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How Cold is Russia Really?

It's a common belief that Russia is cold ALL THE TIME! And if you ever go to Russia, you have to wear fur coats in multiple layers. That belief led us to talk about this issue. Let's break it down: IS RUSSIA ALWAYS COLD? The short answer is NO. However, some parts of Russia are colder than others. Let's highlight a few major regions of Russia, just to show you some diversity. Northern Caucasus This is considered to be the warmest region of Russia with average temperatures of 22° C (72°F) year round. So, it's pretty warm! The coldest it's ever been is -13° C (9°F). Of course, this may still seem like too cold for some, but it's definitely not freezing temperatures! In fact, cities in Northern Caucasus like Sochi is considered to be a good summer resort for Russians. We go there to enjoy warm temperatures and great beaches. 2. Yakutia Now, we're talking! Yakutia is considered to be the coldest region in Russia with a substantial population. Average year-round temperature is -7° C (19°F), and the record low was −67° C (−88°F). That's insane! And the lowest temperature recorded was in the city of Verkhoyansk. It's considered to be the coldest populated city of Russia. Just look at the Google Images of it. 3. Kamchatka Another awesome Russian region. There's a lot of unique natural attractions there. Volcanos, geysers, nature in its raw form, and more. Speaking of temperatures, Kamchatka is one of the more "consistent" regions without much fluctuation in temperature throughout the year. Average temperature is 3° C (37°F), summer temperature is 10° C (50°F), and in the winter it's about -5° C (23°F). 4. Primorsky Krai You probably have heard of the city Vladivostok that is located in Primorsky Krai. Vladivostok is the most Eastern city in Russia. The city is famous for being multicultural. Vladivostok is located near China, and that's why there's going to be more Asian influence there than in other regions of Russia. And the climate is moderate: averages of 5° C (41°F), and average winter temperatures of -16° C (3°F). Not bad! 5. Siberia Siberia is FAMOUS for being cold. This place must be cold year-round! And again, the answer is NO! Siberian winters are pretty cold with averages of -20° C (-4°F). So yeah, winters are cold, but they're tolerable if you have the right clothing and if you stay inside during the coldest temperatures. The coldest it's been was -51° C (-60°F), and you don't want to be outside then! Most cars won't even start when it's that cold outside. However, people typically don't know that summers are pretty warm as well. Average temperature in the summer is 20° C (68°F). So, if you come to Siberia in the summer, it will be very comfortable for walking around and enjoying Russia. 6. Moscow and St. Petersburg These 2 cities are the most famous Russian cities, and they'll be very well equipped for tourists. There is a lot of museums, beautiful places, tours, and more for tourists to enjoy. And the climate is great, especially in the summer. Summer averages are 19° C (66°F), while in the winter temperatures are around -5° C (23°F). Even the winters aren't that bad in Moscow and St. Petersburg area. As you can see, Russia isn't always cold, and in fact, it's pretty warm during summer. Our advice is if you plan to travel to Russia for the first time, do it in the summer! How do Russians survive the winter? Firstly, we live differently. We build houses with thicker walls, we have 3-layered windows, we have central heating systems to keep us warm in the winter. There's a lot more thought that goes into construction of the houses and roads to keep the cold temperatures into account. And secondly, we have winter clothes! Let's talk about a list of winter items you need to have if you were to travel to Russia: Warm winter hat. You have to get a think, windproof hat. Snow isn't the issue when it's cold, but the cold winds are. You have to protect your head at all cost. Scarf. Again, winds can be pretty strong in the winter. If some part of your body isn't protected, the winds will get there! You have to protect your neck with a scarf if you don't want to get sick. Thick jacket. We call it Пуховик! You gotta get a think, windproof (and waterproof if possible) jacket that will protect you from the cold temperatures. Gloves or mittens. Mittens tend to be warmer, because fingers warm each other up. Gloves can be fine too, but again - water and windproof! Underpants or winter pants. Protecting your legs is also key, since the cold air can get under your jeans. For a nicer look, wear underpants. Or if it's too cold outside, winter pants (the ones you get for skiing or snowboarding) can help you stay warm. Finally, BOOTS! Your feet will be the first ones to get cold. Leave your Nike sneakers at home. You have to get warm shoes! Some tips for cold temperatures in Russia! What do you do if it's too cold outside? First, make sure to get dressed properly. Do wear all the items we mentioned above. It will keep you warm and will let you enjoy Russia! Secondly, go inside different shops or stores to get warm. All buildings are heated, so hop in for some hot air. You can use these two phrases whenever coming in to a shop: Я замёрз, можно у вас согреться - I am cold, can I warm up here? (male version) Я замёрзла, можно у вас согреться - I am cold, can I warm up here? (female version) These are just 2 small phrases that will help you a lot if you're getting cold. For more Russian info, check out our befluentclass.com platform! We prepared a travel course on the platform where you can learn enough Russian to have a great time in Russia and to be able to communicate with Russian natives! It's a membership website that costs $19.99 per month to join, and you will unlock not just the travel course, but a number of other AMAZING courses and materials! And lastly, make sure to use taxi services for travel when it's too cold outside! Waiting for a bus is a recipe for a disaster, especially if you're not used to the cold! Taxi is fairly cheep is Russia. We will talk about taxi services that we recommend a bit later in the course, so stay tuned! Hope you've learned something with this post! See you over at befluentclass.com!

Myths about Russia and Russian Strengths

Russia is a mysterious country for the most of the world, and myths (true or false) spread very fast. Certain myths come and go, but some stay. Today, we will cover myths that are still prevailing in some foreign countries that you have heard before. But before we do so, let's tackle strong sides of Russia and what Russian is truly known for. 1. Russia has strong military According to Global Firepower, Russian military takes second place in the world in terms of military power. Of course, we reach more agreements without violence, and we should strive toward non-violent world, however, having a strong military still has its value on the global arena. When you're strong, others tend to listen to you! 2. Russia has a lot of fossil fuels When thinking about Russian economic power, fossil fuels come to mind. Russia is rich with oil and wood supplies that get exported to other countries, which makes Russia a valuable player on the market. This may come as a blessing, but can also be a curse when a country relies too heavily on one industry to make most of its money. Luckily for Russia, other industries start to emerge. 3. Russia has a lot of potential USSR collapsed only 30 years ago, and in these 30 years Russia evolved from a broken country with a lot of crime into a place of great progress and amazing people. Living in Russia for 24 of those years, I can firmly claim that Russia became a much better place for its citizens! Every day you see newer buildings, bridges, roads being build. Compared to early 2000s, a foreign car isn't as much of a luxury and more families can afford them. People start to have a more optimistic outlook on Russia as a country (politics aside). I can only imagine what Russia will be like in 30 years from now! 4. Russian greatest asset is people! None of the 3 points before are possible without the people that support it. Russian potential is fully in the hands of the people who drive the progress. Like mentioned above, Russians start to be more and more optimistic about the future, and that's because things are improving with each year, and it's hard not to notice. NOW LET'S TURN TO THE MYTHS ABOUT RUSSIA! #1 Myth - Russian is the most drinking country - FALSE! If we look on a chart provided by Our World in Data below: Russia is taking a 17th place in the world. And that's very true, Russians don't drink a lot. However, a Russian's poison of choice is alcohol. So, if a person is going through tough times they're are likely to reach for a bottle. In Russia drugs aren't widespread, that's why alcohol is what people turn to during their darkest days. On the other hand, there are many Russians that either don't drink at all or only drink in moderation. Drinking isn't that cool in Russia. #2 Myth - Russians love vodka - SOMEWHAT FALSE There's some truth to this myth. Vodka used to be very popular during USSR, because foreign trade wasn't that good, so we drank what we could make inside USSR. Vodka can be made from grains and potatoes, which we have loads of throughout post-USSR territories. And to this day older generations are fond of vodka, while as younger generation are more likely to drink beer or wine. Personally, I hate vodka, and only had it around 4-5 times in my lifetime (2 of which were in the US). But if you're ever at a table with Russians are you are having a drink, make sure to learn how to toast in Russian. We cover that in our Russian4Travelling course on befluentclass.com platform. Join us now and learn Russian language and culture that you would need whenever you travel to Russia! #3 - Bears are walking the streets of Russia - FALSE! How this myth is considered to be true is beyond me. Russia is a big country and there is a lot of forests in Russia, and there are surely bears in Russia. But people think that Russians have pet bears, that bears walk the streets of Russia and it's a normal thing. It is not! Sometimes bears might come out the forests to look for food and they might come out to the street, but I assure you, it's not a common thing. Secondly, the same thing that I just described above is true for any other country of a similar climate that has large forests. Canada is has the same issue when bears come out of the wilderness. So, no pet bears for us, sadly. BUT there's a Russian with a pet bear on Instagram though - https://www.instagram.com/panteleenko_svetlana/?hl=ru #4 - Russians are spies - FALSE! I didn't know this myth even existed before travelling to the US, where almost everyone has made some sort of a spy joke about me. At first, I didn't understand what's the point, before someone explained that there's a belief that every Russian who comes to the US is surely a spy. Then there were countless amounts of movies that portrayed Russians as spies or evil guys. Then it hit me! This is what the US used to do during the Cold War. They used to portray Russians as these evil, emotionless, and rude people. But even now Hollywood is taking that depiction and running with it. So, maybe movies is the reason why this stereotype still exists. #5 - Russia is full of mafia - FALSE! This myth takes its roots in the 90s, after USSR collapsed. During that time there was a lot of crime, because the Soviet Union collapsed, and there wasn't any proper policing. So, lots of crime and no punishment. Mafia was prevalent then. Mafia controlled districts, if not cities. However, times do change! Right now, even if there is mafia out there, it has almost zero impact on lives of regular people. I haven't heard of anyone being a part of mafia, and neither did my friends and parents. Organized crime has been shut down by the police a long time ago. One of our students mentioned that he was afraid to come to Russia, because he heard that the mafia doesn't like foreigners and they would find him and he would surely regret coming to Russia. This is 100% false! Hope this was helpful! See you over at befluentclass.com!