View Full Version : Crime in Moscow

20-11-2003, 18:54
My wife and I will shortly be moving to Moscow. My question is should she wear her engagement ring or might this be stolen, alternatively, am I just being paranoid? Any thoughts on the current security situation and recommendations would be appreciated.

DJ Biscuit
20-11-2003, 18:56
If you are worried about the ring, what about wallet, coat, phone etc etc?

Where do u live now?

20-11-2003, 18:58
Frankfurt. Will move to Moscow in January. Maybe you have a point although I can't see someone mugging her for a coat.

DJ Biscuit
20-11-2003, 19:01
You can't?

I know A LOT of people here you have had their coats/jackets/furs stolen in broad daylight. That sort of thing happens every where.

20-11-2003, 19:06
Yeah and in the US, you can get shot in the head for your sneakers.

20-11-2003, 19:07
Thank you for the constructive and informative comments.

20-11-2003, 19:10
Guys, this is a serious enquiry, dont make fun please


20-11-2003, 19:12
Kiss my **** Len!

DJ Biscuit
20-11-2003, 19:13

Look this is a very big city. There is a lot of crime. It can be a bit wild. Crime prevention is low, the police are understaffed and underpaid (about 200 a month) they take bribes, they don't have the time, rescources or inclination to solve petty crime. So don't think about the ring or anything else. If you want to live here just be careful. I could go on and on but if you want some advise PM me. I've been here nearly 9 yrs, and in my line of work I have seen and done things here that would make a film, but it would only get banned. :)

20-11-2003, 19:25
Have to disagree a tad here,

There is more street crime in London for sure, parts of Moscow are deemed risky but centrally it is safe, commonsense of course dictates that late in the evening it's not one of the best ideas for a female to walk around alone, the same as any major city.

Street crime in central, well-lit areas is rare here.

DJ Biscuit
20-11-2003, 19:31
I never said it was any worse. Depends on where, when and how you hang out. If you go to Mix from 9pm til 11am next day or hang out with CSKA fans drinking vodka in the park all night then it can get pretty interesting believe me.

I've also known more people (personally) here get killed or dissapear than I did in London.

21-11-2003, 08:09
If it's a huge flashy rock, you might consider substituting a simpler "travel" ring. When I'm in high-risk areas like Colombia, I just wear a simple gold band that I got for $30. It still identifies me as a married woman and I don't worry.

I don't bother here, by the way. I've never felt threatened except by pickpockets.

21-11-2003, 10:26
I agree w/ DJ and geo, Moscow is no less safe than any large western city, perhaps even safer in some regards. I lived in Washington DC for 9 years before moving here, and there were (and still are) places I would never consider driving thru at night, even with the windows rolled tight, doors locked, and my 9mm in the hideout.

Can't say the same about Moscow - I currently live well outside the center in what is considered a "rabochiy raion" (working class area), have walked around much of the rest of Moscow, and the ONLY problem I've ever encountered was being accosted by 3 drunk twits who overheard my wife and I speaking English and just wanted to start a fight with an American. That happened in "the center," by the way.

Yes, crime exists in Moscow, but if you take the same steps to make your foreigner-ness (read: ripe target) less conspicuous and maintain the same level of situational awareness when you're out and about that you probably do in Frankfurt, you should be fine.

21-11-2003, 10:45
I think as a foreigner you will have to worry more about the militsia than about crime. More likely to get "mugged" by them than by a common crook. I also agree with sfjohns67. There are crime risks in any major city. Moscow as a whole gives me a pretty safe feeling. I live 40 miles or so from East St. Louis, Illinois, which if you don't know is one of the most crime ridden, God forsaken holes in America, and I feel much safer in Moscow than I do even going near there.

21-11-2003, 11:27
Originally posted by tjpinkstone
My wife and I will shortly be moving to Moscow. My question is should she wear her engagement ring or might this be stolen, alternatively, am I just being paranoid? Any thoughts on the current security situation and recommendations would be appreciated.

We laugh guys, but I remember being here in 90 and returning to school on a Friday afternoon to retrieve a pair of boots I left there. In broad daylight, I was surrounded on Leninsky Prospect by a group of 18-20yr olds and asked to forfeit my boots (fortunately, I was saved by a few friends who by chance were leaving school). So, there was a time when, if you stood out as a foreigner, these types of questions would be completely legitimate.

That having been said, tpinkstone, I think a lot has changed, and you're unneccessarily worried. Moscow is a large semi-European capital overrun by foreigners and the old Soviet days of great demand for anything Western have passed. As long as you use common sense (stay out of unlit places late at night, don't run with scissors, etc) you'll be fine.

Foreigners in any city always make an easier target (Japanese tourists on the NY metro, anyone ?), but in general given that Moscow has more than it's own local fair share of expensive boutiques, new rich, nice cars, etc, there is no reason to fear that you will stand out anymore than anyone else with an expensive engagement ring.

Hope that helps.


21-11-2003, 12:26
Agree with the statement about the police being more of a threat to your wallet and wellbeing than the criminals, indeed I would say that generally I feel no less safe here than in London where I'm from, from some perspectives a tad safer due to the lack of let us term them 'certain elements' being particularly prevalent. Also, there are parts of London where I would never really thinking of going, particularly alone and especially at night (I'm referring to areas not to obvious things like dark alleys and underpasses etc). I'm sure that similar ones exist here (Kurskiy Voksal, Three station's square) but I have never felt extrememely threatened in any way....

...until this Monday just gone where for the very first time in my life, two moronic automatons attempted to mug me on the platform of Kurskaya metro station. They failed in their mission principally because they were drunk and I was stonecold-sober, they were not exactly what you would call the sharpest tools in the box and quite simply because their bid to intimidate me failed spectacularly (the headbutt I received was but a glancing one!).

The point of all this rambling is that the incident made me woneder what the form is over here on the use of self defense in such predicaments?? It would have been only too easy for example in the instance of the one who felt the need to hit his head against mine to have broken his nose in the same motion as standing up when I pushed past them to get on to the train to 'escape' and then preceeding to do my best 'Charles Bronson in the Deathwish films' impression on both him and his accomplice!.

I did nothing of the sort, but has anyone any idea what the likely outcomes of such actions would be...would I have the upperhand if the law became involved or would I have simply received a good, savage and fatal kicking from the friendly members of the local constabulary??

Any knowledge, ideas or experience to share?

21-11-2003, 15:25
tjpinkstone - I have been on many business trips to Moscow, and have visited half a dozen cities in the regions. I always felt safe, even when flagging down "taxis" when a bit pissed and not speaking much Russian.
I also remember (because I love Moscow & the Russians so much) walking in the early hours from near the Kempinski Baltschug Hotel right across the city to the Hotel Ukrainya on my own a couple of times.
Whilst I loved doing this, it is clearly not smart - I was never approached.
What really drove home the message about taking care in Moscow, was a comment by a colleague. I was running a training course at a russian hotel near TFG fridays, and we were waiting in the hotel lobby for the keys to the room. The lobby was full of security guards and I commented to my russian colleague about this - "is it necessary, its not dangerouis around here is it ?" . To which he replied "Everywhere is dangerous".

That said it all. I always dress like a male russki (good job too considering I am male) and never consult a map in public when I am on 'walkabout'.
The MD of our company in Russia was mugged in the stairwell to his own appartment. The friend of a friend was a visiting Director to their outfit in Moscow : he had a visit in his hotel room one night and was beaten within an inch of his life.

Having said all this, I personally would live in Moscow at the drop of a hat. Just get a hang of the "rule" quick, learn some lingo, read the alphabet etc and I am sure you will have the time of your life.
The food, culture, architecture, people etc etc are absolutely brilliant .
You lucky devel.....

21-11-2003, 19:07
Re the comment about women not walking alone - I don't have a choice, and at least in the center have never had a problem. Oh, a couple times guys have tried to join me (weird on the face of it given my undisclosed age...) but went away when I kept repeating NYET! in ever-increasing volume.

Odd things do happen, though, and it's hard to tell if they're dangerous or not. At 4:30 am I was waiting outside my apartment for my ride to the airport and a homeless-type guy staggered up with a presumably stolen fur coat which he tried to sell me. He was rather persistent, and I was glad that our apartment has a full-time security guy. He ambled over and kept an eye on things until the guy staggered off again. I sure felt sorry for the owner of the coat, though - it was awfully pretty.

22-11-2003, 01:52
i'm a chick with rings, one of them happens to be of the engagement variety.
No one has tried to steal that. someone pilfered my expensive cell phone right out of my purse. that sucked. but a ring? come on. I mean maybe if you go around stickin it up noses and stuff and take it off and leave it on the bar or whatever, then hey, yeah. but that's not very ring-protective behavior, and i doubt you do that kinda stuff.
You need to bring your paranoia down to a slightly more healthy level or else you guys are just going to drive yourselves crazy. Hint: people are really not as concerned with you and yours as you are.

22-11-2003, 01:57
as far as not walking aroudn alone AT NIGHT. After experiences suffered by myself and others over the past few years, I fully support this. And sh*t does happen in the center, it happened to me. I recommend that women not walk alone after dark. instead either walk with other female friends, or take a car, or meet your S.O. at a bus stop or metro station and walk home together if possible. Yeah i know it sounds paranoid. It probably is, at least a little. But it's also safe.
Moscow's a big city, and you've got to be aware of your surroundings, just like you would be in any other big city. It's not all horrible and scary, but there are moments that we would all prefer to avoid.

Originally posted by geofizz56
Re the comment about women not walking alone - I don't have a choice, and at least in the center have never had a problem. Oh, a couple times guys have tried to join me (weird on the face of it given my undisclosed age...) but went away when I kept repeating NYET! in ever-increasing volume.

22-11-2003, 02:23
"ex jewelry trade" reply here -

If losing the ring is a worry, get a replacement from a good simulant like moissanite. Trouble is, that $450-500 ring is still worth a packet - enough to get you mugged, anyway, if it gets flashed about.

Most people`ll think it`s a CZ, anyway. ;-)))) So it may be an idea to get a low end sim like CZ, white sapphire (if you can find it...) and then some muggers may think "Western woman with almaz....." You can`t win.

Moscow / Russia is all things to all men. The level of crime depends on the area, time of night, how much you`ve had to drink and what the mugger has, too. You wouldn`t walk around Central Park with a $20,000 diamond ring on, and the same applies to walking around a train station late at night in Moscow. It`s just common sense. As for the level of violent crime - I feel safer in Russia than I do in the UK.