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Security and crime
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Russian crime is not that dangerous as you might heard and Mafia doesn't wait for you on the streets. These security tips are based on a bulletin published recently by the Ministry of Internal Affairs to remind foreign visitors to the Russian Federation of some 'common sense' precautions, which useful in every big city of the world.
  • Be cautious when making chance acquaintances with Russians. Never accept an invitation from people you hardly know, either to visit their home, or to meet them somewhere. Do not agree to join someone for a drink on a train, for example, until you are absolutely sure of their good intentions. Many foreign visitors run into problems because they are too trusting.
  • Be careful with your handbag or briefcase, especially in crowded places. Remember that about 90 per cent of pickpockets' victims are women. If you are in a crowd and you feel that someone is trying to steal something from you, only defend yourself if the pick-pocket is alone and unarmed. Local pickpockets do not tend to be violent and usually try to escape once discovered.
  • Do not carry a large amount of money. Keep your wallet in an inner pocket and carry with you only what you know you will need. Try not to attract attention to your cash and credit cards in public places; do not make it obvious that you have money with you.
  • Avoid very quiet areas late at night.
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"... Death defying cab drivers seem to be the norm in Russia. My first couple of rides in Russian cabs made me ponder the logistical nightmare it would be for my poor mother to get my body back to Canada to bury me. After those first few days I decided not to look out the windows and felt much better. It seemed to me that the rules of the road only applied if there were any police around; otherwise it was more of a Darwinian transportation model.
I didn't want to interrupt my plagiarism of the Planes, Trains, and Automobiles title/theme so now I have to jump backwards and describe my airport experience:that was a little less satisfying than the flights..."