Is Russia a good place to live?
for a foreigner
I was born in Russia and spent my whole life here in Moscow. Of course I travel abroad (at least I used to before COVID) and had a chance to compare life in Russia vs European countries and some Asian countries.

So some positive moments:

- Relative freedom. Unless you mess with politics or more-less serious business, government and police will not bother about you. You are free to live your life the way you want. Laws in Russia are only partially enforced, so if you are careful enough you may ignore/bend some of them without any consequences.
- Russian people mind their own business. They will not intrude in your private life unless invited.
- Cheap and fast internet (5$ per month for 100 Mbp unlimited traffic) (except smaller cities and countryside)
- Relatively cheap prices for gasoline (0.7$ per liter)
- migration-friendly laws (e.g. you may obtain citizenship in a simplified way if your occupation is in the list and etc )
- Organized health care system, both free and paid. (In big cities only)
- Vivid nature + 4 seasons. You may find sea, mountains, plains, forests literally anything. without living Russia. (Infrastructure is undeveloped and may be expensive in some places). You will also experience season change, summer, autumn, winter and spring.
- Less competition if you start your own business outside of Moscow or St.Petersburg
- Almost non existent anti-COVID lockdowns.

Some negative moments:
- Corruption is everywhere. About the same level as in Africa. There is a chance that police or other authorities may try to extort a bribe from you, especially if you are doing business. Small and medium problems can be solved without bribes thou. If you keep things legal and your documents are in order, you should not be worried about corruption much.
- Poor population. Average salary outside of big cities is around 200$ a month.
- Relatively expensive food for average or less than average food quality.
- Russian language is a must. You will need to know how to talk in Russian from the moment of your arrival. Unless you can rely on your relatives or employer to do the talking everywhere for you.
- Xenophobic attitude towards specific nations ( e.g. China nationals may experience some people saying bad things). But In general Russians are friendly to foreigners.
- Sometimes excessive attention from the police towards foreigners (documents checkups, especially in public transport).
- Migration process requires lots of documents what makes it tiring and sometimes complicated to stay legal. You will need to know all regulations by yourself in advance, no one will explain or warn.
So these are cons and pros living in Russia. If you have your own experience and have something to add, please do so in comments section below. Thank you for reading!
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