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Russian Visa

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I'm still a little confused about the Visa for Russia for US citizens. I understand the application ant that you must have a letter of reservation or "invitation" from a hotel, but must all nights there be approved in advance or simply one or two of the hotels with a few blank nights in between? The Russian Embassy site seems unclear to me on that issue.

And is it possible to get the Visa in person in New York at the consulate office on East 91st? I'm having trouble finding that you can do that -- yet I was told that's how friends got theirs. Since I'll be in NYC for the full month of May and not going till the end of July -- that seemed ideal (and I'll also need to get a Ukraine visa).

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