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Changing money/using an ATM in St. Petersburg and Moscow?

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Has anyone had trouble changing money and/or using an ATM card in these cities? When I asked our bank about ATM usage, they called Russia a potentially "high risk" country and said our ATM card "might" not work reliably. If the worst happens, am wondering how to get rubles, as necessary. Carrying cash (USD$) does not sound like a great idea. Any advice?

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