What foreigners think about the Russian?

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Here is what they write about Russian foreign travel portals:

If you smile at strangers Russian on the street, it is likely that you do not smile in response. Smile in Russia are mostly meant for friends: the smile of a stranger they perceive as though you make fun of them and something wrong with their clothes or hairdo, or are you just "stupid." Moreover, natural Western smile is perceived as insincere like, "You don't mean that". Now this tradition is slowly changing, because Russia is becoming more Western, but the smiles are still very rare a staff, sellers, etc., because it is assumed that because they look more serious and businesslike. And actually the most common opinion about the Russian that they are very angry and never smile, fading away as soon as they recognize you. They become very friendly.

If you need to turn to the stranger with a question, try to first ask if they speak English, in Russian. Russians are very proud of their language, and will not be as responsive if you speak to them in a foreign language. Even if you only use the Russian equivalents of the words "please" and "thank you", they will perceive you very differently.

Women throughout the former USSR use the utmost respect. Western women tourists should not be surprised when their Russian male friends pay their bills at restaurants, open every door in front of them, offer a hand to help down, help you move a heavy bag isn't sexual grooming or condescending to the weaker sex. Men must also remember that such behavior is expected of them most Russian women and girls.

You must exercise respect when talking about the Second World war and the Soviet Union. This war was a major tragedy for the Soviet Union and every family has at least one relative among the 25-30 million dead – more than in Western Europe and America combined – and the scars from that war are felt still.

Keep your political beliefs to yourself. Ask me anything, but never make statements or comments about their past or present political system. Russia and the Soviet Union went through very difficult times and most of the Russian are tired of hearing: "how bad was in the USSR" from Western people. They survived this time, proud of their triumphs and mourned tragedies, and they probably know more about it than you. Also avoid criticizing the conflict in Chechnya. Despite the fact that there are terrible things happened, most Russians support Putin and people will say that Chechnya was and will be part of Russia.

Security (translation of the article about security in Russia from the site lonelyplanet.com)

Travellers should beware of pickpockets in Moscow and St Petersburg. Most foreigners in Russia are stand out from the crowd, and this increases the chance of becoming a victim of crime. Always remember that many police officers (police) and other people in the form can be there, and some of them are better than the ones from which they must protect. Never let them check your wallets and pockets.

Never drink tap water in St. Petersburg because it contains lambliа Giardia – a parasite that can cause stomach upset and vomiting. Bottled water is sold everywhere.

Often in Moscow and St. Petersburg to happen the attack of the racists. Especially in St. Petersburg, where a gang of skinheads killed an unprecedented number of people from the Caucasus and Central Asia over the last few years. Now among the ethnic minorities here, there is fear. And perhaps worst of all, the mayor of St. Petersburg Valentina Matvienko, never once publicly condemned these attacks.

Despite all said, we still suggest that non-white travellers to visit Russia, but we suggest you be very careful especially here. Avoid to appear in the suburbs, and try not to appear on the street at night.

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