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Land area

 17,075,400 sq. km. (6,593,000-sq. mi.)

Population

 148,909,089 (July 1995 est.)

Capital

 Moscow

Language

 Russian. Local languages and dialects

Religion

 Russian Orthodox, Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish, other

Monetary unit

 Rouble. There are notes in denominations of rbl 500, 100, 50, 10, 5, 2, 1, 50 kopeeks, 10 kopeeks, etc.

Public holidays 

 Jan 1         New Year`s Day

 Jan 7         Russian Orthodox Christmas

 Mar 8         Women`s Day

 May 1,2     Labour Day

 May 9         Victory Day

 Jun 12       Independence Day

 Nov 7         Reconciliation Day

 Dec 12      Constitution Day

 Feb-Apr     Russian Orthodox Easter Day is subject to change year by year according to the lunar calendar

Electric current

 220 volt, 50 Hz. European 2-pin plugs are in use

Time 

 From the last Sunday of March until the last Sunday of September, clocks are put back one hour according to Daylight Savings Time

 President

 Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin

 

When to Go

July and August are the warmest months and the main holiday season. They're also the dampest - it might rain one day in three. So if you want to avoid the crowds and the rain, try May-June or September-October. In early autumn the leaves are turning . Although winter is bitter,  theatres open.

Events

Easter and Christmas are celebrated with midnight services, candlelight processions and flourishings of folk art. In April St Petersburg celebrates Music Spring, an international classical music festival, and the last 10 days of June feature the White Nights, a time for general merrymaking and staying up late. A film festival is held in Moscow in autumn in odd-numbered years. The Russian Winter Festival is celebrated in St Petersburg, Moscow and Novgorod from late December to early January, and includes folklore shows and vodka. The other main winter celebration is New Year, celebrated with presents, champagne and yet more vodka. 

Activities

Adventure travel in Russia could be the next big thing. You can hook up with adventure travel groups based in many Russian cities and towns. Possibilities include trekking or mountaineering in the Caucasus or the Kola Peninsula; hiking or kayaking in the forests, rivers and lakes of Karelia; cross-country and downhill skiing on Europe's highest peak, Mt Elbrus, in the Caucasus; or even a leisurely expedition to the North Pole. We can be your best bartner in organisation of this kind of trips. Contact us at levmar@tari.ru and we'll exceed all your expectations.

 

Duty Free
Duty-free regulations within the CIS are liable to change at short notice. The following should be used as a guide only, and travellers are advised to contact the Embassy or Consulate for up-to-date information. Goods that may be imported into the Russian Federation by persons over 16 years of age without incurring customs duty:

 

200 cigarettes or 100 cigars or cigarillos or 250g of tobacco; 1 litre of spirits; 2 litres of still wine and 2 litres of sparkling wine; a reasonable quantity of perfume for personal use; gifts up to a value of Rub1000.

 

Note: On entering the country, tourists must complete a customs declaration form which must be retained until departure. This allows the import of articles intended for personal use, including currency and valuables which must be registered on the declaration form. Cameras, jewellery, computers and musical instruments should all be declared. Customs inspection can be long and detailed. It is advisable when shopping to ask for a certificate from the shop which states that goods have been paid for in hard currency. Presentation of such certificates should speed up customs formalities.

 

Prohibited imports: Military weapons and ammunition, narcotics and drug paraphernalia, pornography, loose pearls, fruit and vegetables and live animals. If you have any query regarding items that may be imported, an information sheet is available on request from Intourist.

 

Prohibited exports: As prohibited imports, as well as annulled securities, state loan certificates, lottery tickets, works of art and antiques (unless permission has been granted by the Ministry of Culture), saiga horns, Siberian stag, punctuate and red deer antlers (unless on organised hunting trip), and punctuate deer skins.

 

Public Holidays
Jan 1 New Year. Jan 7 Russian Christmas. Mar 8 International Women's Day. Apr 15 Russian Orthodox Easter. May 1-2 Spring and Labour Day. May 9 Victory in Europe Day. Jun 12 Russian Independence Day. Aug 22 National Flag Day. Nov 7 Constitution Day.