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How safe is a roadtrip in Russia

Antwerp Province...
Level Contributor
2 posts
23 reviews
How safe is a roadtrip in Russia

Hi, I'm from Belgium and my husband and I are planning a roadtrip in Russia. Some friends (Russian people that live in Belgium) are scaring me, telling me it's unsafe. We are going to visit nature, lakes, etc... Small places like Sebezh, Demidov, Valday,... I hear I can get robbed easy in small villages. Personally I think it's okay, but any advice is more then welcome.

Thank you!

13 replies to this topic
New York
Destination Expert
for Moscow
Level Contributor
4,264 posts
40 reviews
1. Re: How safe is a roadtrip in Russia

What a bunch of utter nonsense

Antwerp Province...
Level Contributor
2 posts
23 reviews
2. Re: How safe is a roadtrip in Russia

That's great to hear! Wasn't planning on cancelling anyway ;-)

Nittedal...
Level Contributor
268 posts
8 reviews
3. Re: How safe is a roadtrip in Russia

No problems. Don't worry. You'll see it's much safer than Italy or Spain.

Moscow, Russia
Level Contributor
12,268 posts
222 reviews
4. Re: How safe is a roadtrip in Russia

> Some friends (Russian people that live in Belgium) are scaring me

"Former Russians" are the worst possible source of info on Russia you can think of.

St. Petersburg...
Level Contributor
791 posts
67 reviews
5. Re: How safe is a roadtrip in Russia

Hi Jo,

I drive over 5000km this summer behind the wheel in Russia , there was no a single scary moment. Admittedly I had a russian wife in the passenger seat to assist.

Marassa, I agree that the expat russians are the worst but the city slickers are not far behind them. We were warned several times in both St. Petersburg & Moscow that our eldest daughter would be taken from us and sold off! We enjoyed the trip and will do it again - maybe in 2 years.

Enjoy.

Moscow, Russia
Level Contributor
3,409 posts
244 reviews
6. Re: How safe is a roadtrip in Russia

True, myself as a city dweller will never dream of such a trip - not sure I'll find hot water or functioning toilet there.

Nittedal...
Level Contributor
268 posts
8 reviews
7. Re: How safe is a roadtrip in Russia

> Some friends (Russian people that live in Belgium) are scaring me, telling me it's unsafe.

ok let's joke: they were russians, or ukrainians talking about Ukraine ? :-) (ROTFL)

I know a lot of polaks, and some of them truck drivers. i can summarize anecdotes of few recent years, about truck drivers doing Belarus, Ukraine, Russia:

- Belarus: good roads and safe. The best.

- Russia: diverse road conditions and safe. Ok.

- Ukraine: no roads, no safety. Hell.

it seems urban legend about unsafe Russia has formed in the early 90's among some peoples of the former "comradist" block. There may have been some problems in the past, back in the dark times of katastroïka, with all its chaos and despair.

In my case, former soviet lithuanians and former DDR-citizens (russian speakers and who knew parts of former soviet Russia as they once in a while were in school tours or pioneer camps) who told me before my first trip, long years ago, that I would be killed in the countryside, that cities were ok but villages evil traps, etc.

Some ten car trips later between Murmansk and Sevastopol, SPb and Tyumen, Vologda and Astrakhan, etc, and lot of stays in countryside, i have still experienced zero annoyances. In Spain I had car robbery and parts been removed from the car at night (fog lamps, wheels ... why buy parts if you can unscrew them from a car in the street?), friends of mine have been victims of vespa attacks and robbery in italy. I have also bad experience of Poland to the point that now my naming for the big polish insurance company PZU (Powszechny Zakład Ubezpieczeń) is Polskiego Zuki Ubezpieczenia (ubezpieczen is "insurance" and Zuki here phonetically close for suki ....) :))

Level Contributor
5 posts
8. Re: How safe is a roadtrip in Russia

hi

maybe it's not actuality, but nevertheless i will say.

my family and i are traveling to siberia every summer. And we see foreigners everytime. I saw hikers, bicyclers, and travellers by car. We talk with them. Everyone had fun. And Everyone felt safe.

St. Petersburg...
Level Contributor
562 posts
6 reviews
9. Re: How safe is a roadtrip in Russia

I would rather care about road surface conditions that at times is just horrific. Major roads are fine (well, more or less - even current Saint-Petersburg-Moscow route has an infamous couple of spots where you can easily crash your car), but smaller ones sometimes can be really bumpy. And driving those roads is considerably more tedious thing than driving in Europe or U.S. Also, hotels in smaller towns often do not use lodging aggregators (like booking.com), so it may be somewhat harder to find a place to sleep, compared to big cities.

Talking about safety - well, I wouldn't care much about falling victim to any crime. People inside the country are more than OK. The only thing that would worry is a road safety - there's still a lot of reckless driving. I own a log cabin in the country, and go there a bunch of times every summer. My car plates reveal I'm not a local guy, but I never had a hint of a problem with that. Still, the road does make me scared at times.

Edited: 02 December 2017, 08:55
Isle of Arran...
Level Contributor
101 posts
26 reviews
10. Re: How safe is a roadtrip in Russia

You can also get robbed right here in the UK......its quite common world wide.

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