Sightseeing in Russia
Tourism and Culture
Different Forms of Tourism
- Old cities in the European part, and especially the cities of the Golden Ring.
- Museums and art galleries in the big cities. Theatre, ballet and opera.
- Russia is crammed with natural resources: the Volga, Caucasus and the Urals, the forests of Carelia and Siberia, lake Baïkal, the Kamchatka peninsula.
There are numerous active monasteries across the country.
You should make a note of the monasteries of Souzdal and Sergueiev Possad near Moscow.
Thermal tourism is concentrated mainly in the North Caucasus, around cities such as Mineralny Vody, Kislovodsk, Zheleznovodsk or Essentuki.
Most establishments are Soviet sanatoriums with Spartan comfort.
In summer, people bathe in many lakes and rivers, especially on the island of Serebrianny Bor in Moscow.
There are several resorts on the Black Sea starting with Anapa (sand beach) and Sotchi (pebble beach).
- Winter Sports
Cross-country skiing and skating are practised practically everywhere in the country.
Downhill skiing is booming. There are bigger resorts in the Caucasus, and also in the Urals and the Kouzbass.
- Outdoor Activities
- Fishing, rambling and white-water sports.
Luxury shopping is generally concentrated in the GOUM or TSOUM in Moscow and in the Gostiny Dvor (in Russian) in St Petersburg.
The market in Izmailovsky park is renowned for souvenirs, furs, crafts and other Soviet antiques.
Individual and Civic Freedoms
- Political Freedom
- The domination of a single party and the use of administrative structures for political ends (propaganda, elimination of opponents...) limit political freedom considerably.
- Civil Liberty
- Freedom of the Press
World Ranking of Freedom of the Press According to "Reporters sans Frontières", 2009 report : 153/175
Evolution: 12 places down compared to 2008
- For Further Information, Consult Worldwide Press Freedom Index 2009, Reporters Without Borders
- Free Access to the Internet
- Freedom of Assembly
The action of NGOs is very limited and demonstrations suppressed. .
- Rule of Law
- Quite bad. Many trials or arrests are carried out for political reasons.
- Personal Autonomy and Individual Rights
There are some restrictions on freedom of movement and residence, through registration procedures.
- Women's Condition
- Relatively good
- For Further Information
US Secretary of State's Office
Memorial: Russian association for the defense of human rights
Annual report of Reporters Without Borders on freedom of the press
Human Rights Watch
- Degree of Freedom
- There is total freedom of religion in Russia. Nevertheless, the Russian Orthodox Church tries to oppose what it considers to be proselytism on the part of the Catholic Church.
- 87% of Russians are believers. Orthodox 87%, Muslims 10%, Catholics 1,2%, Buddhists 0,7%.
- Role of Religion in Society
- The Orthodox Church has an important political role.
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