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RUSSIA


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  •  
    Population 150 million Russian Domes
    Area 17.1 million sq km
    Capital Moscow
    Country Code +7
    Consent Age 16
    Language Russian
    Religion Orthodox, Muslim, Jewish, Catholic
     

    Russia extends over 11 time zones and offers activities and attractions of mind-boggling diversity. Its land ranges from the highest mountains in Europe to some of the lowest spots in the world, and from Arctic tundra to seemingly endless plains. Its cities are home to some of the finest art and architecture in the world, and its countryside is untamed and beautiful.

    The collapse of the old order in Russia has unleashed all manner of things: trial-and-error capitalism, semiorganized crime, bizarre superstitions, nutty prophets, glitzy casinos, billboard politics, schlock advertising, slick gangster-hangout restaurants, and czar mania. Now one can see enterprising young men hawking posters of the czars descendants near a subway entrancea startling contrast to the diehard old men in Red Square holding up tattered pictures of Stalin.

    Fashion trends imported into Russia directly from the West, gay life made no exception. The gay scene in Russia is young and fresh, having 'come out' less than a decade ago. Gay community is mostly visible in Moscow and St.Petersburg, in other cities it is still underground or non-existent. Russian gay culture is very young and while older people opt for remaining in their closets, younger generation is more willing to come out and get rid of constraints. Gay clubs and cruising areas in larger cities are packed with unisex teenagers and students desperately looking for their Mr. Rights or one-night-stands. Drag queens are so flamboyant and relentless that it somehow reminds of gay Berlin in 30s or gay New-York in 50s. One must really come and feel it, to get the tart and shameless taste of it!

    A visit to Russia, especially to gay Russia, sometimes feels like an enthralling adventure and sometimes just an ordeal. Its a country where simple things may be impossible, but where things that seem impossible may be possible just for the asking. Youre more likely to be able to see a secret missile silo than to successfully order a cup of decaffeinated coffee.

    A trip to Russia wont be easy. Travelers will have to be flexible, tolerant and patient. The difficulty is worth it, though, for Russia is simply a fascinating placefrom the imperial beauty of Moscow and St. Petersburg to the bleakly romantic Siberian countryside.


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    Russian version © Ed Mishin: ed@gay.ru
    English version © Nikita Ivanov: nikita@gay.ru
    Mailing address: PO Box 1, 109457 Moscow, Russia