Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Do I need a body guard for travel to Russia

Do I need a body guard for travel to Russia

Old Apr 28th, 2004, 11:16 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Do I need a body guard for travel to Russia

I have staff going to Russia on business and have heard it is advisable to have a body guard while traveling within Russia (Moscow).

Do you advise that I travel with a body guard?
my_srodof_2004 is offline  
Old Apr 28th, 2004, 11:19 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,113
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Depends what "staff" and who knows about it.
You know, the problem over there is that if something will happen to anybody/anything - you have nowhere to turn, because nobody cares.
So, it is your call.
Ziana is offline  
Old Apr 28th, 2004, 12:21 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 478
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I've worked with people who do need body guards while conducting business in Russia, so to me it is a valid question.

First, is this just a matter of perception? Have you ever watched "The Sopranos"? Have you ever read "The Godfather"? Or seen countless crime dramas on television such as "Hill Street Blues" or "Miami Vice"? Then you know that although crime exists in the United States it generally does not touch every law-abiding American. The same is true in Russia; the media and entertainment industries paint a picture of how insane Russia is, but the reality is far different. The streets of Moscow and St. Petersburg are as safe as London, Paris or New York for the average tourist.

If your business partners suggest it, or if some of your negotiations involve sensitive issues with particular sectors known for problems, then yes, you should hire guards. I've seen Russian ministers, officials and oligarchs who have no problem being unaccompanied while overseas, but are surrounded with protection while in Russia.

For most commercial business travel, and almost all cultural/leisure travel, then it is not necessary.
Marc_David_Miller is offline  
Old Apr 28th, 2004, 12:30 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 478
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I would highly recommend, though, that they have a driver (as taxis can be problematic, especially when in business situations). It is far more convenient to have a car waiting for you than having to find one on short notice--most of my business clients do this (unless they know Moscow well enough, or are within short distance of one office).

Depending on the particular situation, you might want a translator to be available at all times. Russian businesspeople's knowledge of English is not always as good as we assume, and it is well worth the expense to have bi-lingual staff and/or a professional translator present during discussions (and also makes a positive impression on the Russians).

You might want to read Yale Richmond's "From Nyet to Da"; not an etiquette guide, but rather a text that, after reading, will give insight into Russian sensibilities and sensitivities. Especially like the Styrofoam piece!
Marc_David_Miller is offline  
Old Apr 28th, 2004, 12:37 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,755
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I thought at first this was a joke! My aunt and uncle have lived in Moscow for over 7 years and have never, ever experienced the need for a body guard. Perhaps a local, knowledgable Russian guide would be more advisable and not as imposing. You don't want your staff group to stand out too much, otherwise they will arouse suspicion, not to mention being overcharged everywhere they go (museum entry fees, restaurants, etc). A Russian guide could be the "front man" to purchase things for the group to ensure that they would get the fair (Russian) price, versus the higher (American) price.
Huitres is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
Jun 21st, 2007 06:03 PM
Jan 13th, 2007 10:08 AM
Sep 17th, 2005 09:39 PM
Jan 17th, 2005 02:54 AM
Jul 6th, 2004 06:12 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:54 PM.