Visiting Russia as a tourist

#2
Your interogations must have yielded spectacular intel.

'Did you maybe do a thing and if you did how do and why?'

'Damnit Sir, I just can't break this guy.'
 
#4
Does anyone know or has faced problems when visiting Russia on holiday? For eg., for someone who is Ex-army INT.
I was told to be wary of visiting any old Warsaw pact countries, as old memory's die slowly, if old & bold, do not wear your veterans badge, Be aware that Russia is run by an old KGB officer, a one Vladimir Putin. Take advice from the foriegn office. If still serving, consult your regimental officers. If in doubt, don't go. If you do go, FFS check in with the local British consular office, or embassy.
 
#5
I was told to be wary of visiting any old Warsaw pact countries, as old memory's die slowly, if old & bold, do not wear your veterans badge, Be aware that Russia is run by an old KGB officer, a one Vladimir Putin. Take advice from the foriegn office. If still serving, consult your regimental officers. If in doubt, don't go. If you do go, FFS check in with the local British consular office, or embassy.
On demob in the BAOR days we were given a list of about 40 countries where it would be silly to visit. These days, I should imagine it’s down to just N Korea. The FCO has a list on its website of countries a Brit should avoid.
 
#6
Wear a wig and a Groucho Marx false nose and specs. That way no one will realise you're a spook.
 
#7
Does anyone know or has faced problems when visiting Russia on holiday? For eg., for someone who is Ex-army INT.
I’ve travelled through Eastern Europe extensively including Russia and have never had any problems, saying that, I haven’t been to Russia since the chill in relations set in but I would go back in a heartbeat
 
#9
On demob in the BAOR days we were given a list of about 40 countries where it would be silly to visit. These days, I should imagine it’s down to just N Korea. The FCO has a list on its website of countries a Brit should avoid.

I concur. even so I would be very un-comfortable visiting an old anti west country. A few years ago we visited Czechoslovakia, accessed through North eastern Bavaria, and like a plonker I was showing my vets badge. the local plod kept a wary eye on me and the Doris, unnerving.
 
#10
Does anyone know or has faced problems when visiting Russia on holiday? For eg., for someone who is Ex-army INT.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to:

*within 10km of the border with the Ukrainian Donetsk and Lugansk Oblasts
*Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan and the districts of Budyonnovsky, Levokumsky, Neftekumsky, Stepnovsky and Kursky in Stavropol Krai

The FCO advise against all but essential travel to:

*within 10km of the border with the Ukrainian Kharkiv Oblast
*North Ossetia, Karachai-Cherkessia and Kabardino-Balkaria (including the Elbrus area)

Is INT short for intelligence :rolleyes:
 
#11
I concur. even so I would be very un-comfortable visiting an old anti west country. A few years ago we visited Czechoslovakia, accessed through North eastern Bavaria, and like a plonker I was showing my vets badge. the local plod kept a wary eye on me and the Doris, unnerving.
Ta for that. Son no 2 is wittering on about taking me to the Czech Republic.
 
#12
Does anyone know or has faced problems when visiting Russia on holiday? For eg., for someone who is Ex-army INT.
If you were intelligence, they will know exactly who and what you are. 3 months after my de-mob, I received a letter via the AJEX organisation, offering me a short term commission in the IDF, me being a red sea pedestrian. I declined.
 
#13
Does anyone know or has faced problems when visiting Russia on holiday? For eg., for someone who is Ex-army INT.
Those serving will be aware of the current brief on MoDNet/DII. Anybody who’s ex, so long as they’re not silly and advertise it (especially if they’ve been in a ‘sensitive’ role), should be okay so long as they go by FCO advice as mentioned above.

Apply liberal amounts of common sense.
 
#14
I concur. even so I would be very un-comfortable visiting an old anti west country. A few years ago we visited Czechoslovakia, accessed through North eastern Bavaria, and like a plonker I was showing my vets badge. the local plod kept a wary eye on me and the Doris, unnerving.
I did a duty visit to Czechoslovakia (as it was then) with 60 Sqn in Feb 92. In the evening we went on a pub/bar crawl through Prague, absolutely no problems. The Czechs were friendly and hospitable. About 2 years later as a civvy the long haired CO and I did a day trip over the border from Germany to Pilzen, once again no problems.

AL1. The only problem was communication. None of us spoke Czech, not many of them spoke English, they'd only got rid of the Russians in May the previous year, so up till then they all learned Russian and western languages were frowned upon. However with a mixture of English, German and a bit of French we got by. One officer being something a tool wanted to try Russian until I advised him that Russians were no longer flavour of the month. The Czechs even then showed a preference for German as a foreign language.
 
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#16
You avin a giraffe,? this is ex squaddies your talkin about, when has common sense been factored in to the equation. Brute force and ignorance, maybe.....But yes, and loads of it.
Not all ex squaddies are that bad! But I see your point.
 
#17
Went to Kaliningrad a few years back. Facinating, not a single problem although I did have to have a word with the missus found pointing a camera at a military installation having climbed a low fence. Turned out she was amused that they had spelt the "keep out signs no photography" incorrectly!!!!

We went on a German coach trip starting from Hannover. Commented on invading Poland as we crossed the border to German amusement. At one point we were travelling on the pre- war german autobahns little changed.

We went to a where German gentleman was born who still lived in the area till 1954. Couldn't find a brick on the ground even though we had a1935 map to work with.

As we were driving around Kalingrad one of the Germans pointed to some ant-tank ditches commenting, I dug those, but the Russians went round or I probably wouldn't be here.

We had a rather attractive Russian driver/ interpreter attached to us for the last part of the trip with a car. Also of interest was while passing through a village, a shop sign was falling off the wall and behind it was the German shop keepers original sign from 1945. Wondered what story lay there, probably best not to know.
 
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#18
Who the **** wears a veteran's badge when they go on holiday, especially to an East European country?
 
#19
Does anyone know or has faced problems when visiting Russia on holiday? For eg., for someone who is Ex-army INT.


Its fine, so long as you don't do anything silly, or have any current gen that is particularly of burning sensitivity. To be honest, I expect that these days they are far more interested in manipulating sleazy politicians, celebrities and media types than ex-servicemen. I think we are at the bottom of the interest list for everybody at home and abroad.

They'll ID you when you apply for a visa, and they will keep some low-key tabs on you when you're out and about doing your touristy bit. Even in the briefly liberal 1990s they were still tracking foreigners - especially residents - and their records are surprisingly, er, thorough.

In the old days, the amount of interest in you could be gauged by the time it took to process your passport at immigration. If you get a hard stare and are passed through,, then you are a non-entity. If you get ten minutes of furious typing on the PC, then a lot is pinging up. If they call one or more supervisors over, then you evidently have a "flag" (at this point you begin to sweat and wonder if you'll be allowed in to finish your job contract!).

In general, Russia is safer and less threatening for tourists than is central London or most other EU cities (not least because the police beat the shite out of petty criminals). All you have to look out for is the usual tourist scams such as some bloke coming up and saying "look, I just this wallet on the floor. Is it yours?", etc. (Edit: and girls putting Rohypnol in your beer at nightclubs, then putting you into their mate's "taxi").

Russia is really interesting and well worth visiting. Just bear in mind that the cold war is still on (at least in Putin's head), and there can be "consequences" for any local you might get too matey with. If you are single and end up falling for a Russian chick, then PM me asap for further instructions....
 
#20
As I said in my earlier post I have traveled (still do) to Eastern Europe untold times (my job takes me there) and as with visiting any other foreign country all that is required is common sense, I don’t draw attention to myself while traveling, I do have the added advantage of being a fluent Russian speaker so I can communicate very very easily in whatever country I’m in but simple awareness of where you are will see you safely through any holiday or trip you might make
 

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