Like any other country, Russia has a legal system
According to Dmitry Lesnyak, head of GR-practice at BMS Law Firm, failure to pay the fine leads to further administrative action in Russia - one will have to pay twice as much, risk arrest or undergo compulsory public work. For instance, improper behavior in public, which clearly indicates a person’s disrespect for others (like using obscene language or harming another person’s property), might lead to an administrative fine of 500 to 1,000 rubles ($8-16) or an administrative arrest for up to 15 days.
If you are a driver, you might also face a range of different fines if you fail to meet Russia’s traffic laws. For example, if you drive a car without having proof of insurance (
A lot of Russians drive, so the majority of them get fines for traffic rule violations quite regularly. Now that authorities have installed cameras on most roads, such violations no longer go unnoticed, especially in Moscow. According to the 2018 figures (link in Russian), more than
David, a car owner from Moscow, says it is quite true, based on his personal experience. “The majority of fines are related to exceeding
If you are just a pedestrian, also be cautious. Many Russians face fines after being spotted jaywalking by police. “I went to the shop just near my house and crossed the road on a red light. A policeman saw this and issued me a fine of 500 rubles ($8),” says Alevtina from Moscow.
“Once I was fined for crossing the road at the wrong place,” recalls Alexandra, a journalist from Moscow. “It was minus 20 degrees Celsius outside and I had to wait outside while the policeman issued me a fine sitting in his car!” Slava, a photo editor from the Russian capital, had a similar situation: she crossed a boulevard illegally, thus, crossing two roadways and received two fines.
As for fines related to behavior in public places, it’s not that simple, says Dmitry Lesnyak. “Rules, like, for instance, smoking in public places, usually don’t work, because they are violated by a lot of people and it’s just impossible to react to each violation,” he argues. Yet, despite this, make sure to at least avoid smoking or drinking alcohol in public, because the latter is what landed Oleg from Moscow not one, but two fines - 500 rubles each ($8). “Every place which is open and accessible to other people is considered public in Russia. Even if you drink alcohol at 6 am somewhere in the Siberian taiga and don’t disturb anyone, it’s still considered a public place if a random forester passes by,” he explains. “Still, many people continue to drink alcohol on the streets, despite the law, and unfortunately, only those who do it carelessly get arrested. Basically, that’s why I was caught twice - at Vorobyovy Gory and VDNKh. Just pick the spots more carefully!”
Yes, errors do occur, but not often. Some of them take place because of
Yes, they can. Make sure you avoid doing one of the above and have your visa sorted out and prolonged before it’s expired - otherwise you also risk facing a penalty. “Once I had to prolong my three-month visa, but one cannot do it in Russia, only from abroad,” Erwann Pensec from France, recalls. “So I went to
He booked a train ticket and thought that he’d manage to cross the border on the last day of his Russian visa, but it turned out that there was a delay with the train and he was forced to pay 1,500 rubles ($24) on the border. Thankfully, he could return to the train and managed to get the necessary paperwork done before going back. So make sure everything’s fine with your visa!
Not a good idea. Better pay it, because it might become a problem when leaving Russia and a reason for authorities to reject your visa next time and/or ban you from entering for a few years. “It’s more difficult for the authorities to collect a fine from a foreigner, but not paying a fine might lead to negative consequences. For instance, a foreign national might be banned from visiting Russia again,” says Dmitry Lesnyak.
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