Anonymous asked: do you recommend people of color stay in moscow for an extended time period?
I should preface this by saying that I am not a person of colour and my voice cannot speak for their experiences. Although she lives in St. Petersburg not Moscow, this blog is essential reading about the experience of POCs in Russia and suggest getting in touch with her if you haven’t already: http://blackgirlinrussia.tumblr.com/
I can’t tell you what it’s like to be an African-American in Moscow, but I can tell you that there is even a certain hostility directed at you for being an American. There’s also a certain fetishization, both of which I think are amplified if you’re black.
Be prepared for offhand racism. There is no ‘political correctness’ here. Even educated, progressive-minded Muscovites will throw around the word “nigger” even when speaking in English. When you tell them that, yes, you understand that the word негр in Russian is not offensive (and in fact it’s ruder to call someone чёрный (black)) but that in English it’s the opposite they will laugh and say “Well, welcome to Russia,” as if they enjoy being racially insensitive.
Be prepared to be stared at, to have people approach you in the street, to receive all sorts of comments. All of that might scare some people off, and that’s understandable.
It’s easy to find the stories of Africans and African-Americans who have suffered from some pretty awful racism including physical violence. From what I’ve seen though, it seems like the real HATRED here is directed towards migrants from Central Asia and the Caucasus, simply because there are more of them (the same reason there’s more hatred towards Latinos in the States than towards, say, South Asians.)
And all that being said, if you do choose to come to Moscow, I should remind you that it is a huge, and diverse, and amazing city and you will find TONS of Russians who do respect you and to whom your race is of no concern. I personally know two Africans who have been here for almost a decade each and love it.