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Moscow



Are there problems with ethnic or religious prejudices? Gender equality?

None that I am aware of. - Oct 31, 2017
Not that I have seen. - Sep 26, 2016
Yes. - May 17, 2016
Few religious or gender prejudices, but racism is a real issue in Moscow, sadly. Anyone who does not look white/caucasian will often be treated differently - varying from mild derision to downright hostile attitudes. - Sep 11, 2015
African-Americans are viewed as thugs, rappers, and drug dealers but are often stopped by young people and asked to have their photos taken with them. Most Central Asian people have menial jobs, and Filipinos are often seen housekeeping or in the service industry. - Jun 30, 2015
I never felt any prejudice but then again I looked like most of the local population. I know one gentleman who was on TDY was sort of snubbed at his hotel because he looked like some from the Caucasus region (dark features and a beard). - Oct 14, 2014
Yes - there have been massive round-ups of immigrants recently, primarily targeting Central Asians. People of African descent also sometimes receive unwanted attention from the police. - Nov 13, 2013
Yes - lots of tensions between ethnic Russians and people from the Caucuses, so anyone with Middle Eastern/Indian/Latino ancestry will likely receive some hostility. Some black diplomats I know don't travel on the metro at night. Russians are less hostile to those with Oriental features, but still look down on them. Most bars and clubs have "face control," which is blatantly discriminatory. The Embassy is also not very diverse, so you won't find many people that will understand the difficulties of life in Moscow. ender attitudes tend to be pretty chauvinistic. - Jul 28, 2013
YES. Russians seem to be growing increasingly irritated by the influx of immigrants from Central Asia, with the "Russia for Russians" rhetoric really picking up steam. Those of African origin are enough of a novelty that I doubt they'd be targeted in Moscow, but if you are of East or Central Asian decent, you might have problems. Even diplomats from South Asia have felt uneasy at times in Moscow. - Jul 18, 2013
Very much so. Still lots of xenophobia. - Jan 13, 2013
Many Russians look down on several groups, including those from the Caucasus and central Asian areas. There's always prejudice regarding English speakers, whether pro or con. Most harassment will be subtle. - Mar 14, 2012
I'd say yes, some, especially if you have a dark complexion. There are skinheads and I've heard of some people having problems. And if you look like you're from the Caucasus or Central Asia, that can be an issue, too. Russian men tend to be sort of sexist and there's a phrase "If he loves you, he hits you", but if you're not dating Russians, it will manifest itself in things like opening doors or holding your coat for you, which isn't terrible. - May 29, 2011
See above comments. Huge problems with racism, xenophobia, and hate crimes (including violent assualts, murders). - Jan 1, 2011
I think I covered race in the crime part. Russian identity is very much tied to Russian Orthodoxy - views of other "traditional" faiths (Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, western Christianity; as defined by the Constitution) are anywhere from neutral (Buddhism) to openly hostile (Islam). Other religious beliefs are usually not met with understanding. As mentioned earlier, gender roles are very traditional here. Stereotypes about women (and men) abound and are treated as fact by both sexes (e.g., women are emotional and not rational). - Jul 31, 2010
Local people here are very racist. - May 22, 2010
YES. Russians in general are very racist, even towards former Republics (like Kazakhs, Armenians, etc.). They generally dislike anyone with non-white skin. - May 5, 2010
Yes. Being black, brown, tan, Asian, South American, Caucasian, Central Asian or really anything other than white will cause you problems at some point. A black friend visiting Russia reported that he felt hostility everywhere he went. Central Asian, Caucasian and African migrants have it the worst though; wealth insulates to a certain degree. - Feb 13, 2010
YES. Moscow is notorious for isolated skinhead random violent attacks against Blacks and Asians. Also, homosexuality is not tolerated by the average Russian; the gay pride parade is broken up every year by hostile security forces. - Jan 23, 2010
Yes. Definitely. Especially Asians and dark-skinned people. A girl I know showed me what it meant to be black in Russia. She said, "Come on, I'll go in there and you watch the way the register lady treats me." And I did, and she was right. Other kids walked around no problem, but the register lady watched the darker girl (she was half black) like a hawk -- sure, I suppose, that she was a thief. It was very, very obvious, and very unpleasant. And there are beatings. I've heard about them, but only third hand. - Nov 6, 2009
My friend of Filipino ancestry doesn't stand close to the edge of the metro platform. Get it? I can't imagine being black here--I see like, one black person a day. If that doesn't bother you, go for it. I've never lived in such a sexist society, but the men don't let the doors slam in your face, they are sort of old-fashioned. - Oct 24, 2009
Russians do not like people with darker skin. People from the Caucuses have a rough time here, and people of even darker complexions get stared at and sometimes hassled by the police. - Aug 29, 2009
My friends that are of Asian, African, Arab descent complained that people stared at them and treated them with distrust. I think Russia is used to being fairly isolated so they are pretty suspicious of other races or nationalities. That being said, Russians (at least Muscovites) are not the most outgoing, friendly people. Those with darker skin should avoid walking alone at night (as should everyone) since there are some skinheads that have committedviolent crimes against some minorities in the last several months. But overall, if you stay in a group and don't walk alone at night, you should be fine. - Aug 22, 2009
Yes. Racial minorities face a number of of serious problems, from harassment by the police to attacks by skinheads. They have to be careful when out in the city, especially at night. - Sep 12, 2008
There are monthly reports of racial prejudices. - Aug 25, 2008