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
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):
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