Tag: Russia

Russia Recent History

Russia Recent History

Gorbachev’s reforms and the extinction of the USSR

After the death of Leonid Brezhnev and after the rapid succession of Yuri Andropov and Konstantin Chernenko, Mikhail Gorbachev was appointed leader of the USSR. Gorbachev began to implement significant changes in the economy, Perestroikaand Glásnost politics, unleashing opportunistic forces that with the encouragement of the West worked to disintegrate the USSR and the return of its members – especially Russia – to capitalism. The distancing of the Communist Party and its leadership from the workers favored this process.

The movement that definitely brought down the USSR came from Russia, the nation that had built the Tsarist empire, predecessor of the Soviet state. In May 1990, Borís Yeltsin, who had been expelled from the CPSU in 1987, was elected president of the Russian Parliament. From that position of power, Yeltsin promoted measures that precipitated the end of the Soviet Union.

Powerless and abandoned by almost everyone, Gorbachev resigned as President of the USSR on December 25, 1991. The Soviet red flag was lowered in the Moscow Kremlin, the Russian flag replaced it.

Russia took over from the USSR on the international scene: embassies, permanent post on the Security Council, and control of Soviet nuclear weapons. The end of the Cold War was announced, but the United States took advantage of it to impose its hegemony in a unipolar world.

Russian Federation

Although Yeltsin was applauded abroad for showing himself as a democrat to weaken Gorvachev, his conception of the presidency was very autocratic, acting either as his own prime minister (until June 1992) or appointing people he trusted to that position., regardless of parliament.

Meanwhile, the excessive presence of tiny parties and their refusal to form coherent alliances left the legislature ungovernable. During 1993, the dispute between Yeltsin and the parliament culminated in the constitutional crisis of October.

This reached its critical point when, on October 3, Yeltsin commanded the tanks to bombard the Russian parliament. With this momentous (and unconstitutional) step of dissolving parliament by gunfire, Russia had not been so close to civil strife since the 1917 revolution.

From then on, Yeltsin was completely free to impose a constitution with strong presidential powers, which was approved in a referendum in December 1993. However, the December vote also marked an important advance by communists and nationalists, reflecting the growing disenchantment of the population with neoliberal economic reforms.

Despite coming to power in a general atmosphere of optimism, Yeltsin would never regain his popularity after supporting Yegor Gaidar’s economic “shock therapy”: end of Soviet-era price controls, drastic cuts in public spending and openness to the economy. foreign trade in 1992.

The reforms immediately devastated the quality of life of the vast majority of the population, especially in those sectors benefited by controlled wages and prices, subsidies and the welfare state of the Soviet era. Russia suffered an economic recession in the 1990s more severe than the Great Depression that hit the United States or Germany in the early 1930s.

On the advice of Western governments, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund, Russia would embark on the largest and fastest privatization ever carried out by a government in all of history. By the middle of the decade, commerce, services and small industry were already in private hands.

Almost all large companies were acquired by their former directors, spawning a class of nouveau riche close to various mafias or Western investors. At the base of the system, due to inflation or unemployment, many workers ended up in poverty, prostitution or crime.

According to allcitycodes.com, the Russian economy began a recovery from 1999 in part thanks to the rise in oil prices, its main export even though Soviet production levels are far behind.

After the financial crisis of 1998, Yeltsin was in the twilight of his career. Just hours before the first day of 2000, he resigned by surprise leaving the government in the hands of his prime minister, Vladimir Putin, a former KGB official and head of his successor agency after the fall of the USSR.

In the presidential elections of March 26, 2000, the new president easily defeated his opponents, winning in the first round. In 2004 he was reelected with 71% of the votes and his allies won the legislative elections.

In the Russian legislative elections of 2007, the United Russia party won 64.3% of the votes, which was seen as support from the Russians for the aforementioned political and economic course.

In Russia’s 2008 presidential elections, United Russia party candidate Dmitry Medvedev, supported by then-President Vladimir Putin, won by a wide margin over his opponents at the polls. Medvedev took office in May 2008.

Vladimir Putin again won the 2012 elections, and on his return to presidential power he appointed Medvedev as prime minister.

Russia Recent History

Emigration to Russia

Emigration to Russia

Area: 17,075,400 km² (excluding Crimea)
17,102,344 km² (including Crimea)
Population: 144,526,636 (excluding Crimea)
146,877,088 (including Crimea) in 2018
Population density: 8 E / km² (excluding Crimea)
8.6 E / km² (with Crimea)
Form of government: Federal Republic
System of Government: Semi-presidential system
Neighboring countries: Norway, FinlandEstoniaLatvia, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, ChinaLithuania and Poland (neighbors of the Kaliningrad exclave)
Capital: Moscow National
language: Russian
51% Russian Orthodox,
7% Muslims,
0.1% Jehovah’s Witnesses
Currency: Ruble (RUB)
1 ruble = 100 kopecks
Exchange rates:
1 EUR = 88.306 RUB
100 RUB = 1, 13 EUR
1 CHF = 81.349 RUB
100 RUB = 1.228 CHF
(rate from 13.07.2021)
Telephone area code: +7
Time zone: CET +1 to +11

In 2020, 1,475 Germans officially emigrated to the Russian Federation and 3,194 came back to their homeland. Within the 10 years from 2010 to 2019, 22,534 Germans officially emigrated to Russia and 40,203 moved back to Germany. Over 400,000 Germans or Russian Germans still live in Russia, many in Moscow and St. Petersburg and the majority (Russian Germans) in Siberia. In Moscow there is even a residential area for Germans only.

The population in Russia is declining, which, according to UN estimates, will require two million foreign workers annually over the next few years (more information on the increasing trend towards emigration of young Russians). In 2017, 8.1% of the population were migrants, most of whom came from the former Soviet republics of Central Asia and the Caucasus, but some also from Africa and Southeast Asia. According to Countryaah, Russia is one of countries starting with R.

Russian is the only official language. At the same time, however, the respective vernacular is often used and promoted as the second official language in the individual autonomous republics.

Travel and Visa

Changed travel regulations during and after the corona pandemic

Entry is permitted for German nationals and for citizens of other countries with an unlimited residence permit for Germany (original submission required) as well as diplomatic and service passport holders arriving by direct flight from Germany and certain other countries, including Finland, Greece and Switzerland. In addition, travelers must be in possession of a valid Russian visa.

Entry restrictions apply to entry by other means, in particular across the land border and by air from other countries. Entry on these routes is only possible for accredited employees of diplomatic missions and consular institutions of foreign countries and their family members, drivers in international road traffic, the crews of aircraft, sea and inland vessels, train crews in international rail traffic, employees of the courier service between the governments and members official delegations, as well as persons with diplomatic, official or regular private visas issued in connection with the death of a close relative.

Also exempt from the entry ban are people who enter the country as family members (spouses, parents, children, adoptive parents or children), guardians or carers of Russian nationals with identity documents recognized in this capacity with visas, people who enter for medical treatment and people who Have a permanent residence in the Russian Federation.

Even technicians who want to enter the country for the commissioning and maintenance of systems manufactured abroad are not subject to the entry ban. Highly qualified specialists with work permits and their family members can re-enter. The website of the German-Russian Chamber of Commerce in Moscow provides further information on the approval procedure required for these last two groups.

Emigration to Russia

Foreigners must provide proof of a negative PCR test when boarding a plane destined for Russia, even if they only want to travel through in transit. This also applies to those who have recovered and who have been vaccinated. The test must not have been taken earlier than three calendar days prior to the arrival of the aircraft in Russia. The test result must be printed out in Russian or English and presented at the border control. Foreigners can be obliged to take random COVID-19 tests when entering the Russian airport.

For other types of entry, the test result must be presented to the border control. Foreigners who travel to Russia for gainful purposes are then obliged to self-isolate in their home for 14 days. This also applies to people who live in the same household. The responsible Russian diplomatic mission abroad can provide more information on the entry requirements.

Travel across the land border of the Russian Federation, including the border to Belarus, is restricted for travelers. There are some exceptions. Germans are generally allowed to travel to Germany through EstoniaFinlandLithuania and Poland in transit with their own vehicle or organized collective transport. The land border between Latvia and Russia is currently closed. In individual cases, foreigners with a permanent residence permit in Russia were refused permission to cross the Russian land border.

General provisions for travel and residence

All EU citizens need a visa to enter Russia, which must be applied for at the Russian embassy before entering the country. The passport must be valid for at least 6 months when applying for the visa. The most important types of visas are listed below.

Business visa (up to a maximum of 3 months)

This visa is issued for business trips to Russia and is also mandatory for attending commercial events. As a rule, the first application for this visa is issued for a period of three months. Thereafter, multiple-entry visas are also possible for up to twelve months.

A business visa is only issued on the basis of an invitation from a natural or legal person from Russia. With this visa you cannot pursue regular employment (there is also the work visa). A business visa cannot be converted into a work visa, unless you leave the country for a short period of time.

A business visa is required for the following activities:

  • Business meetings or conducting negotiations
  • Extension or conclusion of business contracts
  • Market research
  • Participation in auctions, exhibitions and similar events
  • Installation, maintenance or repair of imported equipment in Russia

Business visa holders cannot stay in Russia for more than 90 days within a 180-day period.

Work visa (up to a maximum of 3 years)

This visa is mainly suitable for workers who want to work in Russia. The regular work visa is valid for one year. In the case of highly qualified foreign experts, the validity can be extended up to 3 years.

The number of entries and exits is unlimited for holders of a work visa within the period of its validity. An extension of the work visa can be obtained during the stay in Russia. The employer will apply for a work visa.

The following documents are required:

  • Invitation from the employer
  • Visa application form
  • Biometric passport photos
  • Valid international health insurance

Health insurance is compulsory in Russia. Accordingly, proof of health insurance coverage must be presented when applying for a visa. An unlimited possibility HERE.

Other types of visas are described in more detail on the website of the Russian Embassy.

Moscow Travel Guide

Moscow Travel Guide

A major city in the heart of Russia

Moscow is the historical, cultural, religious and political center of Russia. The heart of the wild capital is the Kremlin, which dates back to the 15th century, and the Red Square. The rest of the city is built around the Kremlin in Europe on the basis of a rare circular pattern.

The center of Moscow is a diverse, vast and varied area with a considerable number of theaters, museums, restaurants, nightclubs and shopping malls. There is plenty to go around the clock, and there is certainly no stopping the traveler in between.


Also outside the city center, Moscow offers a variety of attractions. The city’s parks and monasteries in particular are well worth a visit. Likewise, the Ostankino TV tower, one of the tallest structures in the world, and the All-Russian Exhibition Center, originally built to showcase the achievements of the Soviet Union, are great places to visit.

Moscow’s various attractions are reached by metro, whose stations are famous for their beauty. The stations, built during the Soviet era, are incredibly decorative and full of art, like the little sights themselves.

The Moskva River, which crosses Moscow, brings a distinctive atmosphere to the city.

Summer is the best time to travel

Moscow is a great destination all year round, but at its best the city is in the summer, when temperatures are approaching heat readings. The best weather is from June to August, but in spring and autumn, for example, in Moscow you can enjoy a heat of almost 20 degrees.

Winters are cold in Moscow. The thermometer will sink to the side of the frost in December at the latest, and in January the frost may be as high as ten degrees.

Book a reasonable budget

Moscow is an expensive tourist city, the price level of which is visible to the tourist especially in accommodation. A budget holiday is also successful in Moscow, but a traveler looking for quality must prepare with a plush budget for a city holiday.

The diverse city offers almost endless possibilities. Stunning cultural sites are at the heart of the city, but Moscow is also a great shopping destination, a great food city, and full of interesting architectural details. The city also hosts numerous sporting events.

A diverse cultural destination

Moscow’s cultural life is especially known for its legendary Bolshoi Theater. The Bolshoi is housed in a building dating back to 1824, whose ornate interiors lead visitors to a different world.

Bolshoi’s ballet or opera performances in particular, which can be followed even without proficiency in the Russian language, are a must-have experience for anyone culturally hungry.

Due to the great popularity of the Bolshoi Theater, tickets should be purchased well in advance, either through a travel agency or through ticket sales on the Bolshoi website. Teatralnaya Kassa ticket kiosks sell theater tickets on site in Moscow.

Museums and history

Like St. Petersburg, Moscow is a city of museums.

Of the museums, especially the Tretyakov Gallery, one of the largest art museums in Europe, and the Pushkin Art Museum are interesting places to visit. The Bulgakov Home Museum, on the other hand, serves friends of literature and history.

Of the other museums in Moscow, many different museums of literature and theater, as well as museums presenting the history of Russia and Moscow, are excellent.

Unfortunately, in many museums, the signs are only in Russian.

The Moskva River

Sports, music and circus

Moscow’s cultural offer is enhanced by a good music offer.

Friends of the classical are pampered by the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, for example. Light music listeners, on the other hand, find various concerts every day in bars and music clubs. The city’s concert offerings are comprehensively listed weekly in The English Times.

Another circus suitable for tourists in Moscow is represented by, for example, two circuses and the city’s internationally high-quality football and hockey teams.

Shopping and gifts

Moscow is a diverse but in many places expensive shopping city. An absolute must-see is the traditional and expensive GUM department store on the edge of the Red Square.

Particularly good places for shopping are the versatile Tverskaya Street with its side streets and the Old Arbat pedestrian street. Typical Russian gift items, such as Maatuska dolls, fur caps or samovars, can be obtained from Old Arbat. Tverskaya, on the other hand, is of more interest to fashion shoppers.

If you have enough time in Moscow, it’s a good idea to research and compare the selections and prices of different stores carefully – the differences can be huge. Especially in Old Tea gift shops, the comparison is worthwhile.

The city of parks

Lively and congested Moscow surprises the tourist with the abundance of parks: in total there are more than a hundred parks and gardens.

Moscow parks are located in different parts of the city. Many of them are not only nice places to relax but also major sights with their value buildings. The parks are good places to visit because you can see local life at its most authentic.

Moscow’s most famous parks include Izmailov Park, which is many times larger than New York’s Central Park, and Kolomenskoye Park, whose historic church from the 16th century is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Those more interested in plants can visit the city’s botanical garden, founded by Peter the Great in the 18th century.

A tremendous All-Russian exhibition center

The VDNH Exhibition Center, or All-Russian Exhibition Center, is a huge area in the northern part of Moscow and is especially suitable for tourists looking for Soviet nostalgia.

The region was established to showcase the country’s finest achievements in various fields during the Soviet era. In all, there are about 400 buildings in the area, many of which are pavilions dedicated to certain things.

Buildings that have previously showcased the achievements of socialism have ironically been put to use by the market economy. Most of the buildings have shops. Today’s Russians are happy to head to the exhibition center for a picnic.

The exhibition center is located in the Ostankino area, which also houses a huge monument to the conquest of space and the Museum of Cosmonautics dedicated to the conquest of space, a TV tower of more than 500 meters and the massive Kosmos Hotel built for the 1980 Olympics.