Since the end of the Cold War and dissolution of the Soviet Union, tourism in Russia has climbed dramatically. Moscow and St. Petersburg in particular are both popular destinations for tourists interested in seeing striking architecture and experiencing Eastern culture. Both of these cities have their issues with nonviolent crime, and they've also seen a rise in violent hate crimes, mainly by skinhead groups targeting ethnic tourists. Travel to the southern states of Russia like Chechnya can be extremely dangerous because of political unrest. Terrorist bombings and kidnappings are common in these areas. While American citizens are typically not targeted, they are at risk to become a casualty of circumstance. You should also be wary of the Russian police force. They can stop you without cause and there have been reports of harassment and extortion against tourists.
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