Public Services in Moscow

Emergency services in Moscow

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Many Russian cities have a reputation for having high crime and Moscow has not escaped this problem. The city is known to have a great deal of auto theft and burglary from vehicles so be wary when talking a car into the city and lock your valuables somewhere outside the car. Pick-pocketing is also somewhat frequent. Organized crime in Russia in general has had an enormous impact and usually involves drug trafficking, cyber crime, and prostitution. In the past Moscow has had a higher then usual murder rate and has been ranked as one of the most dangerous European city. Gangs of children, referred to as gypsy kids, can be surprisingly troublesome and are often adept thieves so watch your belongings.

Some policemen are corrupt and it is usually best to avoid police interaction. Most policemen do not speak English so be willing to be polite and patient. Always carry your passport for identification purposes with photocopies of your passport, registration, and other important documents kept in a separate, safe place. Usually the police will demand to see your papers to check if you have been registered within three business days of your arrival into Moscow.

There is a deep seated racism that can be quite blatant. Non-white foreigners tend to get their papers checked frequently.

It is not unheard of to bribe police officers to get out of trouble or just ease transactions. If you run into real trouble, call your embassy immediately and explain the situation. Being drunk and disorderly can also call unwanted attention so beware when you go out.

Emergency numbers (Only Russian is spoken)

Fire Rescue: 01
Militsia (Police): 02
(dial this number from any payphone for free) Medical Care (government): 03
Moscow Rescue Force (similar to 911 in the US): 937-9911
Lost things in metro: 222-2085
Lost documents: 200-9957 or call your embassy
Moscow Townhall Hotline: 200-6730

Update 10/07/2009

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