World Cup 2018 Security Russia
The 2018 FIFA World Cup is fast approaching and presents perhaps the most complex iteration of the mega-event yet. For thousands of global fans, footballers and VIPs heading to Russia this year, the trip of a lifetime is currently tinged by diplomatic pressures, a propaganda war eagerly engaged by both the hosts and Western nations, and a Russia that is increasingly concerned with stamping out a place for itself in the modern world. Security is a key concern with rising political tension, the threat of hooliganism and a widely publicised cyber risk. If you are planning travel to the games, Priavo can mitigate such risk and provide a secure environment in which to enjoy the tournament.
Your safety is our key priority. From secure airport facilitation and group chaperone to close protection for your VIPs and security drivers, we can mitigate risk and enhance your safety during the World Cup.
Fully qualified secure chauffeurs and ground transportation, tailored specifically to your travel needs, group size and location. A secure tracking system allows for live tracking and communication of all movements.
Take control of your itinerary and fly on your own terms. Benefit from the flexibility and security of a chartered aircraft. You decide the schedule, the route and the passenger list.
Security Concerns and Travel Advice
The security risks in Russia vary according to the area and profile of the traveller. Below is a summary of key security concerns and considerations when travelling to the World Cup 2018. As risks continually evolve, please complete the form for the latest travel risk report and security recommendations.
Petty crime is common in major cities such as Moscow and St. Petersburg, where tourists have been specifically targeted. Take extra precaution when travelling around. Be on high alert for mugging, pick-pocketing and theft from vehicles or hotel rooms especially in busy crowds.
Violent crime (particularly assault and robbery) occasionally takes place in and outside of bars and nightclubs. Kidnappings do not generally involve travellers as targets, however, in some areas that border Ukraine, there are regular clashes between Ukrainian and pro-Russia separatists, leading to increased kidnapping in this area.
Terrorism remains an ongoing threat throughout the country. Russia intervened in the Syrian Civil War in 2015 after an official request by the Syrian government for military help against rebel and jihadist groups. This may raise the likelihood of an Islamic State (ISIL) attack, targeting busy events such as the 2018 World Cup. In the past, terrorists have targeted various transport infrastructures including the Metro system in Moscow. This is likely to be a key concern during the World Cup, and there will be a higher security presence. The last games Russia hosted was the Winter Olympics and Paralympic games in Sochi where the security presence, vehicle searches and level of protection was very thorough.
Demonstrations periodically occur in major urban centres and may turn violent. In Russia’s North Caucasus region, there are elevated risks of civil unrest, mainly posed by Islamist separatists. Key concerns for the World Cup in Russia include the level of racism in Russian football, discrimination against LGBT and Russia’s involvement in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea. Russia is known for having one of the highest hate-crime rates in the world and there have been numerous reports of unprovoked, violent harassment against racial and ethnic minorities, especially foreigners of Asian and African descent, as well as LGBT people throughout Russia. There are more than 150 far-right groups with an ideology of racial, ethnic and religious intolerance that are currently active in Russia. Those planning to visit Russia should be aware of this and cautious of potential violence.
The general visa requirements when entering Russia will not apply to World Cup participants and fans. Before and during the competition, spectators will be able to visit Russia without a visa, regardless of their citizenship. However, this could change leading up to the games in 2018. Language is a huge barrier in Russia as over 81% only speak the official language of Russian. It is therefore advised that you learn a few basic Russian phrases.
Travellers to Russia should be wary of their surroundings, particularly in the zones where the games will be held. If you plan to drive in Russia, most foreign nationals, including US, UK and EU visitors can use their national driving licence but it is recommended to also purchase a notarised Russian translation. Road safety is poor in Russia and the number of road accidents is particularly high. There were over 198,000 road traffic accidents in Russia in 2014, causing over 26,000 deaths. Be observant of other drivers and avoid driving at night.
If travelling between the games, be aware that roads will be highly congested and often dangerous with supporters. Ensure you consider the distance of each venue. Sochi to Saint Petersburg is 2338.6 km. Ensure you have adequate provisions for all journeys. Rail travel between destinations is probably the most efficient and safest mode of transport. There are overnight trains with sleeping compartments, however do not leave your sleeping compartment unoccupied and do not agree to look after the luggage of a fellow traveller.
It is advised that all visitors to Russia seek medical advice at least 4 – 6 weeks before your trip in order to get up-to-date with all inoculations including: Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Tetanus, Rabies and Typhoid. It should also be noted, as of June 2016, legislation was introduced requiring travellers bringing prescribed medicines to carry a prescription with the following requirements: the traveller’s name, the name of the drug and the prescribed quantity. Medical facilities may be adequate in Moscow, St Petersburg and other larger towns and cities, but less likely to be so in smaller cities, rural and higher-risk areas. Be aware that cash or credit card payment will be required at the time of service. You should make sure you have comprehensive travel insurance. Tap water is not drinkable throughout the Russian Federation and you should therefore only drink bottled water.
World Cup Russia Travel Risk Summary
Our Travel Risk Summary Report provides:
- Risk Ratings for the destination
- Country Overview
- Security advice and considerations
- A travel checklist for before you depart
- Transport advice
- General safety information