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Key Facts

Official Name: Russian Federation,

Capital City: Moscow

Official Languages: Russian

Religion: Russian Orthodox, Muslim, Jewish, Baptist, Lutheran and Roman Catholic

Currency: Russian Ruble (RUB)

Time Zone: Moscow and St. Petersburg GMT +3 hours, another 7 time zones across the country

Country Domain: .ru

Country Tel Code: 7

Moving to Russia

Russia spans eleven time zones, stretching from Eastern Europe to Alaska, and is twice the size of the United States. The western, European half is divided from the eastern, Asian half by the Ural Mountain range. Much of the territory is vast plain. Extremely cold weather is the norm from early fall through late spring.

Moscow, the business and political capital, is by far the country's largest city with a population of about 11 million people. While it is home to some of the country's wealthiest citizens, many of them new entrepreneurs, many people struggle to live on meager incomes.

Hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi brought Russia into the world spotlight. Sending troops to Ukraine shortly afterward has created concern and some uncertainty for travelers.


Power is divided among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches. The Head of State is the President. As of 2011, he is elected for a six-year term. He can dissolve the legislature, declare war, appoint ministers, and issue a wide range of presidential decrees independent of parliament. The bicameral legislature consists of the State Duma and the Federal Council. The Duma has 450 deputies who are elected by direct popular vote and others by proportional representation from the national parties.


Having survived the Asia financial crisis in 1997 and the global recession of 2008, Russia's economy showed GDP growth of 3.5 to 4.5 percent in recent years. Russia joined the World Trade Organization in 2012. Russia's abundance of natural resources and its skilled, educated workforce make it a promising environment for future economic investment and growth. Hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi brought the country into the spotlight.


Most expatriates, and most Russians, live in apartments, or flats, in one of the many clusters of Russian prefab housing blocks. Some foreigners, particularly in the diplomatic community, choose to live in a dacha village outside the cities.
Older apartment buildings are somewhat foreboding from the outside. Most are unattractive, characterless, and unkempt, causing many Westerners to experience a sense of trepidation when going to see an apartment for the first time. Stairwells are invariably stuffy, and often unpleasant.


There are several international and national schools - British, French, German, Indian, Israeli, Pakistani - in Moscow. St. Petersburg, and Vladivostok, have less choice. Most international schools operate a U.S. style curriculum with modifications to accommodate European students. The Anglo-American school in Moscow, for one, offers an International Baccalaureate, or IB program.

Visa & Immigration

Santa Fe offers Visa and Immigration services for Russia and countries around the world. For further information, please contact your local Santa Fe office.

Contact Us

Santa Fe Relocation Services Moscow Office

Address: Ul Novocheremushkinskaya 61, 3rd floor 117418, Moscow

Contact Number: +7 495 933 5232


Manager: Viktor Gordievich

"Disclaimer: This information is provided in conjunction with Living Abroad LLC. The information contained in this destination guide is not, and can not be used as, professional advice in areas such as Law, Taxation, Accounting etc. And whilst reasonable commercial efforts have been made to ensure correctness of the information at the time of publication there is no guarantee that the information is free from errors or omission. Santa Fe and it's associated companies disclaim liability for any damage, loss or cost directly or indirectly attributable to the contents of this destination guide."