in such diverse outdoor sports as skydiving, whitewater rafting, and wild game hunting. Your marksmanship can be tested at Moscow's shooting club; firearms, ammunition, and lessons are available at the site. There is a country club in Moscow that has a golf course. Unfortunately, this sport here is extremely expensive and the golf course is a long drive from town. There is a spring softball and baseball league for children.

Recreation and Social Life

Touring and Outdoor Activities Last Updated: 4/30/2001 6:00 PM

Moscow contains a broad spectrum of museums, from pre‑Revolutionary art treasures to science and history. Tours to the seat of the Russian Government, the Kremlin, Lenin's Tomb, and the picturesque, colorful GUM Department store on Red Square, and the homes of such revered Russians as Tolstoy, Gorky, and Chekhov may all be arranged with the assistance of local travel bureaus or the CLO office. Walking tours to the many architectural landmarks in Moscow are a good way to get a feel for the city. Moscow's underground metro system is justly famous. Many stations are elaborately decorated. Izmailovsky Park has become the main attraction for souvenir shopping in a frenzied bazaar atmosphere. Every weekend, local artists and craftsmen gather there to sell their wares to throngs of visitors.

In and around Moscow, sightseers will find historic palaces and museums, surrounded by gardens and parks. You can reach St. Petersburg, Tallinn, Riga, Vilnius, Kiev, and many other interesting cities by overnight sleeper train. Other cities such as Sochi, Tbilisi, and Tashkent are only a few hours away by air.

The Embassy's Visitors' Unit will assist you in obtaining travel notes. All diplomatic and official passport holders must submit advance notice to the Russian Government to travel to cities more than 40 kilometers from the center of Moscow (measuring from the Kremlin). All Embassy personnel and families travel freely to Moscow county towns. The Ambassador and officers with the rank of counselor and above and their families enjoy note‑free travel to all areas of Russia.

Recreation and Social Life

Entertainment Last Updated: 4/30/2001 6:00 PM

The principal hotels and restaurants offer American, European, Russian, and ethnic cuisine from the Commonwealth of Independent States. The quality of food and service is generally acceptable, and new restaurants seem to be opening daily. English/Russian menus are available at many. On the whole, dining out in Moscow is more expensive than in equivalent restaurants in the U.S. Western chains such as McDonald’s, TGI Fridays, Sbarro’s, KFC, and Pizza Hut continue to grow. There are several English-language publications for the foreign community that regularly print restaurant reviews and reliable guides to the better restaurants.

Embassy personnel and business representatives and correspondents entertain each other informally at dinner, cocktail receptions, dacha picnics, or for a meal and a movie out in town.

For the theatergoer, Moscow offers a wide range of entertainment at prices lower than in the U.S. The Bolshoi Theater offers world‑famous ballet and opera programs during all but the summer months. For Russian speakers, the city also has several extraordinarily good dramatic theaters. One of the best is the Moscow Art Theater, where plays by classic Russian playwrights such as Chekhov are often performed. The city’s children's and puppet theaters, including the world‑famous Obraztsov Puppet Theater, are prime attractions for families. Both Moscow Circuses are highly recommended for children and adults alike. For classical music lovers, the Moscow Conservatory has a full annual schedule of concerts and recitals featuring Russia's best musical performers. The city also has an active jazz scene. Rock music has gained in popularity in recent years, and concerts are held quite frequently around the city. Tickets to most events are inexpensive and can be bought in advance at the theater or stadium box office, at special kiosks scattered about the city, or obtained by local tour companies that sit in the CLO office area as a service to the community. Several movie theaters show first‑run, Western-made movies in English or dubbed in Russian.

The American Women’s Organization offers children’s holiday parties. The CLO also sponsors seasonal family activities. Past events include a holiday party at Spaso House (the Ambassador’s residence) in December, a Halloween party, and an Easter Egg Roll, among others.

Special Information Last Updated: 4/30/2001 6:00 PM

Post Oreintation Program

Both before and upon arrival, new employees receive a packet of written material from the CLO that contains information on the post and its operations, the commissary, recreation, descriptive material on Moscow and its environs, maps, and various materials dealing with specific local issues. The Personnel, Medical, and General Services Offices conduct an orientation in a practical, half-day program organized by the Administrative Section. The Security Office schedules a separate briefing that is mandatory for all newly arrived personnel.

Consulate General - St. Petersburg

Post City Last Updated: 9/21/2004 2:01 AM

St. Petersburg, with a population of nearly 5 million, is the second largest city in Russia. Peter the Great founded St. Petersburg in 1703 and transferred the capital from Moscow to St. Petersburg in 1712 to provide Russia with a “Window on the West.” The city was renamed Petrograd at the outset of World War I, and in 1918 the capital was moved back to Moscow. On January 26, 1924, 5 days after Lenin’s death, the city's name was changed to Leningrad. During WWII, the city suffered historic tragedy as over one million people perished during a 900-day siege. In 1991, as a result of a citywide referendum, the city resumed its historical name of St. Petersburg.

St. Petersburg is slightly warmer than Moscow, but it is damper since winter winds blow off the Gulf of Finland. Snow may fall as early as October, and sunlight dwindles to only a few hours a day in the months of December, January and February. Streets and sidewalks are icy during these months. June brings the beautiful “White Nights” when the sun barely dips below the horizon. Summer weather can be quite varied, with temperatures fluctuating between the 50s and 80s. August is statistically the rainiest month of the year.

Although the city declined in political importance with the move of the capital back to Moscow in 1918, St. Petersburg retained importance as a military‑industrial complex until the early 1990’s. It remains a cultural center and one of Russia’s major ports. With a highly skilled labor force and a long history of industry and commerce, St. Petersburg is a major producer of electric and electronic equipment, machine tools, nuclear reactor equipment, precision instruments, TV equipment, civilian and military ships, heavy machinery, tractors, chemicals, and other sophisticated products, as well as consumer goods. It has one of the country's largest dry‑cargo ports. It remains a major center for publication, education, and scientific research.

Since August 1991, St. Petersburg has been a reform‑minded city. Its large military-industrial center, however, has been slow to adapt to changing conditions and many factories have closed. U.S. investment in St. Petersburg has increased significantly in recent years with the opening of several major production facilities by Caterpillar, Ford, General Motors and International Paper. The St. Petersburg consular district taken as a whole accounts for approximately 50% of all U.S. investment in Russia. Nevertheless overall U.S. investment in Russia remains quite modest. This is due in part to the lack of transparency, government bureaucracy and uneven enforcement of court decisions which have favored American investors. Street crime remains a problem in St. Petersburg and organized crime effects entrepreneurs of all sizes.

Designed by some of Europe’s most imaginative architects of the 18th and 19th centuries, the city center is one of the world’s architectural masterpieces filled with cathedrals, palaces, parks and canals. Fortunately, a great deal of restoration took place throughout the city in preparation for the city’s 300th Anniversary in 2003. Both local and foreign donations have been focused at preserving and restoring the historical sites in the city and the outlying imperial residences, which were heavily damaged during World War II. However, many parts of St. Petersburg continue to suffer from the lack of investment in its infrastructure.

The Post and Its Administration Last Updated: 9/21/2004 2:05 AM

Like its Russian counterpart in San Francisco, the American Consulate General officially opened in July 1973. The chief U.S. representative in St. Petersburg is the Consul General. Consulate General staff includes the Deputy Principal Officer, a Public Affairs Officer, a Regional Security Officer, an Assistant Regional Security Officer, a Political/Economic officer, an office management specialist, three Consular Officers, one Management Officer, one General Services Officer, one Information Programs Officer, two Information Management Specialists, three Pacific Architects and Engineers (PA&E) contractors, a Fascell Fellow, a six‑person Marine Security Guard detachment, and a number of Eligible Family Member or locally hired American citizen employees. A staff of capable Foreign Service National employees supports American personnel.

The Consulate General building is located on Furshtadtskaya Street near the center of town. The building is U-shaped with a courtyard in the center. The base and one wing contain the Consulate General Office Building and Marine Bar. The other wing contains additional office space, several apartments for TDY personnel and the Marine Detachment, the Medical Office and a small fitness center.

The Consulate General’s Public Affairs Section is located in the Northern Capital House building on the Moika Embankment. A branch Public Affairs Officer leads a nine‑member staff of Foreign Service National employees.

The Consulate General also includes a U.S. Foreign Commercial Service Office. The Commercial Officer leads a 12‑member local national team of industry sector specialists, a Department of Commerce BISNIS representative, and a local national representative of the Foreign Agricultural Service. The St. Petersburg chapter of the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia is co-located with the Foreign Commercial Service Office in the Atrium Building at Nevsky Prospekt 25.

An assignment to St. Petersburg offers a unique set of challenges and rewards. The small size of the Consulate General provides each individual with more responsibility than is typical at larger missions. The absence of a sizable support infrastructure or compound provides employees with opportunities to experience Russian society firsthand. Individuals interested in history and culture find a tour in St. Petersburg a memorable and enjoyable experience.

The Consulate General’s mission is first and foremost to fulfill its role as a consular post; that is to provide protection and welfare work for American citizens, to do notarials and to issue non-immigrant visas. Second, the Consulate’s Public Diplomacy office runs outreach programs throughout Northwest Russia. Third, it supports American business interests and promotes the sale of U.S. goods and services in Russia. In addition, the Consulate reports on political and economic events in the region and supports numerous VIP visits to St. Petersburg. Opportunities to meet with leading political and cultural figures from both Russian and the United States are commonplace. The Consulate's General small size offers all staff members the opportunity to participate in many of the above activities.

At the same time, service in St. Petersburg can be challenging. Although many improvements have taken place in the quantity and quality of goods and services available in the past several years, some consumer conveniences to which Americans are accustomed are lacking. Thus, while the rewards can be significant, the work regimen is not typical. Amenities such as a commissary, snack bar, or government provided athletic facilities do not exist in St. Petersburg. Energetic, self-starters should approach this assignment as an opportunity to experience Russia at its best and to live in one of the great cities of the world.


Temporary Quarters Last Updated: 9/21/2004 6:22 AM

Post has two TDY apartments on compound. The major western-level hotels in St. Petersburg are the Nevskij Palace, Grand Hotel Europe, SAS Radisson, the Angleterre, the Astoria and the Marriott Renaissance Hotel. These hotels offer rooms at the U.S. government per diem rate.

Transients and persons on temporary duty should be aware that the Consulate General does not have a commissary, cafeteria, or snack bar.

Every effort is made to move employees and their families directly into their permanent quarters. Occasionally, this is not possible in which case suitable temporary quarters will be made available. Permanent personnel should check with their sponsors before they arrive. Sponsors will provide guidance about the post and housing. Please discuss any special needs or concerns with your sponsor to help them prepare for your arrival.


Permanent Housing Last Updated: 9/21/2004 6:23 AM

All residential properties are owned or leased and furnished by the U.S. Government. Living space is ample, although storage space for supplies and consumables may be limited.

The Consul General’s home is a large semi-detached house built in 1898. The last owner before the revolution was Grand Duke Konstantin Romanov, an uncle of Tsar Nicholas II. In 1971‑72, the building’s interior was restored. The first floor has large salons suitable for a wide range of representational entertaining, a large, formal dining room, library, and guest suite. Spacious, private quarters for the Consul General and family and additional guest rooms are on the second floor. A few steps below entry level is a theater that comfortably seats 80. It has been used for lectures, movies, Anglo‑American School events, and American Chamber of Commerce events. The Consul General's home also has a guesthouse (domik) and a small garden. Located at the end of a cul‑de‑sac, the residence is a 10‑minute walk from the office.

The U.S. Government leases several additional apartments: eight units in three buildings on Furshtadtskaya Ulitsa, just down the street as the Consulate General, and four units on 7 Sovietskaya Ulitsa, a 20 minute walk from the Consulate General. The U.S. Government also owns 4 apartments on Kovensky Pereulok near the center of the city, a 20 minute walk from the Consulate.

The post Inter‑Agency Housing Board makes housing assignments after considering available space, family size, rank of employee, and time of arrival. Although all housing units are apartments, most are quite spacious. A majority of the apartments have two or three bedrooms, with a few larger apartment having four bedrooms. Most apartments have high ceilings and large windows, creating a feeling of spaciousness. Some have small pantries. Most apartments have at least two bathrooms; larger apartments may have two and a half or three baths.

The General Services Office (GSO) has a full maintenance staff, including janitors, an electrician, carpenters, a plumber, and a handy man. This staff is a mix of FSN employees and PA&E contractors. Although the Consulate General has improved maintenance services and expanded the GSO staff, employees must sometimes cope with delayed repairs and equipment shortages. See post's Housing Manual for specifics.


Furnishings Last Updated: 9/21/2004 6:23 AM

Apartment furnishings are from the Eighteenth Century Queen Anne collection. Furnishings include sofa, love seat, occasional chairs, coffee table, end tables, several lamps, dining room suite with table, chairs, china cabinet and buffet, and bedroom sets with bed, side tables and dressers. Beds have box springs and mattresses on steel frames with a wooden headboard. Queen-sized (60" x 80") and twin-sized (39" x 75") beds are used.

Area rugs are provided for some rooms. Bring an ample supply of bed linens, blankets, and towels. Post furnishes draperies and shades. Bring additional household furnishings, such as doormats, pictures, reading lamps, bookcases, or an easy chair, depending on personal tastes, but be advised that storage space is limited. Post does not have the space to store government furniture replaced by personal furniture.

Welcome Kits of linens, dishes, glasses, pots and pans, and silverware are available for use until arrival of household effects and after pack‑outs. Children’s furniture and supplies may be brought to post or purchased locally, often at a higher cost than in the States. IKEA opened a store just outside St. Petersburg in December 2003; it is a great place to purchase quality, reasonably priced items for your home.


Utilities and Equipment Last Updated: 9/21/2004 6:24 AM

Hot water and heating comes directly from central heating plants located throughout the city. The Consulate General office building, all apartments, and the Consul General's home are supplied in this manner. In summer, the city's hot water supply to these facilities is shut down for periods of up to six weeks for maintenance. All apartments are equipped with water heaters so that hot water continues to be available during these shut-downs. Bathrooms are comparable to those in American apartments, and some offer amenities such as heated floors and jetted tubs.

All interior areas are heated by exposed cast iron or fabricated sheet metal radiators. During early cold snaps, the central system may not be sufficient. The post provides materials for sealing windows and doors against the cold and electric space heaters for some bedrooms (particularly children's rooms). Electrical power limitations and fire safety considerations restrict extensive use of electric heaters.

Gas or electric ranges, Western-made refrigerators with freezing compartments, and automatic washers and dryers are provided. Most apartments have dishwashers and microwave ovens. Some apartments also have humidifiers and stand‑alone freezers.

All apartments have dial or touch‑tone telephones. Direct‑dial, long‑distance calls are possible, and there is a local AT&T access number to place phone card calls. Internet service is widely available at varying prices. One of the leased apartment buildings includes a DSL connection in each unit. Other employees have obtained low-cost Internet access through various local service providers.

Electrical service in St. Petersburg (including off‑compound apartments) is 220v, 50 Hz. Most electrical sockets are standard European sized with two round prongs. The on-compound TDY apartments are equipped with both 220v and 110v outlets. The Kovensky apartments (owned by the Consulate) are equipped with British style 3‑pronged outlets. Socket adapters and at least two transformers will be provided in each apartment for using personally owned appliances. Small, appliances, such as mixers, blenders and hair dryers, will operate satisfactorily with the appropriate transformer. High‑wattage appliances, such as toasters and irons, are more convenient and safer to operate if designed for the available voltage. An initial supply of incandescent light bulbs is provided for each new resident. Replacements bulbs are available locally. Do not bring American‑made fluorescent lamps.

AFN satellite TV is available in all apartments. Local Russian television is also available. Some apartments also get BBC World through their local television connection.

Post makes every effort to inform incoming employees of their housing assignment well in advance of their arrival. However, this is not always possible. Please be in touch with the CLO or your sponsor if you have questions about your housing assignment.

Food Last Updated: 8/2/2005 2:18 AM

The quality and selection of food available in St. Petersburg has improved significantly in recent years. Employees are able to find a variety of foodstuffs including seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, fish, dairy and grains at reasonable prices at a variety of stores and markets. Many employees shop at the farmers’ markets (known as rynoks in Russian) or at small Russian grocery shops in their neighborhood that offer basic food products, like milk, cheese, cereal and breads. The farmers’ markets often offer a wonderful variety of seasonal produce and fresh meats at reasonable prices. A few “Western-style” grocery stores are now open throughout the city. These stores are often more expensive than the markets, but offer the American style shopping experience, and tend to be more manageable for those with a limited grasp of the language. They also offer some specialty items, not available at the smaller shops. The selection of meats available locally is somewhat more limited than in the U.S. The cuts of pork and beef tend to differ from those in the U.S.

Effective October 2005, staff in St. Petersburg will no longer be eligible for Consumables shipments. Such shipments are no longer necessary given the quality of products now available on the local market and the availability of specialty items on the internet.

American personnel expecting a new baby can request a layette shipment prior to the baby’s due date. Baby food, diapers, clothing and other children’s products are available in the local market, although some Western brand products are more expensive than in the States.

Clothing Last Updated: 9/21/2004 2:08 AM

Winter temperatures in St. Petersburg can fall to -40°F. The climate is damp and the winter season is quite long. All employees should pack appropriate clothing. Warm parkas, long underwear, warm socks, hats, gloves, etc., are invaluable during the winter months. Streets and sidewalks are often icy. Good boots are essential. Be sure to include plenty of warm clothing, including a snowsuit or snow pants for your children.

Rain, melting snow, and dirty streets combine to make walking in St. Petersburg messy during fall and spring. Sturdy footwear is a must. Dark-colored clothes (especially slacks and jeans) are more practical than white or light‑colored clothes. Winter-wear and rainwear of all sizes are available in St. Petersburg, but prices are high.

The summer season is short. Days can be warm in summer, and there is an air conditioner provided in one bedroom in every apartment. By August, nights are cool. Throughout the summer months, you may find many opportunities to wear a sweater or light jacket. Summer is the time of mosquitoes. Insect repellent and effective plug-in devices are available locally.

Supplies and Services

Supplies Last Updated: 9/21/2004 6:26 AM

Most everyday household personal care items can be found in St. Petersburg, although prices on certain items tend to be higher than in the U.S. Feminine hygiene products, Western name brand kitchen and cleaning supplies, cosmetics, and name brand drugs are generally more expensive. Instructions on cleaning products, kitchen and automobile supplies are often written in languages other than Russian or English, causing difficulty for first-time users. You might wish to stock up on health and beauty care items you use regularly prior to arriving at post.

It is recommended that you bring a basic set of hand tools to make small repairs or hang pictures in your apartment. Employees are expected to hang their own pictures and other items in their apartments. Most walls are solid and require special nails. A few large, modern hardware stores have opened, but some supplies are still difficult to find.

Supplies and Services

Basic Services Last Updated: 9/21/2004 6:26 AM

Local dry cleaning facilities are improving, but service is not always consistent. Detergents and fabric softener are available locally but you may wish to bring spot remover with you. Clothing that can be machine-washed is most practical. You may wish to limit clothing that needs frequent professional cleaning. Russian beauty salons and barbershops are satisfactory, and prices are reasonable. Several salons are located near the Consulate. Appointments are recommended.

Supplies and Services

Domestic Help Last Updated: 9/21/2004 6:27 AM

Domestic help is readily available at affordable rates. You may hire Russian citizens as housekeepers or nannies for your children, since permanent day care is not always available. The CLO maintains a list of recommended nannies and housekeepers. Before hiring domestic help, consult with the regional security officer for a background check.

Religious Activities Last Updated: 4/30/2001 6:00 PM

Within or near St. Petersburg are many active Russian Orthodox churches, several Roman Catholic, Lutheran, and Baptist churches, a Jewish synagogue, several branches of the Mormon church, and various other religious organizations. There are also missionaries from many religious denominations.

Most religious services take place in Russian. Strictly foreign congregations hold services in their native languages, including English, French, and German.


Dependent Education

At Post Last Updated: 4/30/2001 6:00 PM The Anglo‑American School of St. Petersburg, a branch of the Anglo‑American School of Moscow, serves students in kindergarten through grade 12. The strong American‑based curriculum is enriched with instruction in local culture and history through visits to and instruction from the city's numerous museums. Kindergarten students must be 5 years old by December 31 of the year of entrance. The school is located in a former Russian kindergarten building on Petrograd Island and is able to accommodate approximately 95 students. For the 1999/2000 academic school year, approximately 90 students were enrolled representing 18 nationalities. For further information, write to the AASSP Principal through the U.S. Consulate General. Some Consulate General employees have enrolled children in an international school with a Russian‑language curriculum.

An international preschool, which is housed in a Russian kindergarten located directly across from the Consulate General, is sponsored by parents from the international community. This facility serves children ages 3‑5 from the international community. There is also a Montessori preschool in operation. Contact the CLO for further information on preschool options and availability.

Some parents have used Russian day care or kindergarten facilities. They have proven satisfactory for those few parents and children who are willing to cope with learning a new language, unfamiliar food, and rather strict discipline. During the initial months, the adjustment can be difficult. Russian facilities operate on a three-quarter or full‑day basis. As they are set up for working parents, the facilities are often crowded, and significant delays can be expected in finding and getting access to a suitable facility. The international preschools (see above) have proven to be more satisfactory solutions for most Consulate General families.


Dependent Education

Away From Post Last Updated: 4/30/2001 6:00 PM Request a list of boarding schools with English instruction from the State Department's Office of Overseas Schools or the Allowances Staff.


Higher Education Opportunities Last Updated: 4/30/2001 6:00 PM

Employees and dependents of all ages may take advantage of private tutoring and special instruction in various areas of interest, the most common being private language and music lessons. Those individuals with even average language skills may take advantage of public classes and lessons in all areas of interest where other students and participants are Russian‑speaking nationals.

Recreation and Social Life

Sports Last Updated: 9/21/2004 6:40 AM

Depending on the season, there are many opportunities to attend football (soccer), ice hockey, figure skating, track‑and‑field, boxing, basketball, auto, bicycle and motorcycle racing, and swimming events. In most cases, prices are inexpensive. Soccer and ice hockey are especially popular; teams in both sports are excellent. This past year, many employees participated in a Consulate bowling league, competing twice a month with employees from other Consulates here in St. Petersburg. Some employees also play on recreational soccer teams in the area. Indoor and outdoor tennis courts and squash courts are located in the city area as well. Several fitness clubs, with modern equipment and personal trainers have opened in town recently, including one located near the Consulate General.

Swimming is not recommended in the Gulf of Finland because of the high level of organic and other pollutants. However, indoor swimming pools are available, with some restrictions. If you wish to use a public pool, you must have written permission from a Russian doctor attesting to your state of health.

Fishing is popular in the Neva and the Gulf, but eating fish from the Neva is not recommended. Some employees also hunt in the region, but it is complicated and time-consuming to work out arrangements to go hunting. Do not attempt to bring your own guns as they will be confiscated by the authorities. Sightseeing boat trips are a wonderful option in the summer months. There are good bicycle paths in some city parks and along the Gulf. A variety of sporting goods are sold at a few shops in town.

Winter sports include cross‑country skiing and ice-skating. Outdoor rinks throughout the city are open to staff members. Cross country skiing is possible at city parks outside the city center and in the Repino‑Zelenogorsk resort area near the Consulate General dacha (see below) on the Gulf of Finland. While skates and skis are available in St. Petersburg or in Finland, if you are an avid winter sports enthusiast, bring your own equipment.

The Consulate General leases a dacha for recreational purposes in Zelenogorsk, 34 miles northwest of St. Petersburg on the Gulf of Finland. The CLO coordinates a schedule for employees’ use of the dacha. Generally, each officer can expect to have the dacha three or four weekends a year. Post personnel and their guests need only pack consumables and make the short journey to Zelenogorsk to enjoy a refreshing visit to the country.

The house has three bedrooms with separate dining and living rooms, a small game room, a fully equipped kitchen, central heating, indoor sauna, and fireplace. Linens are provided, as are basic kitchen supplies. A barbeque grill and picnic tables are found in the yard, making for excellent summer picnics. Located on a large, fenced lot, only a short walk from the Gulf, it provides relaxation and a convenient base for taking advantage of the various seasonal diversions, such as boating, hiking, cross‑country skiing, or cycling. The facility is open year round.

The Consulate General has a small gym located in the residential wing of the Consulate Office Building. The gym offers a limited selection of equipment, including a treadmill, stationary bike, stair master, free weights, weight lifting machines and fitness tapes. One of the leased apartment buildings also offers a small fitness center, indoor swimming pool and sauna.

Recreation and Social Life

Touring and Outdoor Activities Last Updated: 9/22/2004 2:23 AM

Near St. Petersburg are several former royal palace grounds that have been beautifully restored and are now open to the public. These include Peterhof, with its magnificent grounds and fountains; Pavlovsk, the most completely restored royal home with surrounding gardens; and Tsarskoe Selo, the site of several palaces, including Catherine’s Palace with its famous Amber Room. Other palaces, such as Oranienbaum and Gatchina, are also easily accessible for day trips.

Staff members usually travel to these palaces in their own vehicles, but public transportation, including summer hydrofoil service to Peterhof, is available, convenient, and inexpensive, though often crowded.

St. Petersburg has numerous museums covering a broad range of exhibits, from anthropology to zoology. First among these is the world-famous Hermitage. Located in the Winter Palace on the Neva River, it is well‑known for its collections of Rembrandts, French Impressionists, Picasso, and Scythian gold, as well as its beautiful interiors. In the Russian Museum, you can see the best of Russian art through the centuries from the icons of Rublev to contemporary painters. Several large cathedrals have also been opened to the public as museums, though many — such as St. Isaac's Cathedral, one of the largest in the world, and the Kazansky Cathedral — now function again as churches. The Cathedral in Peter and Paul Fortress contains graves of Russian tsars since Peter the Great, including Tsar Nicholas II and his family.

Photography. St. Petersburg offers a feast for the amateur and the serious photographer. There are a number of very good local photography shops that offer color developing and printing at reasonable prices. The view from the colonnade atop St. Isaac’s Cathedral is a photographer’s dream. Taking pictures in Russia is no longer restricted. Taking pictures in Russia is no longer restricted.

Travel Abroad. Finland: The Finnish border is about 140 miles away — a 3-hour auto trip in good weather from St. Petersburg. Helsinki is another 3 hours from the border, for a total trip of about 250 miles.

Several flights operate daily between St. Petersburg and Helsinki. The flight is about 43 minutes. Trains between St. Petersburg and Helsinki run daily. Round‑trip train fare currently ranges from $90 to $150. A one-way trip takes about 5 hours.

Estonia: Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, is a popular destination among Consulate staff. Tallinn has a charming Medieval Old Town, a variety of great restaurant and shopping, and wonderfully friendly people. Tallinn is approximately 200 miles away and can be reached in 4-5 hours by car, 7 hours by bus or 10 hours by train. Euro lines Bus Service runs several buses a day between Tallinn and St. Petersburg. Bus tickets are very reasonably priced, around $20 for a round trip. There is one night train that runs between St. Petersburg and Tallinn. Round-trip train fare is less than $50.

The smaller university town of Tartu is located less than 150 miles west of Tallinn and can be reached from Tallinn by daily buses and trains in 3-4 hours. Round-trip bus fare is $20 and train/electrichka fares range from $30-$60.

Latvia: The capital, Riga, is 400 miles from St. Petersburg. A total trip by car is approximately 7-8 hours, by train approximately 11-12 hours. One train runs daily from St. Petersburg to Riga. Round-trip train fare is approximately $85-$145.

Lithuania: The capital, Vilnius, is approximately 460 miles away. A total trip by car is about 8-9 hours, by train 11-13 hours. Trains to Vilnius run daily. Round-trip train fare is between $60-$125.

Rest and Recuperation Travel. Consulate General employees serving a full 24-month tour of duty in St. Petersburg, uninterrupted by home leave, are authorized one R&R trip. R&R travel is generally not authorized during the first or last 6 months of a tour of duty. St. Petersburg's designated R&R point is Rome, Italy, for employees not choosing to travel to the United States.

Recreation and Social Life

Entertainment Last Updated: 9/21/2004 6:43 AM

St. Petersburg has about 30 theaters, concert halls, opera houses, and “palaces of culture” that offer a wide variety of ballet, opera, classical music, and plays. The best known is the Mariinskiy Theater, formerly named and recognized around the world as the Kirov Opera and Ballet Theater. The Mussorgskiy Opera and Ballet Theater (formerly Maliy Theater) also has a full repertoire of ballet and opera, and arranges its vacation period so that it performs throughout July and August, when the Mariinskiy is usually on vacation or on tour. St. Petersburg has two symphony orchestras, one of which enjoys a worldwide reputation. The Philharmonic Hall, named after local composer Dmitriy Shostakovich, is one of the finest in Europe. There are other concert halls and a choir hall, all of which offer programs during the September‑June season. Most cultural events are quite reasonably priced.

The St. Petersburg Circus is definitely worth a visit. Light operettas are given at the Musical Comedy Theater, and there are two puppet theaters in town. The October Concert Hall and the city's several palaces of culture often have concerts that feature popular music or play host to foreign troupes. Both cultural and sporting events are staged at the Yubileyniy and several other palaces of sport.

Serious theater fans, whether or not they speak Russian, will find visits to the Maliy Dramatic Theater, Otkrytiy Theater, and the Theater on Liteiniy worthwhile. These are considered locally to be the most avant-garde of the regular theaters and include in their repertoires works by contemporary American playwrights, such as Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller. The Pushkin Theater is one of the most splendidly housed in Europe.

Films shown in English or with English subtitles are a rarity. Foreign movies are usually dubbed. A few movie houses have begun to show films in their original language. Some employees will take a weekend trip to Tallinn to see a new film in English. Videos and DVD’s in English are available for sale in many stores. When purchasing videos or DVD’s, check the back of the box to see if the film is in English. A few stores do offer rentals as well.

Recreation and Social Life

Social Activities

Among Americans Last Updated: 9/21/2004 6:46 AM Consulate General personnel entertain frequently at informal functions, such as small dinners and after‑hours gatherings. Some employees have friends in the growing expat community. The Marine Security Guard Detachment invites both members of the Consulate General community and private citizens (including Russians) to parties at the Marine House about once a month. The Marines also host the annual Marine Corps Birthday Ball in November.

Restaurants. In the past few years, St. Petersburg has enjoyed a significant increase in the quantity and quality of restaurants. A quick glance at the restaurant guide in the city's English‑language newspaper shows restaurants that specialize in Chinese, European, French, German, Indian, Italian, Korean, Mexican, and Russian cuisine, as well as several pizza establishments. Other restaurants offer Georgian and Central Asian cuisine. A few of the Georgian restaurants are among the favorites of Consulate staff. Many restaurants offer a mixture of Russian and international dishes. With the exception of the hotel restaurants and few other very high-end establishments, most restaurants are reasonably priced.

Several local restaurants offer some form of entertainment — from jazz combos to folk ensembles — often somewhat louder than musical entertainment to which Americans are accustomed. Service at restaurants is often slower and less consistent than in the States, but most employees find an evening out a welcome diversion and chance to relax.

Recent years have also seen a large growth in fast-food establishments in the city, with prices comparable to those in the U.S. There are several McDonald’s around town as well as a Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut and Subway. There are local fast food shops specializing in roasted chicken, pizza, and Russian treats.

Recreation and Social Life

Social Activities

International Contacts Last Updated: 9/21/2004 6:47 AM Possibilities for social contacts between Russian citizens and foreigners have normalized and become comparable to those in other countries. Frequently, opportunities arise for such contacts during daily work or while traveling outside the city. St. Petersburg also has an active American and international business community. Many women join the International Women’s Club that offers opportunities for socializing, sightseeing, and charity work with other women from around the world.

Official Functions

Nature of Functions Last Updated: 9/21/2004 6:48 AM

Throughout the year, luncheons, dinners, and receptions are held at the Consul General's home. These functions are well attended by Russians. Consulate General personnel and their spouses are also regularly invited. Other officers hold representational events throughout the year.

Only a few of the officers at post are invited to official Russian functions. These officers also attend functions at the other 29 Consulates and 17 honorary Consulates in St. Petersburg. Some entertaining is done within the international business community as well.

Official Functions

Standards of Social Conduct Last Updated: 9/21/2004 6:49 AM

Formal calls are not expected within the American staff. The senior officers at the Consulate make calls on Russian officials and their counterparts in other consulates. You will be briefed on what calls are appropriate when you arrive.

Those with consular titles will need business cards in English and Russian. These can be printed locally.

White tie and morning dress are never worn in St. Petersburg. Black tie is rarely worn and is necessary only for a male consul general and deputy.

Special Information Last Updated: 9/21/2004 2:16 AM

Post Orientation Program

Before arrival, the CLO will send you a folder of information (including maps) about the city and post. On arrival, the CLO coordinator and your post sponsor will help you with the practical side of getting settled and familiarizing yourself with St. Petersburg. The CLO coordinator can also provide useful information regarding local rules of the road and traffic conditions with which drivers should become familiar prior to taking to local streets. The regional security officer schedules a separate security briefing, required for all personnel. Security briefings are also set up for family members.

The post-language program encourages employees and their family members to improve their language skills by offering language lessons. Currently, three Russian teachers are contracted by the Consulate to provide individual or small groups lessons. Language lessons may be taken during working hours.

Health. General health conditions in St. Petersburg are similar to those in Moscow, although dampness probably accounts for a higher incidence of colds and respiratory ailments. The post has a part‑time registered nurse, who American personnel consult on minor health problems and issues and who refers major problems to one of the recommended medical clinics listed below, the Embassy Moscow Medical Unit, or to medical facilities in London if a medical evacuation is called for. An American doctor or nurse practitioner from Moscow visits St. Petersburg quarterly and is available for telephone consultation.

For health problems outside the purview of the post nurse, American personnel and their families primarily use one of the three Western style clinics: the International Clinic, the British-American Clinic or the Euro Med Clinic. The staffs at all three clinics are English speaking and often Western-trained. Pharmacy and laboratory service are available at each clinic. Dental services are available at Euro Med. These clinics can be expensive. Often employees must pay upfront and then seek reimbursement from their insurance provider.

The post maintains a Medical Unit stocked with basic medicines from the Embassy clinic. Medicines can also be specially ordered when necessary from Moscow and other embassies. Personnel are strongly advised to bring an adequate supply of prescription and over‑the‑counter medications with them to post. While local pharmacies offer a panoply of medications, it is often difficult to find a particular brand or formulation.

The St. Petersburg water supply originates from nearby Lake Ladoga. Western health authorities have noted a high incidence of infection by the intestinal parasite giardia lamblia in travelers returning from St. Petersburg. Such evidence points to St. Petersburg as a possible site of infection. This diarrhea‑inducing parasite is found in many parts of the world and can be contracted by drinking untreated tap water. Each apartment is equipped with one water filter, which makes the water suitable for cooking, but does not filter out heavy metals, such as lead. Employees often boil their filtered water, use an additional filtering device like a Brita pitcher, or buy bottled water. The Consulate General drinking fountains are also equipped with water filters.

Automobiles. The Consulate’s Motor Pool Supervisor recommends bringing cars only in excellent condition as well as some extra wiper blades, oil, air filters and bulbs. The city has a growing number of service stations, and replacement parts for most cars can be ordered locally. Delivery time is generally three to ten days. However, supplies and services can be expensive and service station employees often do not speak English. Preventive maintenance for your automobile remains important. Unleaded gasoline is now available throughout St. Petersburg.

Winterizing your car is important because of low winter temperatures. Low viscosity oil and antifreeze protection to -40 °F should be provided before a fall or winter shipment. Since few vehicles will start without assistance on the coldest mornings, bring a strong battery and jumper cables.

Snow tires, or at least tires with good all‑weather treads, are necessary for winter driving (November through March). If you are in Finland, the law requires snow tires during severe winter weather. Studded snow tires may be used only between mid‑October and mid‑April. Snow tires (and studs, when used) must be on all four wheels. All types of tires are now available locally.

Parking space at post is limited. Privately owned vehicles driven to work may be parked in spaces in front of the Consulate General building, or on the street within convenient walking distance. There is no charge for parking. At residential apartments, parking is either in a guarded lot or on the street.

Mail. The Consulate utilizes the APO mail system for letters and packages. Mail is routed through Embassy Helsinki and arrives on a truck once a week. Mail delivery is generally reliable but it often takes two to three weeks for letters and packages to travel between the States and St. Petersburg. Please bring your own supply of stamps to post as the Consulate is not authorized to sell postage. You can order stamps by mail or on-line but delivery can take some time.

Travel. American diplomatic and consular personnel must still notify the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) when they travel outside of St. Petersburg. Since July 1992 and the signing of the Memorandum on Open Lands, however, this is merely notification and not a request for permission to travel. Please notify the Management Office Assistant several days before you plan to travel. She will prepare the necessary documents for you.

If you have a diplomatic passport and a diplomatic, multi‑entry visa, you may depart St. Petersburg by air or rail for destinations abroad without submitting a travel note, provided St. Petersburg is designated in your visa as a departure point. All new personnel should see the Management Office Assistant for a full briefing on travel in Russia.

Pets. If you plan to bring a dog or cat, be prepared for the problems inherent in keeping pets in apartments: cramped conditions, regular trips outside to walk dogs (even in the cold winter), and finding pet sitters when you are traveling. Pet food is available though expensive at most grocery stores in the city. You may wish to bring some basic supplies in your luggage when you first arrive. Pet owners should also be aware that Finland has strict rules regarding rabies vaccinations for dogs and cats. Both must have a current vaccination record no more than 1 year old (this creates problems because the U.S. rabies vaccine is good usually for 3 years, while the Finnish vaccine is updated yearly). Animals without proper vaccinations will not be admitted to the country. To avoid problems, the Embassy recommends avoiding Finland.

Facilities. A cashier's office is located in the Consulate General building. The cashier provides check-cashing services, in addition to exchanging dollars for rubles. Local St. Petersburg Telephone System telephone bills may also be paid through the cashier's office.

Consulate General - Vladivostok

Post City Last Updated: 8/2/2005 1:48 AM

Vladivostok is Russia’s principal Pacific port and the largest city in the Russian Far East, with a population of more than 600,000. Founded in 1860 as a military outpost, Vladivostok abruptly became the Russian Pacific naval base when Port Arthur fell in the Russo‑Japanese War. The city now serves as the capital of Primorskiy Kray (Maritime Territory). Vladivostok’s harbor is a major fishing and shipping hub, and the city acts as the eastern terminus of the Trans-Siberian railroad.

Before World War II, Vladivostok was well on its way to becoming an international commercial center. The Soviets closed the city to Westerners in 1958, however, and it was only declared an open city as of January 1, 1992. Currently, Vladivostok's foreign contacts and foreign population are growing as American, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese businesses and tourists move into the Russian Far East in increasing numbers.

Vladivostok has a relatively mild climate by Russian standards, moderated by its location on the Pacific Ocean. Spring is chilly until May, with occasional snow occurring in March. Summers are cool and humid, and autumn is sunny and beautiful. With its sunny weather, year-round, there is no need for Seasonal Affective Disorder lighting. Winter is cold and dry, with temperatures normally between 10 °F & 35 °F. Brisk sea winds can make low temperatures seem colder. Generally, winters in Vladivostok are less severe than Chicago.

Vladivostok is 10 hours ahead of Greenwich mean time (GMT), 15 hours ahead of eastern standard time (EST).

The Post and Its Administration Last Updated: 6/22/2005 5:14 AM

U.S. representation in Vladivostok has a long history. The first U.S. Consulate was established in 1875, but the office was closed and reestablished several times. At the conclusion of the Russian Civil War in 1922, the office was closed for 18 years. The Consulate was open again from 1940 until 1948 when, as the only Western diplomatic office in Soviet Asia, it was forced to close. On September 22, 1992, the post was reopened as a Consulate General. It has been located in its current, very functional office building, for eight years.

Vladivostok’s consular district is composed of ten regions of the Russian Far East: Primorskiy (Maritime) Kray, Khabarovsk Kray, the Sakha Republic (Yakutia), Magadan, Kamchatka, Sakhalin, and Amur Oblasts as well as Chukotka, Birobidzhan, and Koryak Autonomous Okrugs. The district encompasses an area larger than two‑thirds of the continental U.S., but its population is only about 10 million.

The Consulate General consists of 8 American officers and 50 Russian Foreign Service Nationals (FSN) and contract employees. The chief U.S. representative in Vladivostok is the Consul General. The Commercial Service and Agricultural Trade Office maintain an office with a permanent staff of 1 American and 5 FSN and contract employees. USAID has one FSN employee at post.

The workweek is Monday through Friday. Nonimmigrant visa applications are accepted through ‘Pony Express ‘. Visa interviews are held 0900-1300, Monday through Thursday. American and Russian holidays are observed. The Consulate General is located in downtown Vladivostok at Pushkinskaya 32, near the circus. Employees receive mail by diplomatic pouch once or twice a week, and through Dulles Virginia post box(personal mail) at the following addresses:

Department of State 5880 Vladivostok Pl. 5880 Vladivostok Place Dulles VA 20189-5880 Washington, D.C. 20521-5880

Travel to post is usually by air via Seoul. Employees may travel via Moscow for initial consultations and security in-briefs.

The availability of a variety of foods and consumer goods has increased significantly in the last few years. However, many specialty items are still not available, or only sporadically available. Many staff make use of their consumables allowances for U.S.-brand foodstuffs and cleaning supplies and supplement their wardrobes through catalog or internet shopping. The city’s remote location makes travel in and out of the area expensive.

Establishment of a Community Liaison Office in FY 2005 has made all aspects of life, from shopping to cultural and recreational activities, more accessible and enjoyable.

Current information about post may be viewed on the Internet at and on the Intranet at the Mission Russia Life Forum,\forum\index.php


Temporary Quarters Last Updated: 6/22/2005 5:15 AM

Personnel arriving at post who do not have permanent housing assigned in advance are housed at contemporary hotels, including the Vlad Motor Inn. This Canadian‑built hotel is located 15 kilometers north of downtown Vladivostok in an attractive, wooded region on the Amur Bay. All suites, although small, share the advantages of the hotel’s backup generator and boiler (for heat and hot water) in addition to having electric, wall‑mounted heaters. These amenities, including a two minute walk to VMI’s excellent Western restaurant, ensure that residents are not adversely affected by Vladivostok’s occasional infrastructure outages.


Permanent Housing Last Updated: 6/22/2005 5:15 AM

Post makes every effort to assign incoming personnel to permanent housing immediately. Currently, most staff members are housed in American-style townhouses with wonderful views of the Golden Horn Bay. Contact the management officer for further information on housing.


Furnishings Last Updated: 6/22/2005 5:16 AM

All permanent housing is fully furnished. However, wardrobes are somewhat limited, so you may want to consider bringing these items if you require a lot of storage space. Post provides primary and backup heat for each apartment, to supplement city heating in the winter. As storage space is very limited, employees should bring only essential items, such as pots, pans, china, glassware, utensils, linens, and personal effects. Virtually any small appliance, clothing or personal care item is available. One-stop shopping is a relatively new phenomenon, so some “hunting and gathering” is necessary to find the goods, if not the brands, Americans need. Contact post's management officer or CLO for further information on apartment furnishings.


Utilities and Equipment Last Updated: 6/22/2005 5:17 AM

Electricity is 220v, 50-hertz, AC. Post has a limited number of transformers which are assigned to each family, so bring transformers for hair dryers and other personal household appliances. Electrical outlets are primarily standard Russian two‑prong (round). This size is similar to standard European, but the prongs are somewhat thinner. Currently, post temporary quarters are furnished with refrigerator and microwave oven (all 220v). The Russian TV system is Pal/SECAM, so those wishing to watch local programming and American videotapes should bring multisystem televisions. Imported multisystem TVs and VCRs and other household appliances are available on the local economy, but at prices somewhat higher than in the U.S. A shortwave radio is useful for listening to news and entertainment programming from outside Russia. You may purchase a satellite dish and decoder to receive the Armed Forces Network (AFN) programming, which consists of two television stations and two radio stations; satellite channels including Disney, CNN, Nickelodeon, Animal Planet and Cartoon Network are currently available. Contact the management officer for more information.

Vladivostok's utility systems are antiquated. Hot water outages are common in summer and fall, and occasional heating and electricity outages occur. Post's housing is equipped with backup water heaters and generators.

Food Last Updated: 6/22/2005 5:18 AM

Employees assigned to Vladivostok are allowed a full consumables shipment and should take advantage of it. The range and quality of foods available locally is improving, but still somewhat limited, especially in winter. Foods available locally in summer/fall include: fruits (apples, oranges, lemons, bananas), onions, potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, garlic, pork, beef, eggs, fish (fresh, frozen, smoked, and salted), and shellfish. Imported soft drinks, beer, and juices are available as well as imported tinned meats, rice, and macaroni. Imported wine and liquor is also available, but at higher prices than in the U.S.. In winter, certain vegetables can be harder to find, and the availability of some other foods varies from week to week. Prices are relatively low by American standards, outside of high-end outlets frequented by expatriates. All career employees can join the Moscow Commissary for a nominal fee. This enables purchase of must-haves such as Thanksgiving turkeys in the Fall. Delivery must be arranged on trips to Moscow or with the help of colleagues at the Embassy there.

Include in your consumables shipment favorite paper products, cleaning products, herbs and spices, dried milk/formula, and any favorite food or drink items. Diapers are readily available at higher-than-CostCo prices.

Clothing Last Updated: 6/24/2005 2:31 AM

It is suggested that you bring a 2‑year supply of all types of clothing, or replenish on annual R&Rs. Although the availability and quality of clothing in Vladivostok is increasing, it remains difficult, if not impossible, to purchase Western‑style clothing locally- Benetton is one of the number of boutiques exploiting this commercial opportunity. Inexpensive, Chinese‑made clothing and shoes are becoming increasingly available, but quality is less than that exported to Europe.

When traveling through Tokyo, Frankfurt or Seoul, career American staff have commissary, exchange and package store privileges. Taking advantage of this requires a front-channel telegram to the post to be visited.


Men Last Updated: 6/24/2005 2:31 AM

Men should bring wool suits, sweaters, gloves, heavy winter coats, lightweight jackets, and a good raincoat with liner. Insulated boots, scarves, long underwear and winter hats are useful in the cold winter months. Good‑quality fur hats and excellent leather coats may be purchased in Vladivostok at reasonable prices. Even in the summer months, heavyweight, woolen clothing can often be worn. Business attire in Russia is similar to that in the U.S.; dark suits are popular among the foreign business and consular community. Evening attire is not needed. Bring a sufficient quantity of dress clothes with you. Local dry-cleaning is uneven in quality, expensive and often slow, so employees usually have their suits dry-cleaned in Moscow or abroad when the opportunity arises. Bring sturdy, comfortable shoes, since Vladivostok’s weather can cause shoes to wear quickly. Bring a full supply of casual clothes, including bathing suits, as swimming is possible at some beaches in late summer.


Women Last Updated: 6/24/2005 2:32 AM

Bring warm business attire, a heavy winter coat and accessories, including long underwear – silk long underwear is especially light-weight and warm. Good –quality fur hats and fur and leather coats are available at good prices. Basics likes shoes, pantyhose, etc. can be purchased locally. Good quality, Western-style women’s clothing is very expensive; cheap clothing of lesser quality, mostly from China, is available. Of course, clothing can also be ordered through the Internet. Business attire is similar to that in the U.S. At social events, cocktail dresses or business attire is usually worn. Evening wear is not required.


Children Last Updated: 6/24/2005 2:32 AM

Bring mainly sturdy, warm, washable play clothes. Zippered, one‑piece nylon snowsuits are recommended, together with material to patch this type of garment. Waterproof boots with insulated foam lining, several pairs of waterproof mittens, long thermal underwear, and waterproof snow pants are all recommended. Bring scarves, woolen hats and hoods, rubber boots, warm slacks, knee socks, tights, slicker raincoats with hoods, tennis shoes, and warm sweaters. Nightgowns or pajamas, slippers, and bathrobes are also needed. Summer clothing should include washable play clothes, slacks, jeans, shorts, and bathing suits. Babies need warm winter clothing, with wind protection for all except the eyes.

Supplies and Services

Supplies Last Updated: 6/24/2005 2:33 AM

Write the post’s management officer concerning specific needs for your future home. Current post housing lacks finished storage space, so do not bring excess items which would not tolerate dry but primitive basement storage.

In general, bring a 2‑year supply of all types of paper products and cleaning supplies that you expect to need. Bring insect repellent effective against mosquitoes and ticks if you hunt, fish or hike in summer. Bring any necessary over‑the‑counter and prescription medicines, cosmetics, and toiletries, such as shampoo, soap, and toothpaste, when “only my brand will do.” Catalog and Internet mail orders can be received through the diplomatic pouch, normally within 3 weeks Bring children’s toys and English greeting cards or order through catalogs/internet.

Supplies and Services

Basic Services Last Updated: 6/24/2005 2:34 AM

Although many basic services are available in some form in Vladivostok, quality is often poor and service slow. Local barbers and hairdressers can provide basic, competent haircuts for relatively low prices. Shoe repair and tailoring services are available. Electronics and appliance repair is available, although not all imported items can be serviced, and spare parts are difficult to find. Employees may prefer to bring Japanese or Korean vehicles and appliances to post, as better servicing is available for these goods than for American or European models.

Supplies and Services

Domestic Help Last Updated: 6/24/2005 2:34 AM

Post employees may hire Russian or third-country nationals to work in domestic positions in their home. There are currently few third-country nationals available for employment in Vladivostok. Domestic wages are somewhat lower than what is paid in Moscow. (See Embassy Moscow section for information on wages for Russian domestics.)

Russians, Americans, or third-country nationals may be hired as live-in nannies. Contact the Consulate General or the State Department's Office of Russian Affairs for the latest information, if you plan to hire a nanny. Inquire as early as possible, as it may take from 6 weeks to 3 months to obtain a visa for a nanny.


Dependent Education

At Post Last Updated: 6/24/2005 2:35 AM Inform the administrative officer as early as possible of educational needs. There is an international school, operated by Quality Schools International, for grades kindergarten through sixth grade, and correspondence course management in upper grades. It offers a recognizable American curriculum, with an American headmaster. English-language schooling in Vladivostok is limited. Several city schools offer "English-language" programs that are actually carried out primarily in Russian with one or two classes a day taught in English. Local schools have adequate curriculum by American standards, but the schools lack sufficient supplies, equipment, and teaching materials. Overcrowding has forced most of the schools to adopt a two-shift daily schedule. The language barrier may make total reliance on the Russian system difficult. That said, several Consulate’ children attend local Russian schools, with good results.


Dependent Education

Away From Post Last Updated: 6/24/2005 2:36 AM Some Americans send their children to boarding schools in the U.S. and Western Europe. Request a list of overseas boarding schools with English instruction from the State Department's Office of Overseas Schools or the Allowances Staff.


Higher Education Opportunities Last Updated: 6/24/2005 2:36 AM

Vladivostok is a college town, as well as a seaport. There are several area universities offering courses on a variety of subjects, leading to a degree. However, students must have a strong command of Russian to be accepted.

Recreation and Social Life

Sports Last Updated: 6/24/2005 2:37 AM

Vladivostok, Primorskiy Territory, and the entire Russian Far East offer a wide variety of outdoor activities. In Vladivostok, popular summer sports include sailing, swimming, fishing, hunting, tennis, baseball, and soccer. Winter sports include basketball, downhill/cross-country skiing, ice-skating, and ice fishing. There are several public tennis courts in Vladivostok, although most are in relatively poor condition, and during the peak season (May‑September), players often must wait for a court. Public basketball courts (indoor and out-door) and soccer/baseball fields are also available. There are many opportunities for Americans to participate in local sports through affiliation with various club teams or through social contacts. Sailboats and motor vessels may be rented and are popular in the summer for trips to nearby islands and beaches. It is also possible to go deep‑sea fishing, while shore fishing and freshwater (particularly trout, salmon and char) fishing are popular throughout the region. Hiking and camping are also popular, particularly in the mountains and taiga (primeval forest) north of the city. Swimming is not recommended at many of the beaches near the city due to environmental concerns and the relatively cold water. There are several sandy beaches, which offer good sites for picnics and sunbathing, within an hour’s drive of the city and on islands accessible by chartered boat. Scuba diving for advanced divers is available and some scuba equipment may even be rented locally. Some year-round indoor pools have good water quality. There are a few gyms in town with decent equipment for working out. Yoga classes are also available.

Vladivostok’s relatively snow-free winters make it necessary to travel inland for the best cross‑country skiing, but deep winter snow can nearly always be found less than 100 miles away. Downhill skiing is available in various locations in the Russian Far East. Bring all sports equipment, including skis, skates, balls, and rackets. Equipment available locally is of excellent quality at slightly higher thanks to U.S. prices.

Recreation and Social Life

Touring and Outdoor Activities Last Updated: 6/24/2005 2:38 AM

Although the Russian Far East lacks the variety of historic sites and old cities found in the European parts of Russia, it does offer a wide variety of beautiful scenery for the adventurous traveler. The Primorskiy territory coast, marked by numerous rocky islands, steep cliffs, and isolated beaches, is accessible by chartered boat. Tour companies offer hiking and camping tours to the taiga, Kamchatka's volcanoes and salmon fishing, and winter ski trips to Siberian ski areas. Hunting and fishing expeditions can also be arranged. The city of Khabarovsk, about 450 miles north of Vladivostok on the Amur River, is the other main center and economic hub of the Russian Far East and can be reached by overnight train or a 90‑minute Aeroflot Flight. It is a very pleasant and clean city with excellent museums and good shopping which is a draw for Japanese tourists.

Travel within Russia can be tiring. Frequent transportation schedule changes, below‑standard hotels, and harsh weather can combine to make an international trip more attractive. Currently, there are international flights to Korea, Japan, Vietnam and China. In summer, there is regularly scheduled passenger liner service to Japan and South Korea on Russian ships. Package trips to Thailand via Seoul are also readily available and popular among Russians and foreigners alike.

Personnel assigned to Vladivostok currently receive two R&R’s during a 2‑year tour. The designated R&R point is Sydney, Australia.

Recreation and Social Life

Entertainment Last Updated: 6/24/2005 2:39 AM

Vladivostok has limited entertainment facilities, but the number is increasing as the city develops. There are several good joint‑venture restaurants in the city, with prices ranging from inexpensive to moderate. Although there are nightclubs and casinos, nightlife for the foreign community centers around restaurants and home entertaining. Chinese and Russian cuisine predominate, but Italian, Japanese, Vietnamese and Korean restaurants have proven very acceptable.

Vladivostok has several small museums, including an art museum, a museum of natural and regional history, antique car museum, and a military museum. Concerts of classical and jazz music, played by both local and visiting musicians from other parts of Russia and abroad, are held several times a year. Local theaters offer periodic plays, ballet and other entertainment. There is an excellent puppet theater for children, which offers a full schedule when the weather turns cold. Circuses transiting to Japan and Korea usually spend 3 weeks here, en route. There are a number of modern movie theaters in town with foreign films dubbed into Russian.

Many foreign residents bring multi-system videocassette recorders and DVD players; high quality “zone-free” DVD players are available locally. Because there are few tape rental clubs in Vladivostok, bring a supply with you. You can add tapes by ordering from catalogs/Internet or by borrowing from friends. Some Russian (PAL/SECAM) videos may be purchased on the local economy, including American films and TV shows that have been dubbed into Russian. Multi-language DVDs usually cost 6-10 dollars. Bring a large supply of books and other reading materials with you, or order from Amazon-type retailers. English-language books, periodicals, and newspapers are not available in Vladivostok, so magazine subscriptions are also important. The Consulate General maintains a small reading library for use by the American community that is stocked with donated books and magazines. The Information Resource Center in the Public Affairs Section also subscribes to news and scholarly magazines and journals. These may be borrowed overnight or on weekends by Consulate staff.

You may read about current events in Vladivostok on the Internet at the following sites: or The former is a Russian-language daily which has an English weekly page. The latter is an English-language internet newspaper.

Recreation and Social Life

Social Activities

Among Americans Last Updated: 6/24/2005 2:39 AM The social life among the small American community is casual and personally arranged. The total resident American population of Vladivostok is less than 40, not including the official American community, so contacts between Americans are frequent.

Recreation and Social Life

Social Activities

International Contacts Last Updated: 6/24/2005 2:39 AM Americans have no difficulty meeting Russians through professional and social interaction. There is an International Women's Roster in CLO, consisting of American, Russian, Korean, Japanese, and Indian women. Due to the relatively small size of the foreign community, contacts are frequent.

Official Functions

Nature of Functions Last Updated: 6/24/2005 2:40 AM

Official functions, hosted by the territorial or city administrations, or by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs representative office, occur regularly and are usually attended by the consuls general from the various Consulates in Vladivostok. There are also occasional functions hosted by Vladivostok’s other foreign missions: India, South Korea, Japan, China, and Vietnam maintain consulates in the city, and several other countries are represented by honorary consuls or some other form of representation in the city. Official receptions are large affairs, but small-scale entertaining at restaurants or in homes is more popular. The Consulate General hosts an annual Fourth of July reception, and all Consulate General officers are strongly encouraged to entertain.

Official Functions

Standards of Social Conduct Last Updated: 6/24/2005 2:40 AM

Formal calling cards are not exchanged with officers of other consulates or local officials. The consul general should plan on making courtesy calls on the Governor and Mayor soon after arrival. Other calls are optional. Officers should bring a large supply of informal business cards to post. Cards may be printed locally, but are of lower quality than those available in the U.S. or Moscow.

Special Information Last Updated: 6/24/2005 2:41 AM

Post Orientation Program

Vladivostok has an informal orientation program. Post officers and CLO provide briefings on local conditions and post operations upon arrival. This is a follow-on to CLO’s pre-arrival long distance orientation. Employees should plan on spending about 2 days in Moscow en route to post or soon after arrival for consultations.

Health. Permanent and temporary duty staff should endeavor to receive all necessary inoculations before arriving in Vladivostok. Among those strongly suggested are Japanese B encephalitis vaccines (for both tick and mosquito), hepatitis B vaccine, and gamma globulin. Several of these vaccines are given as a series over several months, so advance planning is required.

Embassy Manila’s regional medical officer is responsible for medical care at post and makes periodic trips to Vladivostok. The post also has a resident English-speaking Russian doctor who provides medical services to Consulate General staff, including inoculations. Local Russian medical facilities are generally not recommended, except in case of emergency and with the full involvement of our local physician. When necessary, Consulate General staff and family members can be medevaced to Korea (DoD hospital) or the U.S. In non-emergency situations, staff and family members can also receive care in Moscow.

Vladivostok's water is not potable. Post provides at least one water distiller per apartment which provides suitable, safe drinking water. Bottled water is also readily available in the city. Other post hazards include very slick sidewalks and roads after snows.

Automobiles. As Vladivostok’s public transportation is limited, bring a vehicle to post. Japanese vehicles are common in the city, and Toyota and Nissan maintain service centers with trained mechanics. South Korean and European vehicles are slowly becoming more common. Bring a good supply of spare parts, particularly air, fuel, and oil filters, spare windshield wipers, and fan belts, since parts for certain imported vehicles are hard to find and expensive. Consider a four‑wheel‑drive vehicle, because Vladivostok’s hilly terrain makes winter driving difficult. Snow tires are helpful in winter, but are not mandatory, as snowfall is relatively infrequent. As protection against car theft and vandalism, bring a steering wheel lock or other theft‑protection device. The commute to the office from most of our apartments is less than 10 minutes, when a snowstorm is not actually underway.

Travel. Before departing for post, ensure that Vladivostok is listed as an entry point on your Russian visa. Consulate General staff are required, with the help of FSN staff, to file a diplomatic travel note notifying the Foreign Ministry of any intended travel outside a 40‑kilometer radius of downtown Vladivostok. Incoming personnel will be fully briefed upon arrival as to all pertinent rules.

Pets. Contact the post administrative officer for restrictions at your specific housing assignment. Good veterinary services are readily available.

Currency Transactions. Check with the post's administrative officer regarding the availability and exchangeability of funds before departing for post. Currently, post provides full accommodation exchange services to all permanently assigned and temporary duty personnel on travel orders.

Consulate General - Yekaterinburg

Post City Last Updated: 9/13/2004 5:24 AM

Yekaterinburg lays claim to the title of Russia's third largest city and former President Yeltsin's hometown. It is best known to Americans as the place where the last Tsar and his family were murdered by the Bolsheviks in 1918 and the location where American U-2 spy plane pilot Gary Powers was shot down in 1960. Yekaterinburg is situated in the foothills of the Ural Mountains and is nominally an Asian city, lying 20 miles east of the continental divide between Europe and Asia. Like Chicago, its closest American counterpart, Yekaterinburg is the unofficial capital of a key region in the country's heartland, the Urals.

Yekaterinburg was founded in 1723 by Peter the Great, who named it for his wife Catherine I. Tsar Peter recognized the importance of the iron and copper-rich Urals region for Imperial Russia's industrial and military development. By the mid-18th century, metallurgical plants had sprung up across the Urals to cast cannons and Yekaterinburg's mint was producing most of Russia's coins.

Today, Yekaterinburg, much like Pittsburgh in the 1970's, is struggling to cope with dramatic economic changes that have made its heavy industries uncompetitive on the world market. Huge defense plants are struggling to survive, while retail and service sectors are developing rapidly. Yekaterinburg and the surrounding area were a center of the Soviet Union's military industrial complex. Soviet tanks, missiles and aircraft engines were made in the Urals. As a result, the Soviets closed the entire region to contact with the outside world for over 40 years during the Cold War. In 1992, thanks to lobbying efforts by local leaders, the new Russian Federation opened Yekaterinburg and the Urals to contact with the West.

The Post and Its Administration Last Updated: 9/13/2004 5:13 AM

The United States was at the forefront of Western efforts to seek to establish contacts in the Urals. In 1994, Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown opened the U.S. Consulate in Yekaterinburg, the first diplomatic mission in the Urals since World War II. The Consulate's primary mission is to encourage openness and contact with American business, culture and ideas.

As Russia's regions have begun to play an increasingly important role in the country's development, Yekaterinburg offers the United States a unique post in the Russian interior to encourage greater democratization and market reform. U.S. policy has increasingly targeted Russia's regions in its assistance, trade assistance and exchange programs. U.S. investment in the Yekaterinburg area has dropped since the August 1998 financial crisis. However, American and other foreign investors continue to consider the Urals as Russia's economy recovers. There are over 50 Russian-American joint ventures, including household names such as Crane and United Technologies. Pepsi and Coca-Cola have bottling plants in Yekaterinburg.

The Consulate staff consists of seven American officers and fifty Russian FSN and contract employees. The Consulate occupies the top two floors of one wing of a four-story modern office building with 19th century-style facade located near the city center. The British Consulate is located in the same building.

The Consulate has Management, Commercial, Consular, Political-Economic and Public Affairs Sections. The post's size provides its American employees with broader portfolios and greater management opportunities than their counterparts in larger missions. The Management Officer is also the Post Security Officer and the Political-Economic Officer manages the Commercial Section.

ConGen Yekaterinburg's consular district includes all of the Urals region and the west part of Siberia. The consular district is larger than the United States east of the Mississippi and is home to 40 million people. Consulate staff regularly visit major cities throughout the consular district by automobile, train, and plane. Winter weather, vast distances and an underdeveloped transportation infrastructure make travel a challenge.

The Consulate's main attraction as a place to serve is its location in central Russia. It offers an opportunity to interact with ordinary Russians and to observe their society evolve in the country's ongoing transformation into a democracy with a market economy. In addition, the region's economic and political strength make it a key player in shaping federal policies. A Post here is a chance to influence people and attitudes toward America, a country that was viewed only a few years ago as an enemy and a threat.

Paradoxically, the Consulate's main drawback as a place to serve is its location. About 200 Americans reside in the Consular district and Yekaterinburg's English-speaking expatriate community is small. Parents with minor children should consider carefully whether to bid on positions in Yekaterinburg at this time. Social opportunities for children are extremely limited, an international school is nonexistent, and Western medical care is not available.

Communications and mail service are limited, but improving. In addition to commercial long distance telephone service, Yekaterinburg has five reliable Internet providers that offer full Internet access and e-mail. The Consulate is connected to the Internet and has its own website Incoming mail service is limited to weekly diplomatic pouch and takes 2-3 weeks to reach Yekaterinburg from the U.S. Consulate personnel may receive packages that do not exceed 17” x 18” x 30” in size or 45 pounds in weight and do not contain liquids (pouch limitations). Outgoing mail is limited to letter mail and can also be sent via the APO in Moscow.

Post's pouch address is:

U.S. Dept. of State

5890 Yekaterinburg Place

Washington, DC 20521-5890

Housing Last Updated: 9/13/2004 5:15 AM

Incoming Consulate personnel usually move into permanent quarters upon arrival. If permanent quarters are not ready, new arrivals are lodged in hotels. Permanent housing consists of fully furnished USG-leased apartments, most of which are located within walking distance of the Consulate building. Each apartment has a kitchen, dining room, living room, and at least two bedrooms and at least one and a half bathrooms.


The furniture is similar to that issued by Embassy Moscow and each apartment has living room furniture, lamps, two bookcases, a dining room suite, a desk set and bedroom sets. Master bedrooms have queen-sized (60 inches x 80 inches) beds and guest rooms have twin-sized (39 inches x 75 inches) beds. All apartments have draperies; some rooms are fully carpeted. Should incoming personnel wish to bring additional furnishings, we would suggest reading lamps, area rugs, door mats, pictures and other wall hangings, additional bookcases and/or stereo and TV stands.

New arrivals receive a welcome kit (linens, pillows, blankets, towels, dishes, glasses, pots and pans, silverware and an iron) for use until their UAB arrives.

Utilities and Appliances

All apartments are equipped with large hot water heaters for kitchen and bathroom use. All have effective central heating and additional portable radiators. All are outfitted with ranges, refrigerators/freezers, washers and dryers, dishwashers (in most apartments), humidifiers, microwave ovens and an electric water distiller.

All apartments have at least one telephone; telephone jacks are U.S. standard. Russia has no touch-tone service and any push-button telephones or automatic dialing equipment, such as computer modems, should be able to convert to pulse dialing.

Electrical service in Yekaterinburg is 220v, 50 Hz. Most electrical outlets accept two round prongs, with a mixture of "French/Italian" and "German" sized outlets. Each apartment is equipped with three step-down transformers to operate standard 110v American appliances.

Russian television operates on the SECAM system, and multi-system televisions and VCR's and available for purchase in Yekaterinburg. Limited European satellite television, such as BBC World (PAL), is available.

Food Last Updated: 9/13/2004 5:15 AM

Employees assigned to Yekaterinburg should take full advantage of the authorized consumables shipment. The availability and quality of foods is improving here, but is still limited, especially in winter. Fresh fruits and vegetables are usually available, but selection varies seasonally. Many American staples rarely appear on store shelves. Imported liquor and wine are in short supply and expensive. Availability of items is subject to change. It is recommended that incoming personnel check with the Management Officer or others at post regarding suggestions for consumables.

The Consulate suggests that a consumables shipment might include favorite snack foods, crackers, paper products, personal care items, herbs and spices, breakfast cereals, soups, canned vegetables and fruit, coffee, and ingredients for ethnic cuisines (e.g. Chinese and Mexican).

Yekaterinburg's water is not potable. The water distillers issued to each apartment provide water for drinking and cooking.

Clothing Last Updated: 9/13/2004 5:16 AM

Yekaterinburg has a continental climate similar to that of the American Midwest, with freezing winter temperatures and warm summers. Winter temperatures occasionally drop as low as minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit and the first snow usually falls in October. Planning for winter weather should be a high priority. Winter-weight clothing and boots are essential. Snow and ice make the sidewalks very slippery and footwear with traction is highly recommended. The climate is very dry during the winter months and skin moisturizer and lip balm are recommended items to bring to post.

Supplies and Services Last Updated: 9/13/2004 5:19 AM


Most personnel at post currently do not have POV's. Parking in a guarded lot or garage is provided near each employee's apartment. Toyota and Ford have dealerships in Yekaterinburg but service and parts are very expensive. Employees are encouraged not to purchase vehicles locally. A vehicle with four-wheel drive and high clearance to cope with the winter conditions is strongly recommended. Unleaded premium gasoline is not readily available in Yekaterinburg and other major cities in our consular district. Personnel who decided to import vehicles should consider disconnecting the catalytic converter. They should also bring basic spare parts, including air, synthetic oil (to handle the cold temperatures), fuel and oil filters; spark plugs; windshield wipers; and drive belts.

Health Care

Yekaterinburg's health care delivery system does not meet American standards. There is no Western clinic in the city and no reliable 24-hour emergency ambulance service. Basic health care is marginal; dental care is inadequate. Incoming personnel should visit a physician and dentist prior to arrival and obtain all inoculations recommended by M/MED. Inoculations against all forms of hepatitis as well as tick-borne encephalitis (usually received in Russia) are especially important. The nearest Western-style basic medical care is available in Moscow, a two-hour flight from Yekaterinburg, or in Frankfurt, a four-hour flight away. Embassy Moscow's Regional Medical Officer makes periodic trips to post and is responsible for authorizing medical evacuations. Yekaterinburg's designated medical evacuation point is London.

Currency Transactions

Yekaterinburg is a cash-only economy; credit cards are rarely accepted; travelers checks are not accepted anywhere. The Consulate cashier is open daily to cash personal checks and provide dollar-ruble accommodation exchange.

Domestic Help

Domestic help is readily available on the local market. Consulate employees can expect to hire a maid or cook (for cooking, laundry service, cleaning, and grocery shopping) for about $3 per hour.

Employment Opportunities for Dependents

Employment opportunities for spouses and dependents are limited. The Consulate has two part-time EFM positions as a NIV Visa Assistant and Community Liaison Officer. No spouse or dependent at post has worked on the local market.

Religious Activities Last Updated: 9/13/2004 5:20 AM

There are no religious services conducted in English in the city. Russian Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Muslim, Seventh Day Adventist, Pentecostal, and Jewish services are held weekly. The Methodists, Baptists, Lutherans and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints carry out missionary activities locally, and several of these missions also have weekly services.

Education Last Updated: 9/13/2004 5:21 AM

There are no international schools, however, a few schools accept international students but the classes are taught in Russian. There are no schools that teach in English. Education allowance allows for home schooling or schooling away from post.

Recreation and Social Life Last Updated: 9/13/2004 5:23 AM

Outdoor Sports and Travel in the Consular District

The Urals' many lakes, forests and mountains are great for hiking, swimming and fishing. Winter sports include cross-country skiing and ice-skating. The Ural Mountains, however, offer only limited opportunities for downhill skiing. Yekaterinburg's most popular spectator sports are hockey, basketball and soccer.

The Urals possess beautiful natural scenery, particularly northern Tyumen's distant tundra and taiga. For Russian history and culture buffs, ConGen Yekaterinburg's consular district offers many landmarks including the childhood home museums of classical composer Tschaikovskiy and mad monk Rasputin; the Nizhnyaya Sinyachika village outdoor museum of pre-revolutionary architecture; historic cities like Tobolsk; and the 400-year-old monastery at Verkhoturye, the 16th century capital of the Urals.

Consulate personnel are required to notify the local Ministry of Foreign Affairs representative of any planned travel outside of a 25-mile radius of the city center three working days in advance. Notification is made through diplomatic notes filed by the Consulate.

Travel Outside the Consular District

Yekaterinburg is a two-R&R/two-year tour of duty. Yekaterinburg's designated R&R point is Rome.

Travel to and from post is usually routed through Frankfurt (via Lufthansa's direct flight three times per week) or through Moscow via daily Urals Air, Transaero or Aeroflot flights. There are also regular flights to St. Petersburg and other major cities in the former Soviet Union. Yekaterinburg's airport now features charter flights to many foreign countries, including Turkey, China and the United Arab Emirates.


The performing arts are Yekaterinburg's cultural strongpoint. The city has an excellent symphony orchestra, opera and ballet theater, and many other performing arts venues. Tickets are inexpensive. The city's most notable museums are its fine arts museum, which contains paintings by some of Russia's 19th century masters, and the geological museum which houses an extensive collection of stones and gems from the Urals.

Yekaterinburg's nightlife options are limited. There are a handful of expensive Western-style restaurants and bars, none of which would be worth frequenting in a more cosmopolitan city. Glitzy nightclubs and casinos have appeared to serve the city's nouveau riche clientele. Several new dance clubs have sprung up that offer a chance to rub shoulders with Yekaterinburg's more affluent youth.

Notes For Travelers

Getting to the Post Last Updated: 4/30/2001 6:00 PM

Apply for your passport and Russian visa well in advance of your intended travel. Regardless of agency affiliation, this must be coordinated through EUR/RUS, Department of State, Room 4227, telephone (202) 647‑8956. By allowing 4 weeks to obtain your passport and 3 weeks for your Russian visa, you can spare yourself needless last-minute efforts.

Notify the Embassy Personnel Office in advance of the date, time, and place of your arrival in Moscow. It is Embassy policy to meet all incoming personnel. Arrivals who find no Embassy representative awaiting them should telephone the Marine Security Guard at 728‑5025 for assistance.

In order to register with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and obtain an Embassy identification, Embassy employees and their dependents must bring the following to the Embassy on the first day: 12 color, full‑face photographs, U.S. passport‑sized, and eight black‑and‑white, measuring 1 1/2 x 2 1/ 4 (4 cm x 6 cm). The black-and-white photos must have paper backing (not Polaroid). All incoming personnel should check in at the Personnel Office on the first business day after arrival.

Include in your accompanied baggage or airfreight enough clothing appropriate for the time of year to last for a few weeks. Airfreight from the U.S. takes about 3 weeks to arrive in winter and 2‑6 weeks in summer. Shipment of your airfreight must be timed to arrive in Moscow after you arrive at post to comply with Russian customs regulations. In summer, you need both summer clothes and warm clothing to wear after mid‑August.

Shipping time for HHE from Washington, D.C. to Moscow can take 3 months or more. No general rule can be given for shipping time from other areas, but assume that surface shipments will move slowly.

If you are moving immediately into temporary or permanent Embassy quarters (or if you are departing post), the GSO will issue you a Welcome Kit, including a minimum supply of bedding, towels, dishes, glasses, cutlery, and pots and pans. The Kit is intended only to help new personnel and their families until their airfreight arrives. Include in your airfreight those things you will need until you receive your HHE shipment. If you will need a baby crib, notify the GSO in advance of your arrival and one will be loaned to you.

Choice of Route to Moscow. Currently, Delta is the only American airline that regularly flies to Moscow and St. Petersburg. However, check the latest schedules to determine what carriers and stopover combinations are authorized.

You can drive to post over the routes Prague-Warsaw‑Brest‑Moscow or Helsinki‑St. Petersburg-Moscow with prior Embassy and Russian Government approval. When driving by way of Warsaw, allow at least 6 weeks to arrange the Russian-Brest entrance visa and Czechoslovak and Polish transit visas.

If driving to Moscow, notify the Embassy well in advance of the route, stopover points, dates, and car license plate number, so that the required travel note can be sent to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The overland trip should be undertaken only by experienced drivers accompanied by another passenger or by two cars traveling together. If you do not have a Russian driver's license, have a valid U.S. license and an international driver's license available. Gasoline is often difficult to find in Russia outside of major cities. Gas stations take cash only.

Road travel in Russia is not geared to high-speed, long-distance runs. Surfaces vary greatly, detours are frequent, and drivers often do not perform according to expectations. Heavy truck traffic makes passing extremely dangerous. Service facilities are seldom seen and never to be depended on for parts. A carefully planned pacing is the best approach, but there are many accidents involving diplomatic vehicles, and the risk is high. Most employees arrive initially by plane or train and have their personally owned vehicle shipped in, or purchase a vehicle after arrival.

Travel to Moscow by air or surface routes other than those specified above must be cleared in advance by the Embassy.

Send post sufficient advance notice (10 days minimum) so that it can arrange a Welcome Kit and necessary transportation. Most employees arrive via plane. After disembarking from the plane and proceeding through passport control, you will be met near the baggage claim and assisted through immigration and customs. Most arrivals proceed through customs formalities without any difficulty. If arriving by rail, you will be met near the head of the train on the platform.

If you are not met by an Embassy representative, request to be put in touch with the Embassy duty officer by calling Marine Guard Post 5 at 728-5025.

If traveling via Helsinki, inform the Embassy by cable of the date of arrival, means of travel, and flight number (if applicable).

Travel to St. Petersburg. Currently, Delta flies into St. Petersburg. If transiting Eastern Europe en route to post, check for compliance with visa requirements and be aware that flight schedules between St. Petersburg and Eastern European cities often change without notice. If arriving by car, enter from Helsinki and notify the post well in advance of arrival so that a travel note may be submitted to the Russian Government. You must provide the Consulate General with names of travelers, date you will enter Russia (you may not enter before the date given on your travel note), make of vehicle, the license plate number, and country that issued the license plates.

Travel to Vladivostok. Employees assigned to Vladivostok should arrange routing to Vladivostok via Moscow, allowing 2 days of consultations at Embassy Moscow. Although this route is longer, post strongly recommends that employees consult with the Embassy before arriving at post. Initial travel to post is possible either by air via Moscow or across the Pacific on an American carrier. There are frequent trans‑Pacific flights from Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles to Tokyo and Seoul, and biweekly flights in summer from Seattle to Vladivostok via Anchorage and Magadan. Travelers choosing to transit Tokyo must take a “bullet train” from Tokyo to Niigata (about 2 hours). Aeroflot flies twice weekly (Thursdays and Sundays) from Niigata to Vladivostok. Travelers transiting Seoul must catch the weekly (Sunday) Aeroflot flight from Seoul to Khabarovsk, then fly or take an overnight train from Khabarovsk to Vladivostok.

Travel to Yekaterinburg. Employees assigned to Yekaterinburg usually fly on the thrice weekly (Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday) Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt. The Department has approved this routing. Travelers to Yekaterinburg are strongly advised to check that their visa allows entry to Russia via Yekaterinburg, as the Russian Embassy in Washington does not always put it as an entry point even when requested.

Customs, Duties, and Passage

Customs and Duties Last Updated: 4/30/2001 6:00 PM

According to Russian customs regulations, effective January 1, 1966, personnel with diplomatic titles may import articles duty free throughout their tenure. No limit, other than “quantity required for personal use,” is stipulated. Although customs regulations have changed since 1966 and have been updated since the dissolution of the U.S.S.R. in 1991, the privileges extended to accredited diplomats remain essentially unchanged.

Those with diplomatic passports are not required to fill out a customs declaration upon entering or leaving Russia, nor are they required to submit their bags to a customs inspection. Others, such as a nanny employed by an American diplomat, are required to fill out the declaration and to submit their bags to a customs inspection.

Shipments: No personal shipments (HHE, UAB, personally owned vehicle) should arrive at the Embassy or the consulates before the employee arrives at the post of assignment. Shipments that arrive before the employee experience customs clearance difficulties, cannot be cleared through customs, and accrue expensive storage charges. The Embassy and consulates do not have storage facilities for personal shipments.

Shipment of Effects‑Moscow. Mark HHE shipments bound for Moscow as follows:

American Embassy Bolshoy Devyatinskiy Pereulok No. 8 121099 Moscow Russian Federation via ELSO, Antwerp in transit For: (full name)

Send the original bill of lading to the European Logistical Support Office (ELSO), Antwerp, Belgium, and a copy to the general services officer, American Embassy, Moscow.

If you are on direct transfer from Western European posts, you may ship HHE by truck directly to Moscow. In this case, the losing post must advise Moscow in advance (by cable) of the shipping company's name, the truck and trailer numbers, the number of pieces, the weight, the date of entry into Russia and the entry point, and the estimated time of arrival in Moscow.

Maximum dimensions for liftvans are as follows: capacity, 9 1/2 cubic meters; weight, 2 1/2 tons; width, 7 feet; length, 8 feet; and height, 6 feet.

Airfreight‑Unaccompanied Baggage. Airfreight shipments to Moscow should be marked as follows:

American Embassy Bolshoy Devyatinskiy Pereulok No. 8 121099 Moscow Russian Federation For: (full name)

Personally Owned Vehicles. Winterize all vehicles before shipping them. Install alarm systems and removable radio/cassette players before shipping as well, due to a high incidence of vandalism. Post recommends shipping vehicles through Helsinki. Employees may either drive the vehicle in from there or have it trucked in at government expense. Personally owned vehicles should be consigned as follows:

European Logistical Support Office (ELSO) Antwerp, Belgium Noorderlaan 147, BUS 12A, B-2030 Antwerp For forwarding to American Embassy, Moscow

Send original bill of lading to ELSO Antwerp with a copy to the GSO in Moscow. For those employees on direct transfer from Western European posts, the same shipping instructions apply as those for shipment of HHE, listed above. You may ship your personally owned vehicle directly to Moscow via truck. The losing post must advise Moscow in advance (by cable) of the shipping company's name, the truck and trailer numbers, the weight, the date of entry into Russia and entry point, and the estimated time of arrival in Moscow.

Shipment of HHE, St. Petersburg. HHE, airfreight, consumables, and personally owned vehicles should all be sent via the Unified Regional Support Activity Office (URSA/Helsinki). Make sure that they are not shipped to Helsinki far in advance of your estimated arrival. The Embassy in Helsinki cannot take possession of the goods, since you are not assigned to Finland; storage space is minimal; and storage costs are high. Under no circumstances should you consign them directly to the Consulate General. The Consulate General also cannot clear goods until after you are registered with the St. Petersburg Diplomatic Agency and has neither a warehouse nor storage space to hold incoming goods. All items should be marked as follows:

American Ambassador American Embassy Helsinki, Finland TAG: Attn: URSA For: (full name)

Send the original bill of lading to the URSA/Helsinki office with a copy to the general services officer in St. Petersburg.

Shipment of Effects—Vladivostok: Mark HHE, consumables, and airfreight shipments bound for Vladivostok as follows:

American Consulate General Pushkinskaya Street, 32 Vladivostok, Russia For: (full name)

Send a copy of the bill of lading to the administrative officer, American Consulate General, Vladivostok. Shipments should not arrive in Vladivostok before employees. Post has no storage facilities for personal effects.

Personally Owned Vehicles—Vladivostok: Winterize all vehicles before shipping them. Install alarm systems and remove radio/cassette players before shipping as well, due to a high incidence of vandalism. Post recommends shipping vehicles directly to Vladivostok by sea through the appropriate U.S. Dispatch Agent (usually Seattle). Personally owned vehicles should be consigned as follows:

American Consulate General Attn: (full name) c/o Administrative Officer 32 Pushkinskaya Street Vladivostok, Russia

Send original bill of lading to the administrative officer in Vladivostok.

Customs, Duties, and Passage

Passage Last Updated: 4/30/2001 6:00 PM

To enter Russia, have a Russian visa specifically valid for your point of entry. If entering by car, train, or ship, ensure that your visa is valid for the selected entry point. Immunization and inoculation certificates are not required at the border. You may not arrive before (or leave after) the validity dates of your visa that appear in DD/MM/YY format on the visa.

If you are stationed abroad at the time of assignment and are not going through Washington, D.C., apply for your Russian entrance visa at the nearest Russian Embassy or Consulate General. On the basis of reciprocity, permanent Embassy personnel applying in Washington should be issued Russian visas within 7 days of date of application. Temporary duty personnel applying in Washington, D.C, also should be issued visas within seven days of application and, if applying outside Washington, D.C., within 15 days. No visa request should be submitted to the Russians until after the travel has been approved by the Embassy and the Department (EUR/RUS).

Customs, Duties, and Passage

Pets Last Updated: 4/30/2001 6:00 PM

All pets should be given distemper, hepatitis, leptospira bactrin, parvovirus, and rabies immunizations before entering the Russian Federation. A rabies and an immunization certification stating dates must be available for customs formalities. Check with your airline concerning regulations and how far in advance you need the shots given to your pet.

There are veterinary clinics in Moscow that stock rabies, distemper, leptospira bactrin, and parvovirus vaccines for dogs and cats. Other pet medicines and supplies (worm pills, flea powder, vitamins, soap, etc.) should be brought with you.

In your notice of arrival cable, notify the Embassy that you are bringing a pet.

Currency, Banking, and Weights and Measures Last Updated: 4/30/2001 6:00 PM

The Russian unit of currency is the ruble, composed of 100 kopecks.

The rate of exchange is relatively stable at 28‑29 rubles to the dollar. Check the Embassy, local banks, or hotels for the latest rate. Embassy personnel receive no preferential rate of exchange.

The metric system of weights and measures is used.

Taxes, Exchange, and Sale of Property Last Updated: 4/30/2001 6:00 PM


Other than airport and indirect taxes, which are included in the selling price of goods, employees are not subject to any special Russian taxes.

With the prior approval of the minister counselor for Administration, you can sell articles that you have imported to official members of the American Embassy or third‑country diplomats at the end of your tour of duty. This privilege is restricted to reasonable amounts of personal property during your tour. Russian law forbids the sale of duty‑free goods to Russian citizens.

Many employees, during a tour of duty in Russia, will want to purchase and export items that are typical of the country and that will remind them of their tour of duty. Bear in mind that under Russian law, you must have the permission of the Russian Ministry of Culture to export any antique item and/or works of art. Russia is within its rights under the Vienna Conventions on Diplomatic and Consular Relations to prohibit the export of any such items (Article 36).

In addition to samovars, paintings, and rugs, this restriction applies as well to collections or separate works of fine, applied, and folk art; icons; archeological and numismatic items; valuable musical instruments; gold; silver; precious stones; hand‑woven carpets; manuscripts; books published before 1966; and furniture made before 1945.

GSO staff in the Shipping/Customs Section will advise employees on how to request export permission from the Ministry of Culture; questions about specific cases should be addressed to GSO personnel.


In Moscow the AECA cashier sells travelers checks, and American and Finnish stamps. You may also cash checks at the Embassy cashier window for U.S. currency. There is currently no accomodation exchange offered at the Embassy. However, numerous banks and dollar exchange facilities are located throughout the city. A personal checking account with a U.S. bank is a necessity.

Recommended Reading Last Updated: 4/30/2001 6:00 PM

These titles are provided as a general indication of the material published on this country. The Department of State does not endorse unofficial publications.

In much the same way that knowledge of the language can enrich a tour in Russia, or in any country, some familiarity with its history and culture may prove helpful. Much has been written about Russia. The following selections, therefore, are intended only as a sampling of this vast literature.

Baedeker, Karl. Baedeker's Handbook for Travelers: Russia. Arno Press: New York, 1914 (Reprinted 1970).

Binyon, Michael. Life in Russia. Pantheon: 1984.

Daglieb, Robert. Coping with Russia. Basil Blackwell, Ltd: Oxford, 1985.

Feshback, Murray and Fred Friendly, Jr. Ecocide in the USSR. Basic Books: New York, 1991.

Kaiser, Robert. Russia: The People and the Power. Atheneum: New York, 1976.

Klose, Kevin. Russia and the Russians. Norton & Co.: 1984.

Louis, Victor and Jennifer. The Complete Guide to the Soviet Union. St. Martin's Press: New York, 1980.

Massier, Suzanne. Land of the Firebird. Simon & Schuster: New York, 1980.

Plessix Gray, Francine du. Soviet Women Walking the Tightrope. Doubleday: New York, 1989.

Pozner, Vladimir. Parting with Illusions. Avon Books: New York, 1990.

Schecter, Jerrold. An American Family in Moscow. Little, Brown & Co.: Boston, 1975.

Shipler, David K. Russia: Broken Idols, Solemn Dreams. Times Books: New York, 1983.

Smith, Hedrick. The New Russians. Random House, Inc.: New York, 1990.

Smith, Hedrick. The Russians. Quadrangle Books: New York, 1976.

Willis, David. KLASS: Status and Privileges in the Soviet Union. St. Martin's Press: New York, 1985.

Wilson, Edmund. To the Finland Station. Praeger: New York, 1968.

U.S.-Soviet/U.S.-Russian Relations Bishop, Donald G. The Roosevelt-Litvinov Agreements: The American View. Syracuse University Press: Syracuse, 1965.

Bohlen, Charles E. Witness to History, 1929-1969. Norton: New York, 1973.

Daniels, Robert V. Russia: The Roots of Confrontation. Harvard University Press: Cambridge, 1985.

Feis, Herbert. From Trust to Terror: Onset of the Cold War, 1945-1950. Norton: New York, 1970.

Harriman, W. Averell, and Elie Abel. Special Envoy to Churchill and Stalin, 1945-1946. Random House: New York, 1975.

Horelick, Arnold L., ed. U.S.-Soviet Relations-The Next Phase. Cornell University Press: Ithaca and London, 1986.

Kennan, George F. Soviet-American Relations, 1917-1920 (two volumes). Princeton University Press: Princeton, 1956-58.

Kohler, Foy. Understanding the Russians: A Citizen's Primer. Harper & Row: New York, 1970.

Newhouse, John. Cold Dawn: The Story of SALT. Holt, Rinehart & Winston, Inc.: New York, 1973.

Ulam, Adam B. Expansion and Coexistence: The History of Soviet Foreign Policy, 1917-1973. Praeger: New York, 1974.

The Bolsheviks. Macmillan: New York, 1965.

Foreign Policy Edmonds, Robin. Soviet Foreign Policy, 1962-1973: The Paradox of Super Power. Oxford University Press: New York, 1977.

Horelick, Arnold L. and Myron Rush. Strategic Power and Soviet Foreign Policy. University of Chicago Press: Chicago, 1966.

Kennan, George F. Russia and the West Under Lenin and Stalin. Little, Brown & Co.: Boston, 1961.

The Old Regime Bialer, Seweryn. The Soviet Paradox: External Expansion, Internal Decline. Alfred A. Knopf: New York, 1986.

Billington, James H. The Icon and the Axe. Knoft: New York, 1966.

Blum, Jerome. Lord and Peasant in Russia from the Ninth to the Nineteenth Century. Princeton University Press: Princeton, 1961.

Byrnes, Robert F., ed. After Brezhnev, Sources of Soviet Conduct in the 1980s. Indiana University Press: Bloomington, 1983.

Pares, Bernard. A History of Russia. AMS Press: New York, 1965.

Pipes, Richard. Russia Under the Old Regime. Scribner: New York, 1975.

Venturi, Franco. Roots of Revolution. Grosset and Dunlap: New York, 1966.

The Revolutionary Period Cohen, Stephen E. Bukharin and the Bolshevik Revolution: A Political Biography, 1888-1938. Alfred A. Knopf: New York, 1973.

Courtois, Stephane & others. The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression. Harvard University.

Deustcher, Isaac. The Prophet Armed: Trotsky, 1879-1921, vol. 1; The Prophet Unarmed: Trotsky, 1921-1929, vol. 2; and The Prophet Outcast: Trotsky, 1929- 1940, vol. 3. Random House: New York, 1965.

Hunt, R. Carew. The Theory and Practice of Communism. Penguin Books: New York, 1963

Marx, Karl. The Communist Manifesto. Penguin Books: New York, 1968.

Pipes, Richard. The Formation of the Soviet Union: Communism and Nationalism, 1917-1923. Harvard University Press: Cambridge, 1964.

Reed, John. Ten Days That Shook the World. International Publishing Co.: New York, 1967.

Rosenberg, William G., Ed. Bolshevik Visions: First Phase of the Cultural Revolution in Soviet Russia. Ardis Publishers: Ann Arbor, 1984.

Salisbury, Harrison. Black Night, White Snow: Russia's Revolutions (1905-1917). Doubleday & Co.: New York, 1978.

Trotsky, Leon. The Russian Revolution: The Overthrow of Tzarism and the Triumph of the Soviets. (Abbreviated edition). Doubleday & Co.: New York, 1959.

Tucker, Robert C., ed. The Lenin Anthology. W.W. Norton and Co.: New York, 1975.

Ulam, Adam. Dangerous Relations: The Soviet Union in World Politics, 1970- 1982. Oxford University Press: New York, 1983.

Wolfe, Bertram. Three Who Made a Revolution. Dell Publishing Company: New York, 1964.

Zbarsky, Ilya & Samuel Hutchinson. Lenin's Embalmers. Harvill.

The Stalinist Period Carr, Edward H. A History of Soviet Russia (9 volumes). Macmillan: New York, 1953.

Conquest, Robert. Kolyma. The Arctic Death Camp. Viking Press: New York, 1978.

Conquest, Robert. The Great Terror: Stalin's Purge of the Thirties. Macmillan: New York, 1973.

Djilas, Milovan. Conversations with Stalin. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc.: New York, 1962.

Ginsburg, Yevgenia. Journey into the Whirlwind. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc.: 1975.

Medvedev, Roy. Let History Judge: The Origins and Consequences of Stalinism. Random House: New York, 1973.

Medvedev, Zhores. The Rise and Fall of T.D. Lysenko. Doubleday & Company: New York, 1971.

Salisbury, Harrison. 900 Days: The Seige of Leningrad. Harper & Row: New York, 1969.

Ulam, Sm. Stalin: The Man and His Era. Viking Press: New York, 1973.

Post-Stalin Period Barron, John. KGB: The Secret Work of Soviet Secret Agents. Reader's Digest Press: New York, 1974.

Bloch, Sidney and Peter Reddaway. Psychiatric Terror. Basic Books, Inc.: New York, 1977.

Brzezinski, Zbigniew. Ideology and Power in Soviet Politics. Greenwood Press, Inc.: Westport, 1976.

Fainsod, Merle. How Russia Is Ruled. Harvard University Press: Cambridge, 1963.

Hingley, Ronald. The Russian Mind. Scribner: New York, 1977.

Katz, Zev, et al. Handbook of Major Soviet Nationalities. Free Press: New York, 1975.

Medvedev, Roy and Zhores. A Question of Madness. Random House: New York, 1972.

Medvedev, Roy and Zhores. Krushchev: The Years in Power. Columbia University Press: New York, 1976.

Shapiro, Leonard. Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Random House: New York, 1971.

Talbott, Strobe, ed. Krushchev Remembers. Little, Brown & Co.: Boston, 1971.

Tatu, Michael. Power in the Kremlin: From Krushchev to Kosygin. Viking Press: New York, 1969.

Tokes, Rudolph L. Dissent in the USSR: Politics, Ideology, and People. Johns Hopkins University Press: Baltimore, 1975.

Russian Literature Chekhov, Anton. The Cherry Orchard. Grove Press, Inc.: New York, 1977.

The Sea Gull. Harper & Row: New York, 1977.

Three Sisters. Macmillan: New York, 1969.

Dostoyevsky, Fedor. Brothers Karamazov. Norton: New York, 1976.

Crime and Punishment. Norton: New York, 1975.

Notes from the Underground. T.Y. Crowell Co.: New York, 1975.

Gogol, Nicolai. Dead Souls. Norton: New York, 1971.

Lermontov. A Hero of Our Times. Penguin Books, New York, 1966.

Tolstoy, L. Anna Karenina. Bantam Books, Inc.: New York, 1977.

War and Peace. Apollo Editions: New York, 1977.

Turgenev. Fathers and Sons. Washington Square Press, Inc.: New York, 1977.

Soviet Literature Bulgakov, Mikhail. Heart of a Dog. Grove Press, Inc.: New York, 1968.

Master and Margarita. Grove Press, Inc.: New York, 1967.

Gorky, Maxim. Mother. Progress Publications: Chicago, 1976.

Kopelev, Lev. To Be Preserved Forever. J.B. Lippincott, Company: Philadelphia, 1977.

Pasternak, Boris. Dr. Zhivago. New American Library: New York, 1974.

Sholokhov, T. Mikhail. And Quiet Flows the Don. Random House: New York, 1965.

Solzhenitsyn, A. August 1914. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Inc.: New York, 1972.

Cancer Ward. Dell Publishing Co.: New York, 1974.

The First Circle. Bantam Books, Inc.: New York, 1976.

The Gulag Archipelago (3 volumes). Harper & Row: New York, 1974-77.

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. Praeger: New York, 1963.

Tertz, Abram. The Trial Begins. McCosh, Melvin, Bookseller: Excelsior, 1960.

Voinovich, Vladimir. The Ivankaid. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Inc.: New York, 1977.

Voinovich, Vladimir. The Life and Extraordinary Adventures of Private Ivan Chonkin. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Inc.: New York, 1977.

Voznesensky, Andrei. Antiworlds and the Fifth Ace. Schocken Books, Inc.: New York, 1973.

Zamiatin, Eugene. We. Gregg Press, Inc.: Boston, 1975.

Recommended Viewing

If you expect an assignment to Russia, see Russian films being shown at your current post, as well as any exhibitions of touring groups. The Overseas Briefing Center at FSI has a set of slides with narrative prepared at post.

Local Holidays Last Updated: 4/30/2001 6:00 PM

You can arrive on any day of the year; local customs, border entry points, and hotel facilities are open on all holidays.

New Year's Day January 1, 2 Russian Orthodox Christmas January 7 International Women's Day March 8 International Labor Day May 1 Spring Day May 2 Victory Day May 9 Independence Day (Russian) June 12 Revolution Day November 7 Day of Constitution December 12

Adapted from material published by the U.S. Department of State. While some of the information is specific to U.S. missions abroad, the post report provides a good overview of general living conditions in the host country for diplomats from all nations.
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