Welcome all!

First I would like to thank you for visiting my blog, I hope you will enjoy reading it! Do not hesitate to follow me!

This blog has three main objects. First, it allows me to share my impressions and to provide useful informations to people who visit or leave in Moscow.

Than across this blog, I would like to exchange on Russia and more specifically on Moscow, to discuss everyone's outlook and eventually correct some stereotypes!

At last but not least, I would like to publish contributions of foreigners and Russians living in Moscow in order to have a multitude of glance on this wonderful city

I wish you all a good reading!! (There is also a French version of this blog: http://regards-sur-la-russie.blogspot.com/)

Thursday, March 31, 2011

142.9 million, 1.6 percent, 2.2 million!

Looking at this title you might ask yourself "what the hell"! these figures represent the last statistics on Russian population. There are 142.9 million inhabitants in Russia, down 1.6 percent, or 2.2 million, from 2002 (145.1 million).

Russia's population is shrinking and women still outnumber men by millions. The male population is 66.2 million, or 46.3 percent, while female is 76.7 million, or 53.7 percent. It shows that there are 10.5 million more women than men. But if you look closer to the figures, before 35 years old there are more men then women, after that it changes due to a lower life expectancy of Russian men.

The report also shows that the urbanization trend persisted, with 73.7 percent of the population concentrated in cities and towns, marking an increase of 0.4 percent since 2002.

In Moscow, the population grew 10.9 percent, bringing the number of officially counted Muscovites to 11.5 million. It's important to point out that the real population in Moscow is closer to 14.5 million inhabitants if you take into account everyone who has temporary residency (like me!) or the ones that are not properly registered. The local authorities have the right to not register some persons (delivery or non delivery of a paper you must be able to show whenever asked by authorities), after which they are theoretically not allowed to live in Moscow, and they are not shown in statistics. Indeed, the official population of Moscow is taken from those holding "permanent residency".

This report points up the still very high mortality rate in Russia, especially for men as their life expectancy is 61 years and 73 years for women. As a comparison the life expectancy at birth in France is 78.1 year for men and 84.8 for women!! We won't discuss the reasons why, but alcohol consumption is most certainly part of it, especially for men.

Furthermore Russia's population would be much lower without a massive immigration from ex-Soviet republics. Indeed the fertility rate is only 1.54 (2009) so it's far away from 2.1 children per woman (the approximate minimum required to ensure population replacement). We can observe that for already several years the Russian government adopted a pro-birth policy that starts to pay off. Indeed, the fertility rate is regularly increasing and it's already much higher than in 1999 when it was only 1.16!

The new demographic policy for 2011-2015 has an objective of maintaining Russia's population at 142 million inhabitants and to increase average life expectancy to 70 years old.

A 2009 report done jointly by the United Nations and Moscow's Higher School of Economics predicted that Russia's population would keep falling, reaching 116 million people by 2050.

Will it come true...

Monday, March 28, 2011

A change in registration's legislation!

The 15th February 2011, a new law required foreigners to be registered by their landlords at their factual addresses, instead of registering at the employer's address.
Confronted to this law, the Association of European Business, the French-Russian chamber of commerce and several other associations told Russian authorities that foreign residents had great difficulties making their landlords register them. They asked for the law to be canceled and they even wrote a letter to Dimitri Medvedev himself!
Less than 45 days after the date when the first law came into force, a new law was just signed by the president Dimitri Medvedev that cancels the first one and eases by the same time the registration process. The new law extends the period that foreigners can be in the country without notifying the authorities from three to seven working days. It also ends the requirement that landlords register foreign tenants at their factual addresses, reinstating instead the previous rule of registering at the employer's address.
In concrete terms, it means that any tourist can stay 10 days on Russian territory (including the weekend) without being registered! For foreign residents, it means that they don't have to rush in to be registered.

The new law also forbids police from collecting fines from foreigners carrying invalid or missing registration papers. Instead, the organization that issued the foreigner's visa invitation will be held responsible for violations. This change is aimed at preventing extortion from corrupt police officers who could otherwise demand money on the street.
We have to say here that it's the first time in Russia that a new law passed so quickly in favor of foreigners. The speed at which the government overturned the harsher rules has even stunned the foreign business community. In my opinion, it shows that foreign companies start to be well considered in Russia, and it's a great thing for the future. 

Let's just hope now that instead of easing the registration process, they will cancel it for good, and that they will do the same for visas! I think we'll have to wait a bit for that, even if things are going on the good way! And I want to say that for the moment it's more the European Union than Russia that doesn't want a free-visa policy between EU and Russia.

French version: http://regards-sur-la-russie.blogspot.com/2011/03/changement-de-la-procedure.html

This is Russia!

I've watched recently a nice video that a russian company made to promote its products. It explains (partly) what is Russia. I find it quite relevant so I decided to share it!
If you can't watch the video directly on this blog, here is the link on YouTube : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOPuvTMndIs

Enjoy it!

French version: http://regards-sur-la-russie.blogspot.com/2011/03/this-is-russia.html