East-West Church & Ministry Report
Vol. 1, No. 1, Winter 1993, Covering the Former Soviet Union and East Central Europe

Practically Speaking

Insurance specialists for travelers
For hosting guests in the West or planning an extensive stay in the former Soviet Union, consider contacting Travel Insurance Services. This company, which offers insurance plans tailored for transcontinental work, has had considerable experience in the former Soviet Union.  

American Express cash machines and travel help American Express card holders now have access to cash machines in Moscow, Warsaw, Budapest, and Prague. At the American Express office in Moscow customers can make airline reservations, change their travel plans, and pick up tickets. American Express now has offices in 27 cities of Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. For more information, call 800-227-4669.


Security in health and travel is often a concern when traveling to East Central Europe. With the situation constantly changing, what was a safe place last week may not be this week. For current information the U.S. State Department issues travel advisories: (202) 647-5225. International health information is available from the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia, (404) 332-4559.


Russian areas closed to foreigners
ITAR-TASS reports the following areas as off limits to foreigners:

source: RFE/RL Research Report, July 31,1992.


Aeroflot's expanded service
Aeroflot now offers international flights connecting Anchorage, Chicago, Miami, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., with the following cities of the Commonwealth of Independent States: Magadan, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kiev, and Khabarovsk.

For more information, call (800) 995-5555.

Inflation Moscow style
A Christian worker in Moscow has tracked the changing costs of basic foodstuffs.
prior to 4/91
A loaf of bread
16-24 k
64-98 k
1.8-2.2 r
15-23 r
a kilo of flour
24-45 k
65-90 k
4.5-5.6 r
93 r
a liter of milk
24-29 k
48-55 k
1.4-1.6 r 
10 r
a liter of sour cream
1.2-1.5 r
2-2.5 r
6.3-10 r
97 r
a kilo of butter
2.5-2.7 r
7-9 r
54-65 r
219 r
a kilo of meat
1.4-3 r
5-9 r
54-85 r
80-100 r
a kilo of sugar
78-84 k
2.2-5 r
7.8-8 r
140 r
a kilo of potatoes
16 k
32-50 k
2.8 -5 r
25-30 r
a kilo of cabbages
25-30 k
50-70 k
2.8-5 r
30 r
a kilo of onions
23-35 k
23-35 k
70 k- 1 r 8 r
25-30 r
a kilo of apples 
70 k-2.5 r
2.5-7 r
30-45 r
50 r
a kilo of carrots
15-45 k
75 k- 2 r
 8 r
30 r
1 liter = .88 quarts       1 kilo = 2.2 pounds        r=ruble        k=kopeck
NOTE: A missionary in Moscow reports that wages have changed 4-5 times in the past year, whereas cost hikes have occurred 100 times. The salaries listed are not an accurate reflection of true earning power because of the bartering system, many people holding down multiple jobs, and the system of bribes. "Medical care is free," our source noted, "except for the bribe."

November 1992 exchange rate:  419 rubles = $1.00 U.S.

Current salary estimates in the city of Moscow for the professions listed are in rubles per month:
5,000 r
     Factory worker (coal mining)
10,000 r
1,000-5,000 r
10,000 r
     McDonald's manager
40,000 r
     McDonald's worker
 9,000 r

Practically Speaking, East-West Church & Ministry Report, 1 (Winter 1993), 12.

Written permission is required for reprinting or electronic distribution of any portion of the East-West Church & Ministry Report.

1993 East-West Church and Ministry Report
ISSN 1069-5664

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