Introduction to Russia

Russia is a land of extremes. Even after the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia remains by far the world’s largest country, comprising of over 17 million square kilometres (Canada, by comparison is just under 10 million sq Km, the USA, excluding Alaska, 8 million sq Km) covering 9 time zones and with a population of around 140 million.


Moscow, the capital, is Europe’s largest city with an estimated population of approximately 12 million and is the seat of government and by far the most significant economic centre, as well as being home to the greatest number of billionaires in the world.

For foreigners, Moscow can be an expensive place to live. The city features constantly among the world’s most expensive cities for expatriates, in 2009 ranking third behind Tokyo and Osaka.

Russia has much to offer the relocating expatriate executive, not only in terms of rapid career progression and significant business opportunities, but in terms of the richness of its culture, as well as a strong heritage in every aspect of the arts and sciences, of which Russians are justifiably proud. On the other hand, Russia is still characterised by a seemingly all-encompassing bureaucracy. An awareness of both immigration formalities and the ways in which bureaucracy can affect business is essential in order to ensure a trouble free and enjoyable stay.


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