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Monthly Newsletter - January 2013


Russians are closer than you think

The number of outbound tourists from Russia increased by 20-25 per cent in 2012 and is expected to reach approximately 11 million organised tourists (i.e. those who purchased package tours from operators), cites Russia Beyond the Headlines Internet-magazine the words of Maya Lomidze, executive director of the Association of Tour Operators of Russia (ATOR).

Another figure even better puts this in perspective. In 2012 1,030,000 tourist visas were issued by the Consulate General of Finland in St Petersburg. There are 5,000,000 residents in the city, which suggests that at the very least 20% of citizens were granted the right to travel in all European countries within the Schengen zone for up to a year.

Same visa requirements for all Schengen countries have been introduced from 13th January, 2013, meaning that it will be significantly easier for Russians from other regions to get to Europe too. With top-level official talks about introducing visa-free regime between Russian and the EU coming to their culmination we can hope that this will boost the travel enormously. We can only hope that the UK government will follow the trend set by their European colleagues.

From March 2013 EasyJet will do two daily flights between London Gatwick and Moscow. It is not going to be at their lowest price, but at £120 for the return journey they are going to change who will be the average Russian coming to London. Ryanair is now applying for the license to fly between Dublin and Moscow, and the chances are quite high that the license will be granted as they are the only Irish company to apply for this route. Both companies claim that they won’t stop on flights to the Russian capital, but will also go into regions. The Russian Aeroflot had to issue a statement that they would also introduce their own low-coster within a year. They actually might come to regions even quicker due to their strong position on the Russian market.

During the 2012 New Year and Christmas festive period Internet-shops outside Russia sent to the country more than 21.6mn parcels which is twice as much as last year, with the Post of Russia handling 150 tones of parcels daily (up from usual 60-70 tones). Ecommerce in Russia is growing at one of the fastest rates in the world, and while the local companies set up and start marketing themselves, Russians look for purchases abroad and arrange various routes to have them sent to their homes in Russia.

So be prepared to serve growing Russian middle class not only in Russia, but when they come to you.


The Siege of Leningrad

27th January is the day many Russians commemorate as the day when, 69 years ago, the siege of Leningrad (the Leningrad Blockade) – nowadays St Petersburg - was lifted. 872 days the city was encircled by invaders and yet the Soviets managed to withstand this longest and most devastating siege in history. It was the most costly in terms of casualties siege in the world history with up to 4.5m people killed or starved to death.

Russians remember the Word War II not just as the world war but as the Great Patriotic War. They honour the dead and those who survived and appreciate if their foreign counterparts respect the fact the Soviets contributed a lot to the success of the Allies. Please bear in mind the date above as well as the 9th May – the Victory Day and 22nd June – the Day the Great Patriotic War started on.


Russian course for Beginners

We start a new Russian language course for Complete Beginners (February-March 2013). 8 weeks' course, Wednesdays, 7-9pm. A qualified native speaking teacher and only up to five students in a group. Central London location: 7min walk to the Central line tube station and 2min walk to the Northern line. Book your place via email  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

As usually, we offer a 10% discount for students, over 65s, UCL alumni and staff members as well as for members of the Vegetarian Society.



"The Story Sensation: for learners of the Russian language (and not only for Guadeloupians!") by Ignaty Dyakov is now available on Amazon and in selected London book-stores, like Foyles, Russkiy Mir etc. It is a short sarcastic story, a detective line, written as an aid to making the Russian language study process a little bit more bearable for adult learners. The story contains approximately 800 words from such topics as clothes, food, politics, office, sports and gym, transport and business that are required for everyday communication. For the textbook page on Facebook - click here The book has recently received coverage on BBC, Russkiy Mir Foundation website, and the Moscow Times.


Grigory Leps in London

Known for his low, strong voice with long-range vocals, Russian rock and pop singer Grigory Leps is coming to London to perform in the Royal Albert Hall for the first time. Leps is rightly known for his wide vocal range. He has a low growling voice. His style is mixed rock music, pop music, and previously he used to sing chanson - click to learn more about this Russian concert




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