January 8th, 2010
If you are traveling through Russia on your way to somewhere else, you need a Russian visa. Even though you're just passing through, you still need the Russian government's approval. Without a transit visa, you probably won't make it out of the US.
In the event that you do make it to Russia without a transit visa, the US Department of State says that "Russian authorities may refuse to allow a U.S. citizen who does not have a transit visa to continue with his or her travel, obliging the person to immediately return to the point of embarkation at the traveler’s own expense." That doesn't bode well for the rest of your trip!
You need a Russian transit visa even if you just have a layover or are changing planes in a Russian airport, although you can also get a transit visa for trai
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