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Package Shipping From USA To Russia?

Cliff posted more than 13 years ago | from the mired-in-red-tape dept.

Editorial 222

Pavel Koshevoy wrote an impassioned plea to assist him in figuring out how to ship a package to Russia. You would think that UPS would be able to do this with no problems after seeing all of those commercials on TV, right? Wrong. It appears that if you want to send a package from the U.S. to Russia and you its destination isn't to Moscow, Nizhnij Novgorod, Krasnodar, Novorossiysk, Togliatti or St. Petersburg, then you might be lucky to get a 1 pound package thru. Of course the highest value package UPS will accept is $100. If this sounds fishy to you, then you might want to read the whole story from Pavel, below.

The following words are from Pavel Koshevoy:

About a month ago I got an e-mail from a friend of mine in Khabarovsk, Far East Russia. We were classmates until about 5 years ago, so we brought each other up to date on what we are up to. He recently got his diploma in CS so I asked him if he had a chance to play with Linux. He hadn't and was unwilling to install it because of the shortage of diskspace on his Win98 box. So, I decided to put together an upgrade package for him and did so from new and used parts (total value about $300). do you ship it?

After talking to DHL with unsatisfactory results, I decided to try UPS. I called them up and ask whether I can ship a $300 package to Khabarovsk, Russia, and be able to pay the duties on that myself. They said yes and set me up with a UPS account which costs $45 a year (to do this with DHL, you have to be a business, no exceptions). Not bad, I thought, so Aug. 22 I shipped the package (after spending hours filling forms, of course) and happily send a tracking number to my friend telling him how he could track it over the Web.

Two days later I check up on the UPS tracking Web page and discover this:


So, I call UPS and ask them about my package? The operator tells me that there seems to be a restriction on packages going into Russia, that the value of the package has to be under $100 when it is shipped anywhere except 5 cities: Moscow, Nizhnij Novgorod, Krasnodar, Novorossiysk, Togliatti and St. Petersburg. Packages sent to these five cities can be valued as high as $10,000. Later, another UPS rep calls and tells me that the package is valued over $100 and will not be accepted, and wanted to know if I would pay $164.25 to get it back. Eventually I convince UPS to return my package free of charge, however there was still the question of the original $184.25 charges from UPS for the shippment. Until today (2000/09/13) this was still up in the air. I would call UPS and complain, they would put in an urgent message to my account executive, and nothing would happen. This went on for two weeks. When I finally got a real person who could authorize a refund, she was not willing to do it for the full amount. She claimed that since I had a UPS account, I was responsible for knowing about the $100 limit, never mind that I opened the account with one goal in mind - to be able to send the package and pay the duties so that my friend wouldn't have to. However at this point I was too frustrated with them, so we agreed to go 50/50.

Then she sent me an e-mail which wound me up even more: the $100 limit includes the shipping charges.

This is the first time I was ever told this. Up until now I was going to split my package into three packages and resend them separately. You have to realise that the lowest shipping cost to Russia is $77.50, and that's for a 1 lb. package. Plus, there is a $20 surcharge for shipment to Russia for a total of $97.50. With the $100 restriction in place the value of the package must be at or below $2.50! Something is clearly very wrong here.

Effectively, UPS cannot ship packages of any reasonable value higher than $2.50 to any cities in Russia except the five I have mentioned, Furthermore, when looking through the UPS RATE AND SERVICE GUIDE I could not find anywhere mention of this restriction. No, instead, Russia is put in the same category as Norhtern Mariana Islands, Papua New Guinea, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Solomon Islands. Do all those destinations also have the same restriction on the value of the package?

So, I insisted on the full refund, and I've got it with a warning that this is a one-time deal and they will not do it for me again. Even though I've got my money back, I am still upset at UPS over the grief they put me through. I opened an account with them just so I could send this package and pay duties for it. Their service guide should not even list Russia as far as I am concerned. Even more puzzling is the exception that they have made for the other five cities.

I still want to send this package to my friend, so if anyone has any ideas I would like to hear them, please.

Sincerely, Pavel (Paul) Koshevoy

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Prices are the same (3)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#779547)

Hardware prices (wholesale) in Russia and other former Soviet Union countries are the same as in the U.S. When visiting Ukraine I was told this by someone who runs a small PC outfit. Given this, I'd avoid the headache and send/wire/transfer money.

username auction (offtopic) (1)

superfly (76) | more than 13 years ago | (#779548)

I looked at your auction page and it doesn't have your full username (ie, the 12 characters that Slashdot cut off). Wouldn't that (and the story about how it came about) boost the price?

Well, maybe not. But it would be interesting.

Re:UPS Sucks! (2)

Pathwalker (103) | more than 13 years ago | (#779549)

I've stopped using UPS entirely for one simple reason:
You can't pick it up from the depot if you aren't there when they stop by.
At least with FedEx you can always go and pick it up that evening.

Re:Ask the friend how (1)

Frodo (1221) | more than 13 years ago | (#779555)

Mostly, if you order from overseas and US supplier agrees to send them overseas, and agrees to accept non-US credit card - which is increasingly hard thing to find, last time i tried 80% of the shops refused to accept non-US credit card - when everything here is OK your send it by air post and hope nobody steals it in the way. You do it in any case, because if just shipping via UPS is going to cost you $100 starting price, what the heck you should buy so that it would prove itself? A car? A house?

And yes, there are places on this planet where people can't order things online from the US. You'll be terribly surprised, but they manage to live without that :)

Re:Mailboxes etc. (2)

MoNickels (1700) | more than 13 years ago | (#779556)

Don't use Mailboxes Etc. Even shipping from New York City to myself in Paris they got the information wrong, costing me $90 extra in customs fees. You have to declare ZERO value, in any case, no matter what the destination, just to avoid problems with customs on the other end.

Your best bet is to fly over and include the goods in your carry-on luggage. It's the only guarantee.

Re:Don't forget the bad infrastructure in russia (1)

Evangelion (2145) | more than 13 years ago | (#779561)

That's not the problem. The problem is that somewhere along the line, it's going to get stolen if it even looks like it has commercial value.


Re:If he can run Win98... (1)

Evangelion (2145) | more than 13 years ago | (#779562)

Nah, all the pirated software over there comes on CD =)


USPS will do the trick (1)

maxic (5853) | more than 13 years ago | (#779567)

I used USPS Express Mail to send a few packages to my relatives in Kharkov, Ukraine. Every single one of them arrived within five days, it cost me about a quarter of what UPS/DHL/FedEx would ask, the declared value was higher than $100 (can't remember the exact numbers, sorry), and my mother just had to go to the main postal office of the city to get those packages (not a single incident with customs). On the other hand, when I was living there, I bought a few books at, and getting it through the local customs was a major pain ( was using either DHL or FedEx).

UPS and lack of Customer Service. (3)

Juggle (9908) | more than 13 years ago | (#779572)

I'm starting to think that UPS actually has no clue what the hell they're doing when it comes to international shipping.

I recently setup a full e-commerce site for a client who was located in Mexico. His site is run out of the US and his credit card processing is done through Bermuda but all his shipments come direct from the manufacturer in Mexico. Most of the comapnies we had to deal with had no problem understaning this....but not UPS.

We wanted to use some of the tools UPS has been hyping for e-bussiness. Specifically we wanted the tools for calculating shipping costs, estimating shipping times, generating tracking numbers, and for integrating shipping with your existing site. But after nearly two months of e-mail and phone calls I still had not made any progress getting these tools from UPS.

On thier website the say they have to licences availabe a developer licence which gives you full access to their tools so you can use them with all of your clients. And the end-user licence which must be filled out and applied for by the company doing the shipping. I filled out the form for the developer license explaining that I had a number of clients who were intersted in using these tools and that at least one of them was located in Mexico. I got back a form letter saying that perhaps the end-user tools would be better for me.

I e-mailed their customer support saying that the end-user tools really weren't a solution for me since I wasn't about to have all of my clients go to the UPS website and register separately. I never received a reply. Nor did I receive a reply to the second or third e-mails sent at weekly intervals.

On the phone I was told "Just fill out the form on the website and someone will get back to you". Even after I explained that I had already done that and that my e-mails were being ignored. Finally a rep told me that there really was no such thing as the developers license and he had no idea why their website (Which had been redesigned a week earlier) still had references to it.

Eventually their rep directed me to a different page and told me to fill out the form there with my clients information and that I would get a username and password to download the tools with. But on that page Mexico was not a choice for country of origin. I told the rep this and he said "Oh don't worry just fill out that form". When I told him I would have to enter incorrect informaiton to do so he told me "Yeah, just fill it out.". I then asked point blank "So you are telling me to lie on this form graning me legal permission to use your software? You really want me to enter false information and lie about the country of origin?". Of course he came back saying "oh no, I can't tell you that".

Finally after his local rep in Mexico had ignored him for almost 2 months my client managed to get an address out of his local rep which would allow you to register from Mexico. But only for the tracking tool none of the others.

And then to rub salt in my wounds the next three packages I received shipped by UPS all arrived heavily dammaged. I e-mailed customer support at UPS with a polite letter explaining all the problems I've had dealing with them and saying that receiving three heavily damaged packages in a row was the final straw. As a consumer I was going to vote with my money and no longer choose UPS as my shipper. Two weeks later I received a phone call from UPS appologising but saying they needed my shipper ID number to register the complaint. At which point I explained again as I did in my letter than I am not a shipper I am a consumer who often chooses UPS as a shipper when I order through the web or mail-order because of their price and usual quality of service. Apparantly this was too much for the rep to understand as she appologized and said she'd have soneone else contact me.

The next person to contact me again required a shipper ID! Finally after 10 minutes on the phone trying to explain the whole thing I said "Look this is silly. I don't have the time to waste on this. Just tell your manager I'm upset because you've consistantly done a bad job and that UPS just lost a customer".

Declare the value to be 0! (5)

xyzzy (10685) | more than 13 years ago | (#779573)

Look, you're missing the obvious. Self-insure your package. Declare the value of your shipment to be $0. Now, this may get your shipment in hot water with customs people, but I tend to doubt it. All this will end up meaning is that if the shipment is lost, broken, or stolen, you will have to pay for it yourself. But it's only $300, it's not going to break the bank or anything.

Also, does your friend have any friends or relatives in Moscow or any of the other cities?

I've shipped computers (usually laptops) internationally before and have found that declaring value only raises stupid questions. Once I was sent a laptop (purchased in the US) from Austria, and it was held up in NYC for 3 days by customs because the sender declared a value of $3k or something and there were issues of duties. Totally absurd -- as if someone would avoid customs duties on an IBM Thinkpad by buying it in AUSTRIA and having it FEDEXed priority overnight to the US!

Possibilities (1)

Natedog (11943) | more than 13 years ago | (#779574)

After taking a cold war class this summer (part of my GE I've been avoiding) from a guy that has spent a lot of time in Eastern Europe and Russia two things come to mind.

1) Russia's economy is very unstable right now and this may be the result of protectionist legislation. (but we all know that protectionist legislation isn't really to protect suppliers, rather its to allow the government to have its hands in international comerce)

2) Russia has long been based on client-patron relations (ie bribes). This isn't really a bad thing (as we in the west often see it) and it happend all through the Sovient Union and even before the revolution (for example, read "War and Peace", based on real characters and events). And even after the "fall" of communism (which the USSR never really was) not a lot has changed in Russia as far as how things work (BTW - as far as "the way things work" not much has changed since before the revolution) So its very possible that Russian customs has this restriction in place to require companies that ship to Russia to appeal to a patron in Russian customs (ie bribe them) in order to get their packages through. I know this sounds foreign (but it _is_ a foreign culture) and things like this don't get documented, but they never have or will be.

So my guess would be to ask your friend about how to get the package in - he just might have to talk to some people or have it sent through a local carrier.

But take this with a grain of salt. This is based on my instructors experiance (and I'm not he) and what he taught so I'm just taking his word for it. If someone in Russia would like to confirm or reject any of this please do - I'm always glad when I can say a prof is wrong about something!

How about FedEx? (2)

Omar (12533) | more than 13 years ago | (#779575)

A quick look at their website doesn't reveal any sort of restrictions to Russia. Might be worth a try? Take a look at FedEx's international service restrictionsinfo [] .

Re:Fraud (3)

kevlar (13509) | more than 13 years ago | (#779578)

You're missing the point. It would cost $10,000 there, and you would _not_ be able to ship it because the damn thing will be stolen... I'm sure its hurting their imports considerable too... otherwise there wouldn't be such a deman.

Fraud (5)

kevlar (13509) | more than 13 years ago | (#779579)

This is because there's an extremely large black market in Russia. They won't accept anything above $100 because it'll get stolen, and then UPS has to pay for the insurance.

FedEx (2)

Dredd13 (14750) | more than 13 years ago | (#779581)

From FedEx's web site, it looks like they'll ship there, overnight. They don't seem to make any mention (that I could find) of restrictions on what city, etc., just that they will deliver to the Russian Federation, a 5-lb. package for about $180 or some such.

More expensive, but it seems like it'd work, and I'm almost certain FedEx paperwork has a checkbox for "charge duties to this account #" on it... setting up a Fedex account for personal use is easily achieved (I think I might actually have TWO of them *grin*)


Re:Not using DHL is your mistake (3)

NMerriam (15122) | more than 13 years ago | (#779583)

And you won't get any of this stupid screwing around like you describe either. They know what they're doing, they don't toss stuff on the next plane going that direction and hope for the best :)

Yes and no -- you're right that DHL is best for overseas shipping, but it still is pretty crappy. They subcontract to local folks everywhere (that's why they're better -- they've got 50 years worth of international contacts, not 20) so you're still at the mercy of the locals.

We had a $3000 computer held up in "customs" in Ecuador last year -- our rep went to pick it up from the shippers, and the local shipping company said they needed $2000 CASH or they wouldn't hand it over. We spent 6 months fighting with DHL to have them bring it back to us (similar to this guy's UPS experience -- they want to charge you to return the package!?).

I'm an investigator. I followed a trail there.
Q.Tell me what the trail was.

If he can run Win98... (2)

gatkinso (15975) | more than 13 years ago | (#779585)

...he can clear out some temp files, delete some old games, and install a minimal installation of Linux over the net.

I am guessing he is loathe to delete any of his pirated software for which he has no installation media.

Ask the friend how (4)

FascDot Killed My Pr (24021) | more than 13 years ago | (#779593)

Are Russians (except those 5 cities) totally unable to order merchandise (online or via catalogs)? I doubt it. Ask your friend how things arrive and then you'll know how to send.
Linux MAPI Server!

use the local Russian community (5)

binkley (25431) | more than 13 years ago | (#779596)

My recently Americanized Russian wife says:

I totally believe it. You could suggest to that guy to find the russian
community in his town - I'm pretty sure Louisville has one, and they
usually have some private package shipping service going on, for nominal
fee. It originated when things were bad with food in Russia, and lots
of Russian stores in the states started offering food packages to
Russia. I've certainly seen ads here in the Houston store about sending
anything over.

Re:Ever try the (1)

tweir (27510) | more than 13 years ago | (#779598)

Yes, but that would be diplomatic/government mail, and they tend to have very large marines guarding US mail to embassies never hits the local mail system, which is where packages 'disapear' ;)

USPS just hands the mail to the russian mail system, and hopes it gets delivered. UPS/DHL do end-to-end service

I found it interesting (4)

brokeninside (34168) | more than 13 years ago | (#779604)

And I don't even the remotest desire to ship anything to Russia.

The defining point of a nerd is a thirst for knowledge. Discussions such as this broaden my understanding of the world.

And to be hones, I'd rather see questions such as this than 3/4 of the .mp3/napster or kde vs. gnome stories that have posted almost daily for the past three months. Its amazing how the exact same flame wars erupt with each one.

of course, YMMV...

Re:UPS sucks!!!! (2)

slickwillie (34689) | more than 13 years ago | (#779606)

I sent a small package to Estonia (formerly part of the Soviet Union, for the geographically challenged) earlier this year. UPS charged me about $85 to send it, which I paid for at the counter. Then they lost my check and kept sending me bogus bills. Finally they sent it to a collection agency, even though I sent copies of my cancelled check and check register. It cost me about $100 worth of time and personal expense to resolve it, which of course they refuse to reimburse.

They have the most screwed up phone system I have ever encountered, even worse than Microsoft support. Each time you call in you get a different CITY, never mind a different person, and no one can communicate with anyone else. The bills came from somewhere in Nevada, and included a phone number, When I called, I got someone in the South, and she didn't have access to the billing records. Stay away from UPS. Use DHL.

Re:Go Postal! (3)

slickwillie (34689) | more than 13 years ago | (#779607)

Tried going via USPS? I bet the are a lot less expensive.

They are a lot less expensive, and a lot slower. Plus once it gets to Russia you depend on the local post to deliver it, which is an iffy proposition, especially it is anything of value, since it will most certainly be opened.

The packages valued $0.01, what's the problem? (1)

Greg@RageNet (39860) | more than 13 years ago | (#779610)

It soulds as if shipping no matter what is going to be as much as the parts themselves. List them as being worth $0.01 and send it and hope for the best. Don't bother insuring it.

-- Greg

What's fishy? (1)

lost_it (44553) | more than 13 years ago | (#779615)

The fact of the matter is that Russia doesn't currently have a very good infrastructure. That's the way it is. UPS can ship to those cities because I imagine they're cities with decent access to the outside world.

I think the majority of the people in the U.S. (I live in the US and always have, so don't flame me) don't realize that interstates aren't universal. And the plethora of airports available to us is even rarer.

If you really want to help Russia, it sounds like you could ship some construction materials to some random address in can be assured that they will find they're way to people who can use them :)

Face it, as many "problems" as we have in the US (and a lot of other developed countries), we really are spoiled.

Mark the outside of the package .... (5)

laetus (45131) | more than 13 years ago | (#779616)

"Contents: Textbooks
  1. Democracy and the Mass Media : A Collection of Essays (Cambridge Studies in Philosophy and Public Policy) by Judith Lichtenberg
  2. The Economics of Transition : From Socialist Economy to Market Economy by Marie Lavigne.
  3. The Merger : The Conglomeration of International Organized Crime by Jeffrey Robinson"

    Then put anything you want in the box and ship it. No one at the border will want to touch the thing. Heh.


News for Nerds??? (1)

Enoch Root (57473) | more than 13 years ago | (#779622)

Aside from the cheap plug about helping some poor Russian install Linux on a Win98 box, what the FUCK does this have to do with Slashdot? Do we look like postal workers? What makes you think geeks mail stuff more often to Russia?

Forget what I said, use DHL.... (1)

zorgon (66258) | more than 13 years ago | (#779624)

Another poster got this right. DHL is the way to go if you can do it. This way your friend doesn't have to pay a local company, you can just pay DHL. They are the best.

WWJD -- What Would Jimi Do?

I'm surprised nobody has mentioned this one... (3)

zorgon (66258) | more than 13 years ago | (#779625)

Pavel, ask your friend to contact a local forwarding company that can clear items through customs and ship them from the port of entry to other points within Russia. Sadly this is not cheap, but they will (if they are reliable) handle the, umm, details. There HAVE to be companies that collect foreign goods at Moscow and ship them via the Trans-Siberian Railroad. In other 3rd world places I've had to ship to, however, they take a big cut: $50 for paperwork .... more for storage ... then the shipping/delivery ... It's just bribery with invoices so it's legal. Usual risks apply of course, I guess if they swap rocks for computers at the airport there's almost nothing you can do... good luck

WWJD -- What Would Jimi Do?

Find russian friends or send postcards (1)

levl289 (72277) | more than 13 years ago | (#779628)

[sorry for the dupe]

I was born in Moscow (in the US now), and currently have relatives living there. Whenever we have friends or relatives coming or going there, we're inundated with offers of packages to take to and fro.

It just needs to be accepted that the Russian postal service sucks.

A friend who recently travelled throughout Russia was able to get postcards through the mail (he sent them here when he was there), but c'mon, there's no monetary value to those ;)

Q: What do you think about American Culture?
A: I think it's a good idea.

Re:Mark the outside of the package .... (1)

Tau Zero (75868) | more than 13 years ago | (#779630)

If you do that, you'll be in violation of the custom's laws (which require a proper declaration of the contents of a package). You would probably not get in trouble (being outside the jurisdiction of the Russian gov't, and since you are not shipping contraband), but the recipient might. And if your package was inspected, it would be confiscated.
Build a man a fire, and he's warm for a day.

Russia Today (2)

themurray (78325) | more than 13 years ago | (#779631)

Just shows what the communism does to a country after falling due to draining the country's resources like a locust plague for their militarization against the west. The biggest problem was that they did not get rid of the old communist politial bosses out of power to allow a real economy to replace the patchwork now. Putin is a Stalin wannabie, but does not match up with that criminal leader. Unity through the grave is not a government slated to latest beyond the leader.

It does not surprise me that your having trouble send to russia your package, but I expect with in 5-15 years that russia will fall completely after they are living in early 20th conditions. It is a shame that the russian is unable to kill the communist stigma and become a responsible to their people after the huge mismanagement by the old government.

Re:Not using DHL is your mistake (5)

daniell (78495) | more than 13 years ago | (#779633)

Absolutely; DHL is great, they could deliver to dubai in the UAE 10 years ago in a couple of days rather than the months it takes to normally get/send stuff.

So, I suggest going to town hall, and registering a virtual company (I believe that's what its called). Its basically a name that's like to your name; then you open a bank account to accept money in that name or pay in that name. The IRS will probably want to set it up with a unique tax ID, but then perhaps that's not necessary since a virtual company is not limited in anyway. (i.e. you are personally liable for the operations of that company, which is okay for a small thing).

Then go to DHL and get them to do it right with this company name.

Alternatively, The Island of Nassau in the Bahamas has this deal that you pay them money yearly to have a corporation, they officially give you an employee that does the local paperwork, and a plaque on the wall of a building (that looks like its made of plaques). But this is costly, and only really necessary if you need incorporation for yourself, which I don't really need... but I found its available so... I don't know how to contact them and set this sort of thing up though, sorry.


Re:Don't forget the bad infrastructure in russia (1)

quigonn (80360) | more than 13 years ago | (#779635)

Search for the town 'Dikson' in the north of russia, then you'll know what I'm talking about.

Don't forget the bad infrastructure in russia (2)

quigonn (80360) | more than 13 years ago | (#779636)

The problem in russia is that the country is *SO* big and there are hardly any concetred roads. Especially in the hinterland for people it's almost impossible to get to the next big town: the whole country lacks public transport.

And there will be risks (e.g. transport vehicle could get FUBAR because of the bad roads) that UPS simply can't ignore.

The whole issue is (unfortunately) quite a good example that russia still has to wear the USSR's legacy. :-/

routing (1)

kootch (81702) | more than 13 years ago | (#779639)

what about asking your friend to set up a PO Box in the nearest large city that's on the acceptable list, have him tell them to forward any mail that comes in from that account to his home address.

after this, UPS the package to the PO Box in the major city and pay for the shipping to get there.

would that work?

Bribes (2)

zpengo (99887) | more than 13 years ago | (#779649)

Based on how everything else in Russia works, you probably just have to do a little lubrication of the machinery. I've never been a big fan of bribery, and I don't necessarily recommend it unless you know what you're doing, but that may be what is required to get that package through.

I Have Had Some Success (3)

Rizz0 (101760) | more than 13 years ago | (#779651)

I have had some success with shipping goods to the former Soviet Union. Granted, this was in 1996 and I was shipping to Kiev, however this approach may still have some effect. Just remember three magic words - No Commercial Value. Of course, it also helped that I was doing this through a business, so I was able to use DHL.

Consider yourself lucky (5)

Kagato (116051) | more than 13 years ago | (#779660)

A while ago I worked for an American Company that was rolling out new servers to all their locations world wide. One of these servers was a rather high end IBM RS/6000 Unix box. Since the company in question sends items to russia by the Metric Ton getting it there wasn't a problem. What was the problem was when the computer was uncrated we found that the computer had been replaced with some large rocks while it went through customs.

Even if your package had made it into customers you'd have a 50-50 chance of ever seeing it again. You're friend is screwed. You're better off wiring US cash and letting them buy it locally.

Re:ad the article. (1)

yerricde (125198) | more than 13 years ago | (#779664)

You probably need to try DHL

Did you read the article? "After talking to DHL with unsatisfactory results"

( \
XGNOME vs. KDE: the game! []

Sounds like you need an anonymous remailer... (1)

pallex (126468) | more than 13 years ago | (#779665) Moscow to send it on for you! Cant the american embassy do it, or am i just being hopelessly naive? :)

fly (1)

Sponge! (127360) | more than 13 years ago | (#779666)

Wouldn't it almost be cheaper to fly there and deliver it yourself and spend some time visitin? ;)


Team Slashdot!

C'mon, man, this is Russia .. (2)

kd5biv (129563) | more than 13 years ago | (#779668)

.. they make *Mexico* look organized. ;-)

Re:Not using DHL is your mistake (2)

fl1t (129930) | more than 13 years ago | (#779669)

Absolutely! I used to manage international shipping for a computer mail-order store, and dealt with DHL every day. (Wonderfully simple job really--I sometimes miss it...)

I've sent packages to everywhere you can legally send things, and then some. DHL always came through. They are even very good about working with Interpol to track down the organised crime rings that steal high-value packages. (At one time, every Mac we sent to Saudi Arabia disappeared along the way.) You can also tag a high-value or fragile item so that it will be handled by one person only at each hub.

BTW, in "third-world" locations, DHL contracts with local companies to handle the actual deliveries.

US Postal Service (1)

naken (132677) | more than 13 years ago | (#779671)

I used to send stuff to Taganrog, Russia using the US Postal Service. I don't think anything has every costed more than $10-15 to send. The only problems I've had was it usually takes around 3 to 4 weeks for the package to get there and there is a chance your package will get lost in the mail and disappear. I've also heard (altho I've never had this problem I think) that their customs have a tendency to sometimes open packages and take stuff inside. The worst I had tho is at least one package that disappeared and once I sent a video tape and when my friend got it she said it looked like someone put their foot through it to break it (of course she blames the American gov't.. I have my doubts about that... )

What about plain old mail? (2)

Ron Harwood (136613) | more than 13 years ago | (#779674)

...or is that just not viable?

Re:Mailboxes etc. (1)

JWRose (139221) | more than 13 years ago | (#779676)

Be wary of using places like Mailboxes etc. Yes they ship via UPS, FedEx and others, but there are some things the need to be considered. The main thing is that if you have a problem with your shipment, you cannot deal directly with the shpping company. You must deal with the store you shipped your package through to resolve your problems. i.e. Mailboxes etc. If you require a refund, the way it works is UPS will refund Mailboxes etc. and Mailboxes etc. will refund you. It's really a headache dealing with these third party "shipping" companies. I definately would NOT recommend anybody use them for shipping overseas, must less within the US.

Nothing exists except atoms and empty space; everything else is opinion.

Re:I Have Had Some Success (1)

John Napkintosh (140126) | more than 13 years ago | (#779677)

'I've got no patience now' for this sort of thing...

Re:Prices are the same (1)

richardbowers (143034) | more than 13 years ago | (#779679)

...avoid the headache and send/wire/transfer money.

Just don't do it Western Union...

Re:Fraud (1)

Emugamer (143719) | more than 13 years ago | (#779680)

then send it through the Black market! :) actually a good idea (unless in russia you could not buy the components) would be an EFT (electronic funds transfer) and then have him buy the stuff.... true tis is probably another pandora's box but it would be intresting.

Shipping to Russia (1)

Darkness Productions (143908) | more than 13 years ago | (#779681)

You should try either USPS, or FedEx. FedEx is also sposed to ship anywhere in the world, but many times they offer better service at a better price. This could be the simplest answer you have.

Been there, done that (1)

Poligraf (146965) | more than 13 years ago | (#779683)

If you send it usual mail, you have a 50:50 chance it gets there. I was lucky because I was sending inexpensive things, but a hard drive will probably be lost :-(

FedEx and DHL are not worth the price. I remember how one friend of mine sent me a hard drive from Russia using DHL - it was not only late (2 weeks), but also damaged.

The best ways to do it:
1) Send money and let him buy what he needs;
2) You've already got the stuff. So, you need somehow find friends in Seattle (; there is an Aeroflot ( flight between Seattle and Khabarovsk, so you can just give it to one of the passengers.

Air Freight (2)

j0el (154005) | more than 13 years ago | (#779690)

Try air freight via Aeroflot with enough insurance to cover it. They fly from Moskow to Khabarovsk every evening. You may need to find a freight forwarder in New York to handle the customs forms.

Re:Don't forget the bad infrastructure in russia (1)

Egonis (155154) | more than 13 years ago | (#779691)

That's a load.... I can send a package to Yellowknife (WAAY Northern Canada) without a problem. BTW: Check out, I can send packages to Russia from here, either through Canada Post or several other services!

What my parents have had to do... (1)

chipuni (156625) | more than 13 years ago | (#779692)

Back years ago, the only reliable way to get things in and out of the former USSR was by getting a friendly courier to bring it. If you know anyone who's going to be visiting your friend, that might be the most secure and safe way to get it to him.

My parents had to do that, to get a computer to some family members in the USSR.

Good luck. You'll need it. Russia is still a kleptocracy. If it goes through the usual Russian mail, it won't reach your friend.

Re:postal service (1)

danderson (157560) | more than 13 years ago | (#779693)

I laughed when I read your post. Not because the idea of using the postal service is stupid, but because of your typo:

I've emailed electronics to Eastern Europe with no problems ...

What email client do you use? Mine only lets me attach files...

Not using DHL is your mistake (5)

Snocone (158524) | more than 13 years ago | (#779694)

Anyone who actually does business in third world countries (and yes, Russia outside those five cities does qualify) will tell you that DHL is the most competent service by a great deal. Anybody can fly a box to Stuttgart, it's when you need to get something to darkest Sierra Leone that you see who really knows what they're doing :)

So jump through whatever hoops there are to use DHL, and you'll have at least as good a chance of getting your stuff where it's supposed to go as you will with any other service, you can be quite confident of that.

And you won't get any of this stupid screwing around like you describe either. They know what they're doing, they don't toss stuff on the next plane going that direction and hope for the best :)

Re:Ask the friend how (1)

kruczkowski (160872) | more than 13 years ago | (#779696)

You also need to understand that people in Russia are not as well off as we in the US are. I'm from Poland, none of my family have Internet at home. One has it at school. But one thing that Paul might want to look into are privat companies that ship packages. You can find these people near a Polish or Russian church.

Ship it with a private company (2)

kruczkowski (160872) | more than 13 years ago | (#779697)

My mother mails packages to Poland via a private companies. True there trustworthness might not be the best, but every package arives. You can find these people near you local Polish/Russian church.

Businesses, DHL, options (1)

arete (170676) | more than 13 years ago | (#779699)

First off, it easy to get around the "businesses, no exceptions" rule. If they have a "high volume only" rule, then it's a lot harder. I'm a business - the tax ID # is my SSN, it's a sole proprietorship. It sells whatever I have on hand, and my time. Sales are low (because it only has me as an employee, and only during moonlighting hours) but profit margins are high. If necessary for a rather small fee (time) I'd be willing to send it DHL for you, using my business name, addy (mine) ph# (mine) etc. But you'd have to be paying for whatever wacky fees they charge, and I certainly still wouldn't guarantee it wouldn't get stolen. Just as easily, you really could do this yourself.

More options: first off make sure you've checked every carrier. I seem to remember a couple of other ones going there, although I've really no experience with it. Did you try USPS? 2nd: No Commercial Value - is a beautiful thing. Include a letter (preferably in Russian) saying it is broken, you thought it was a really interesting way to break, and you thought he'd be curious to look at it, from a theoretical CS point of view. That should slightly reduce mafia tendencies. Of course, you have less recourse when it's stolen.

I bet you could mail something to the US Embassy, and inside have a letter and another package and ask them very nicely to remail it in Russian mail. I don't know anything about Russian mail, but it's got a better chance of getting there than sitting on your couch. Similarly, you could ask the State Department, they might know. You can even better try this trick with anyone either one of you know who's in one of those big cities.

Next ask someone (like someone else said) who's going to be shipping stuff to Russia - find a Russian community somewhere. While you're at it, you could try paying someone to carry it with them into Russia and then mail it in the Russian mail - and just hope they don't keep it. See my story above.

Call the Russian embassy and ask them.

If the State Dept trick doesn't work, btw, a similar plan could possibly be used with a university or other educational institution - write that same anti-mafia letter, and set it up with someone by email at a university, first. Maybe paypal them some hard currency. Possibly the school he went to is in one of those big cities?

That's all I've got for right now...

Re:UPS Sucks! (and Airborne Express) (1)

wheelgun (178700) | more than 13 years ago | (#779705)

They must be a subsidiary of Airborne Express. Those idiots once left a $460.00 package addressed to me in front of an unoccupied house accross the street during the busiest rain spell we've had in years.

As one might guess, it sat there for days before the neighbors came home from their trip and told me about it. The box was so water damaged it fell apart in my hands. The company had to send me a new unit.

Most people in the consumer newsgroups told me this is a common problem with Airborne Express deliveries, though I don't know how accurate a statement that is. I surely was accurate in my case.

I suppose things could be worse- I could be a Russian. :)

Alternate Methods (2)

YankeeDoodleJoshi (181764) | more than 13 years ago | (#779707)

1) First of all, is this hardware something you couldn't buy in Russia? It may be better to just wire your friend money (Western Union is one good way.... another is getting a one time bank account and just send them an ATM card to fish out the money) to get it rather than go through the hassle of sending heavy packages to Russia. If the hardware requires any sort of electrical power (as in external hardware) they would have to get an electrical adaptor to use it anyway so they're better off getting money to buy it themselves.

2) Did you try FedEx? I've used it on occasion and everything made it through intact. Of course, I wasn't shipping anything of high value, but everything made it through just fine. The box was opened by customs (as everything is), but since the person I was sending it to was in St. Pete, they just had to go to a local FedEx office and it was there waiting for them. If you send it through regular mail there is no guarantee there would be anything IN the box once they got it - I'd say FedEx is more trustworthy than their local postmen and with FedEx it never enters the wretched local post office system. Only thing is I'm not sure if they have a location in Khabarovsk. But does UPS actually have a LOCAL office there????

3) I don't know if there is any large Russian population in Louisville, but if there is, you might be able to network a deal with some people if you feel you can trust them to act as couriers in an 'underground railway' sort of delivery method. This is something I've used on occasion as well if I knew someone actually going to Russia. Khabarovsk is probably not the most likely destination but you never know...

4) Perhaps you can find some way to get it through to Khabarovsk from someplace in the Far East like Japan - they have much more direct traffic to Khabarovsk than most European countries and the US and there might even be a service that does that.

Whatever you do, don't send it through USPS. Anything heavier than a letter gets opened - especially around the time of any type of holidays when the postal people can expect relatives from abroad to be sending gifts via mail...

Just my two kopecks...

If you can't send it from the US (1)

wren337 (182018) | more than 13 years ago | (#779708)

You might try routing it through another country a little closer to the action, like England. Se if they'll let you mail it to them for shipment. Sounds like you're willing to pay an amount on shipping equal to the value, so you might also try sending it USPS as "no value". Sending your friend the cash is a better option. Or find an ecommerce site in Russia that will deliver it to him, but pretty dodgy giving them your credit card.

delivery the traditional way: by hand (1)

knowbody (183026) | more than 13 years ago | (#779709)

I know a lot of Russians. Not a single one of them ever bothers trying to send packages to Russia.

Instead, they use personal connections to find someone going to the same destination to hand deliver the package. That seems to be the only reliable way.

I am not surprised about the weight restrictions - transportation in Russia can be quite trecherous.


Use freight forwarding service (1)

Casual Observer (184832) | more than 13 years ago | (#779710)

A firm I work with has recently used Transera International Logistics out of Houston, Texas, to ship a rather large, expensive industrial unit to Kazakstan. They thought it was pretty reasonable cost-wise, plus they're bonded and insured. The item is still in transit, so no word yet on the success of this method . . .

DHL (2)

sulli (195030) | more than 13 years ago | (#779711)

I'm told by friends who've used DHL that they are very good at getting through difficult customs situations. I think they're pretty damn expensive, but it may be worth it.


Well... (2)

sulli (195030) | more than 13 years ago | (#779712)

I found it Insightful! But I'm not a moderator yet.

Seriously, this is a good question. Many of us are, have been, or will be in a position to work with people overseas. So this is good knowledge to acquire - exactly what Ask Slashdot is about.


Re:Ask the friend how (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 13 years ago | (#779713)

Selling a nick.. now that's funny!

(blah blah.. review bid.. blah.. place bid.. TADA!)

Ever try the (1)

Gehenna_Gehenna (207096) | more than 13 years ago | (#779715)

US mail? US has embasies in russia, they have to get mail... --

DHL, Airborne or Freight Forwarder (1)

stonecrafter (211226) | more than 13 years ago | (#779717)

Why didn't you like the DHL option? I worked at an internation company a few years back, and everything we shipped to "less developed" countries (I guess this kinda includes far eastern parts of Russia) went DHL. Have you looked into using Airborne Express, or going with a freight forwarder, and paying a little more? Don't assume you can just "mail" something to Russia - or most places in the world - email, yes - but not _mail_ mail.

Re:Mailboxes etc. (2)

skoda (211470) | more than 13 years ago | (#779718)

Be careful with Mailboxes Etc. They are *very* expensive! Get a price before handing them anything to be packaged or shipped. If they package something for you, then tell you their exhorbitant fee, you're stuck -- you have to pay 'cause they've got your stuff (as my brother-in-law learned recently).
D. Fischer

Mailboxes etc. (4)

Vassily Overveight (211619) | more than 13 years ago | (#779720)

Just a thought: go to an outfit like Postal Express or Mailboxes Etc. They do shipping thru businesses like DHL and Fedex, and might have a relationship that would allow it through. Another thought: there is a 'general info' number for queries to the U.S. gov't in the phone book. Call it and ask what office could handle a question on how to ship goods to Russia. They should be able to refer you to someone. I once had a question on what power standards were used in Lituania and I got through to someone who could tell me using this method. Thought 3: check with an airline that flys to Russia. It's just possible that they might be able to handle shipping some items for pickup at the freight office of a local airport. I've never tried this overseas, but it's worked for me within the U.S.

Have your cake and eat it, too. (1)

FashionTech (213798) | more than 13 years ago | (#779722)

List the value as $1. Flat. Then indicate that the item(s) you are shipping are "Scrap/Salvage". Done. THEN, insure the whole mess for the actual value. The CUSTOMS value will reflect that this is a scrap item, worth a standard amount. The INSURED amount will indicate the replacement cost for a WORKING unit? Cabish?

DHL (1)

ehiris (214677) | more than 13 years ago | (#779723)

DHL is the only delivery company that has a good business model in eastern europe.

UPS and FedEx are too busy with sucking money out of western countries to care about deliveries to countries they don't even know how to spell.

WARNING: DHL Can get very very costly!

Update (was:Shipping to Russia) (1)

cprael (215426) | more than 13 years ago | (#779724)

Just looked around on Yahoo, and you should be able to use Asiana, who claims that they can ticket you from Boston to Khabarovsk (probably connecting flights, but...). Call 'em and check it out.

Shipping to Russia (3)

cprael (215426) | more than 13 years ago | (#779725)

One thing that nobody seems to have noticed/mentioned is that most airlines also do package shipping as part of their regular service.

To do this, your friend needs to find out what airlines service the local airport. Once you've got that list of airlines, contact them, and see how they would like to handle shipping a small package (that you're willing to have opened/inspected in your presence) to that city. You may have to arrange to have it shipped to the US/EU offices of that airline before they can get it on a plane, but it is doable. Once it arrives there, your friend just needs to go down to the airport and claim the package.

I don't know what the charges would be for something like this - the last time I did it was in 92, and that was just to San Diego. But I know it (generally) can be done.

I have mailed packages to Russia (2)

byterbit (215485) | more than 13 years ago | (#779726)

I too have been burnt with sending packages.

People of the US, Western Europe, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand are spoiled when it comes to their postal system. I have found that every other postal system in the world, excepting the above, is staffed by extremely low paid civil service workers who make a living off of their mail. The horror story of trying to ship a 5 pound package to Vladimir-Suzdael I will not repeat.

For a solution, can your friend get to a port? You can try to have a shipping (as in wet) company carry the package. Sometimes the crew or captain will carry something for a small renumeration (bribe). You may even get lucky if you friend can get to a port served by Maersk or SeaLand. (Actually, I think they merged now. Talk about a Trust/Monoply!)

You may also be running afoul of archaic importation laws. The value of the Ruble compared to the US Dollar is pretty severe, and with a new nationalistic government they may have strict import quotas.


Try a Russian connection (2)

update() (217397) | more than 13 years ago | (#779727)

I can't imagine how this qualifies as front-page News For Nerds (was it the passing mention of Linux?) but if you live near a city with a Russian immigrant neighborhood, a walk down one block should take you past multiple signs advertising shipping services for goods and money.

If you're in Kansas or something, maybe somebody living near Brighton Beach or West Hollywood could look out the window and give you a phone number to try?

Cliff, I can't find my car keys. Could you post an Ask Slashdot about it?


Some Logistics Contacts to try (3)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 13 years ago | (#779730)

Look for the Washington address at the bottom []

TCL []

Search some of these other things Google locates []

The key is not that you are shipping a parcel, but that you need Logistical support, which is the business of moving goods from point to point and handling customs issues for you. This is what Logistics companies do best, hopefully you can find one which will help you with Small-Pack (a single parcel.)

Good luck.

Vote [] Naked 2000

(Way OT) Re:Russia Today (3)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 13 years ago | (#779731)

The problem is that you and too many other people don't understand Russia. This is a country which never even flited with capitalism until now and is actually flourishing with the most fundamental, unregulated, unfettered capitalism at in its purist form. Only after Putin, or his successor, puts an enforced system of law in place will it resemble the west, then they can winge on about IP, monopolies, etc.

Fortunately, there are lots of good, honest, hardworking and intelligent people in Russian and something good will arise from the ashes. The signs are there if you can pierce the ugly pall american media casts over lands in central asia.

Vote [] Naked 2000

Re:Bribes (5)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 13 years ago | (#779732)

Based on how everything else in Russia works, you probably just have to do a little lubrication of the machinery. I've never been a big fan of bribery, and I don't necessarily recommend it unless you know what you're doing, but that may be what is required to get that package through.

and how do you propose Pavel does this? The honor system? Staple a bunch of $10 bills to the box and put a note on the outside, "Please remove your bribe and pass this package of absolutely no value on to the next carrier"

I'm sure there are better ways. Many shippers have partners within other countries. You may have to do some research to find them, starting with the good old USPS. Also, check with airlines as they often will accept packages (your friend may have to go to the airport to pick it up) as air freight (pretty reasonable, too.)

Vote [] Naked 2000

postal service (1)

crgrace (220738) | more than 13 years ago | (#779733)

Have you thought about sending it through the governmental postal service? They may be slow, but they will deliver to anywhere (so they say). It seems to me you could just waltz into a post office and send it to Russia. I've emailed electronics to Eastern Europe with no problems except really high fees. The problem with private carriers, who are usually more efficient than government agencies, is that they are private businesses and so can make any lame rule they feel like. (not like the Postal Service isn't lame...)

Say Linux = get on Slashdot (1)

Voltas (222666) | more than 13 years ago | (#779734)

The poor Russian can get his Linux! The agony the pain! Oh lord. Top Story on SlashDot! Come on! This Ask Slash Dot would have never seen light of day but for the mention of Linux in the 3rd sentance. This post wouldn't have ran if he was tryen to send a Win95 CD and the story is not even about Linux or the OS. I am very suprised that Packages can't been sent to Russia. It is a sad description of the problems Russia faces these days. I think I'm fixen for some SPAM mentioning the "Say Linux = get on Slashdot" thing but it is kinda funny! Light the fires and Kick the tires! ...its on!

Re:Well... (1)

Erroneous Blowhard (223759) | more than 13 years ago | (#779736)

And I found it Informative! So there.

This is messed up... (1)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 13 years ago | (#779740)

Okay, it looks like UPS shot itself in the foot on this one. I would try FedEx, and hey, you never know, "Mailboxes, Etc." might be able to help as well.

Personally, I think this $100 limit including the shipping costs outside of those five cities is a load. It makes no sense that you can only ship, via UPS, packages of an amount up to $2.50. Heck, I have a friend who's done just that. (He shipped about 10 pairs of American jeans to his cousin in the 'wilds' of Russia.) If I can find out how he did it (assuming I can find him), I'll let the list know how it was done.


Alternatives in Routing, Carriers (1)

lwagner (230491) | more than 13 years ago | (#779743)

a.) I'm not certain where this is, but certainly could he not get a train into one of the major metropolitan areas to pick it up at a UPS Distribution Center?

b.) Perhaps someone here is from one of these places and could perhaps volunteer to keep the package for him (e.g., a drop location).

c.) Is there an internal mail system/infrastructure in Russia that can handle going to the outskirts? Perhaps the package can be routed from UPS to the Russian mail system.

d.) What are the policies of other American or International carriers that do business with America? Anyone know?

e.) Perhaps the packages can be routed through a different country that has better access to that area.

These come to mind; this is an interesting problem if Russia is going to be a global player: distribution infrastructure issues.

Spindletop Blackbird, the GNU/Linux Cube.

Re:Why?? (1)

nuclear_w (232265) | more than 13 years ago | (#779745)

Why don't you just shut up and not respond and read the article if you don't care. An irrelevant reply to an equally irrelevant post.


Open Source Sloth (232878) | more than 13 years ago | (#779748)

While I have the utmost respect for cartoons, I absolutely hate scooby doo. Something about calling a dog a commonly used euhpism for shit that just bothers me.

But at least this moron said something other than first post.

Behold the Open Source Sloth...


Open Source Sloth (232878) | more than 13 years ago | (#779749)

Don't tell me, let me guess:
You're one of those people that thinks anyone that likes Linux is a commie too right? Or is it just the bitterness talking?


Behold the Open Source Sloth...

Re:Infantile scooby-dooist (1)

Open Source Sloth (232878) | more than 13 years ago | (#779750)

Benji rocks!

I still remember going to the theater and loving every second of the Benji movies as a kid. That was one k3wl little dog let me tell you.

Scooby Doo is the most idiotic cartoon of all time (if you don't count Pokemon, and I don't, as cartoons have to have some sort of dialog). And I've noticed Cartoon Network's obsession with them and it makes me sick. Every time I turn on the tube it's either Scooby or Flintstones. Either one is enough to make a crown man WANT to put on diapers just so he can shit himself to take his mind off of the cartoon.

Behold the Open Source Sloth...

Re:How to do it (1)

Open Source Sloth (232878) | more than 13 years ago | (#779751)

Man, you need some serious help.

Check out Johnny Bravo. For someone as obviously sexually frustrated as you are, it ought to be a real 'turn on'.

Behold the Open Source Sloth...

Re:#11 (1)

Open Source Sloth (232878) | more than 13 years ago | (#779752)


Quality off-topic posts rule!

Keep the dream alive.

Behold the Open Source Sloth...

Re:Bruce Perens (1)

Open Source Sloth (232878) | more than 13 years ago | (#779753)

I am assuming by your statement that you think this person is karm whoring. And I personally feel that it is better to not log in when making such a statement. WHen you log in, you can be accused of karma whoring, when you don't all the karma whore screamers in the slashdot universe just have to sit there on their lips. (Well, except for you. I assume the sexual frustration you've built up from watching your parents through the hole in your bedroom wall has finally gotten to you.)

Behold the Open Source Sloth...


Open Source Sloth (232878) | more than 13 years ago | (#779754)

I am not chinese, nor am I communist.

As to your other comment, if the only people in heaven are Christians, than I sure as shit don't want to spend eternity there. Shit, I can't imagine having to put up with the lectures and bullshit on a daily basis that form Christian lifestyles.

Behold the Open Source Sloth...

Re:You've been sucked in by the liberal mass media (1)

Open Source Sloth (232878) | more than 13 years ago | (#779755)

You my friend, rule!

Finally someone tells it like it is about Scooby Doo. Yes!

And who was the author of that book you mentioned?

Behold the Open Source Sloth...

Re:Flintstones is anti-family (1)

Open Source Sloth (232878) | more than 13 years ago | (#779756)

It's only punishable by a month? Shit, sitting in front of TV watching Flintstones for that length of time might be punishment enough for me.

Behold the Open Source Sloth...


Open Source Sloth (232878) | more than 13 years ago | (#779757)

You sir show your lack of intelligence with every pro-Scooby Doo post you make. Yes, I know the dog's last name was Doo, but I still don't like it. How would you like your last name to be feces?

Behold the Open Source Sloth...

Re:How to do it (1)

Open Source Sloth (232878) | more than 13 years ago | (#779758)

I believe that is supposed to be:

Shit, fuck, satan, death, sex, drugs, rape

These seven words they are trying to take!

Ah, for the days when real men played guitars (actually played them, not just banged out three cord shitty radio music).

Behold the Open Source Sloth...

Re:Russia (1)

Anonymous Cowand (232905) | more than 13 years ago | (#779759)

Chechnya mate. that's what he's on about. But you wouldn't know cuz you yanks don't get international news do you?

Re:Russia (1)

Anonymous Cowand (232905) | more than 13 years ago | (#779760)

But NOW it's off the headlines right?

The war still rages on but both Clinton and Allbright are now right up Putin's ass. Conclusions are left to the reader. Homework Reading for today: and

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