Is Russia a dangerous place to visit? The jpoc guide to postal relationships with women from russia and other eastern european nations.

Many men are very afraid of the prospect of visiting Russia. There are so many tales floating round on the net, or by word of mouth, about the danger of crime in Russia and the surrounding countries. While it is true that the country can be pretty lawless, the position for most tourists is much the same as if they were visiting a Western country.
If you act in a way that would put at risk in New York, London or Brussels, then you will be just as much at risk in Moscow or St.Petersburg. If you act with the same degree of caution that you would exercise in those countries then you will be just as safe as if you were acting sensibly in London.
One of the strangest things that I hear is that Western visitors are targetted by the Russian mafia. I was warned by a friend that I'd be stripped of everything and left to freeze to death in Siberia. That was when I was going to St.Petersburg for a week in June!
To put the Mafia threat into context, consider the following:
It is a common assumtion that, in Russia, organised crime is heavily involved in the tourist industry. This is probably true so what are the consequences? Well, over the tourist season, thousands of visitors arrive from Western Europe and the US each week. You only need to make a little money from each of these people in order to turn a fat profit. Keep the tourists happy, safe, spending money and coming back next year and you are on a winner. Consider some examples:
If you take a taxi from the rank waiting outside the airport, you will pay forty five dollars. That is a lot for a cab in Russia but it is about what you'd pay for a similar airport to downtown ride in the US or W.Europe. The main difference is that, in Russia, the man who says which cars may queue up outside the airport is standing outside the terminal building with a dark suit and sunglasses.
Now, one view is that this is a Mafia hood extorting protection from the drivers and making the tourists pay extra. Another point of view is that you benefit because you can afford to pay the fare and you do get some reassurance. It is in his interest to keep up the tourist numbers and so, he will act against people who would rob the occasional visitor of all of their money.
The same deal applies to pretty much all aspects of the tourist trade. The bottom line is that, even if organised crime in Russia is as powerful as many fear, tourists are pretty safe as it is in the interests of everyone that they have a good time and spend their money. So, be careful but don't be afraid.

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