From the Russian representative office in Taibei, whose official name is very very long:
[quote=“The Russian bureau(crats)”]THE APPLICATION FORM SHOULD BE COMPLETELY FILLED OUT AND SUBMITTED WITH:
[ul][li]RUSSIAN TOURIST COMPANY’S LETTER OF CONFIRMATION (TOURIST VOUCHER). FAX IS VALID [/li]
[li]HOTEL BOOKING CONFIRMATION [/li]
[li]A PASSPORT VALID FOR THE DURATION OF STAY IN RUSSIA [/li]
[li]PASSPORT COPY [/li]
[li]ID COPY [/li]
[li]ONE PHOTO LESS THAN SIX MONTHS OLD (2 INCHES)[/li][/ul]
HOTEL’S BOOKING CONFIRMATION IS NOT A REASON FOR GRANTING TOURIST VISA[/quote]
Attracting individual travelers is evidently not a priority for the Russian government.
Monkey Business are the experts on Trans-Siberian travel in Hong Kong. They have been at it for years. Check out their information on visa requirements (one page for China and another for the rest). It is pretty complicated and the visa fees sure do add up. In some ways it is more restrictive than when I did it back in the days of the good old Soviet Union in 1982, e.g. as I remember I had a transit visa and it did not have this limit of only one night in Moscow and no stopovers. I slept two nights on the floor of a railway station because, although I had a ticket all the way through to Berlin, I had a bit of trouble booking a seat for the Moscow-Berlin leg. And I wanted to hang around in Moscow for a bit anyway. I lived on bread and kvas and I got stopped by police three times, including once inside the Kremlin. I had a crewcut and probably looked like an escaped prisoner or a soldier AWOL from Afghanistan.
Mozhet byt’ jesli vy govoritje po-russki to budjet njemnozhko ljegche.
By the way, EXCLUSIVE NEWSFLASH the youth hostel associations of Taiwan, China and Russia have just been admitted to full membership of the International Youth Hostel Association, as have those of Czechia, Singapore and Bolivia.