Prepare in advance to limit threats to your safety

3 minute read

Security preparations by the authorities at and in the immediate area of the match venues (stadiums) and key Russian infrastructure (airports and railway stations) will be extensive. However, outside of the venues travellers need to be aware and prepared.

BEFORE YOU DEPART:

  • Apply for travel documents in advance and have the appropriate travel insurance in place. Refer to your own country’s official government sources for specific advice. British fans, for example, can find a checklist of documentation required on the FCO website 
  • Learn some basic Russian phrases including:
    o      Yes – “da” (да)
    o      No – “net” (нет)
    o      Help – “pomogite” (Помогите)
    o      English – “angliyskiy” (английский)
    o      I’m a foreigner  – “Ya inostranec”
    o      I’m a tourist – “Ya turist”
    o      Train station – “stantsiya” (станция)
    o      Airport – “aeroport” (аэропорт)
    o      Thank you – “spasibo” (спасибо)
    o      How much? – “skol’ko” (Сколько?)
    o      I’m an innocent tourist – “Y nevinny turist”
  • Understand local customs /opinions and how you might need to adapt your behaviour to mitigate their impact on your safety:
    • Race – Those of Asian or Afro-Caribbean descent can attract unwanted attention, particularly in public places and should avoid walking alone late at night
    • LGBT – There is no legal discrimination against LGBT travellers in Russia, but this needs to be nuanced with the local social realities. Russian law bans the promotion of ‘non-traditional sexual relations’ and foreigners convicted under this law can face arrest and detention, fines and deportation. Russia is generally a socially conservative country that views traditional family values as important. Therefore the following advice is recommended for foreigners:
      • LGBT travellers should remain discreet in public;
      • Refrain from discussing issues linked to LGBT movements in the West;
      • Avoid pro-LGBT rallies;
      • Limit time spent in openly gay bars or neighbourhoods 
    • Russia Day (12 June) – The tournament starts two days after a public holiday, Russia Day, on 12 June. Be aware if you arrive on or before this date that some service providers are likely to be closed on this day, so ensure you have adequate stocks of any items you may need in advance
    • Geo-politics – Especially at the moment, avoid discussing the current diplomatic row between Russia and various members of NATO with locals. If these subjects are brought up, avoid making controversial remarks. Other culturally sensitive matters to avoid include discussing the Ukrainian and Syrian conflicts, as well as non-traditional sexual relations
  • Plan journeys and accommodation in advance and, if possible, book reputable hotels. CloseCircle members can contact the Global Operations Centre via phone or email in advance for specific advice on their planned itinerary in Russia
  • Ensure you have emergency contact numbers pre-stored in your mobile phone AND written down separately in case you lose your mobile phone e.g. your country’s consular assistance number, reliable friends and family, travel insurance emergency, CloseCircle emergency assistance line (for members only)

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