Part I: Name of Country
Part II: U.S. Embassy General Information
8 Bolshoy Deviatinskiy Pereulok
Moscow, Russia 121099
Local Address in Russian:
Большой Девятинский пер., д.8
Москва, Россия 121099
Telephone: +7 495 728-5226
FAX: +7 495 728-5084
After hours phone: +7 495 728-5000
Country Information Travel Advisory: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories/russia-travel-advisory.html
We encourage American citizens to sign up (register) for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, in order to obtain updated information on local travel and security.
Part III: Profile of Religions and Religious Services available to visitors:
Country Profile: Visit the State Department’s website.
Religions: Russian Orthodox, Islam, Judaism, Roman Catholicism, Protestant, Buddhist, other. More than 70% of Russians identify themselves as Russian Orthodox.
Internet Site: In Your Pocket Guide: Religious Services Available to Visitors
Part IV: Funeral Directors, Mortician and Related Services Available in Moscow and St. Petersburg:
The U.S. Embassy in Moscow, Russia assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the following persons or firms. Names are listed alphabetically, and the order in which they appear has no other significance. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the funeral directors, morticians and other service providers.
60 Suvorovskiy Pr.
Tel./fax: +7 812 327-0331 (24 hours)
3 Peschanaya St.
Tel./fax: +7 499 610-0000, +7 499 110-0000 (24 hours)
Admirala Kornilova, Khovanskoye cemetery
Tel: +7 495 339-4711, +7 495 339-5400
Mitino Village, Pyatnitskoye Sh., 6th km
Tel: +7 495 561-5341
Saltykovka Mkr., Balashikha
Tel: +7 495 791-2608, +7 495 791-4674
16 Bldg. 2 Nosovikhinskoye Shosse
Tel: +7 495 701-1096, +7 495 702-1055
St. Petersburg Crematorium
12 Shafirovskiy Pr.
Tel: +7 812 380-4930
Botkin Hospital Forensic Mortuary #10
5 2nd Botkinskiy Proyezd, Bldg. 33, Botkin Hospital
Tel.: +7 495 945 34-83
St. Petersburg Forensic Morgue
10 Yekaterininskiy Pr.
Tel.: +7 (812) 544-1717
Fax: +7 (812) 545-0340
Part V: Profile of services available in Moscow and St. Petersburg regarding preparation and shipment of remains:
(1) Maximum Period Before Burial:
There is no maximum period before burial. For practical reasons, however, none of the Russian morgues are likely to keep remains for longer than one month without special arrangements. After the deadline, the remains are buried at the state’s expense. As a rule, only major cities in the Moscow consular district have mortuary facilities.
There are no requirements for embalming if the remains will be buried locally. Embalming facilities exist in large cities. Preparation and air shipment of remains are carried out in accordance with the laws and facilities available in Russia. Sometimes the services fall short of those expected in the United States. When a loved one’s remains are shipped to the U.S., we recommend that a funeral director determine if the remains are appropriate for viewing.
Cremation is permitted by national law with the consent of the decedent’s relatives. There are four crematoriums in Moscow and one in St. Petersburg.
(4) Caskets and Containers:
When remains are transported out of the country, the body should be appropriately prepared or cremated for shipment. It is then placed in a zinc coffin, or urn in case of cremation, which is then placed in a suitable transportation box.
(5) Exportation of Human Remains:
Remains: To export remains, the following documents are required by the Russian authorities:
- Official Death Certificate issued by the Russian Vital Records Office, acronym ZAGS;
- Certificate of Encasement (certifying that the container is sealed and contains no extraneous objects);
- Medical Certificate from the Forensic Bureau certifying the absence of contagious diseases;
- Documents issued by the U.S. Embassy in Moscow:
- Consular Mortuary Certificate;
- Affidavit of Mortician on Encasement;
- Consular Report of Death Abroad (DS-2060)
(6) Exportation of Human Cremains/Ashes:
Ashes: To export cremated remains, the following documents are required by Russian authorities:
- Official Death Certificate issued by ZAGS ;
- Certificate of Cremation;
- Certificate of Encasement (certifying that the container is sealed and contains no extraneous objects)
Human remains: The current cost for preparation and burial in Russia is approximately $7,000.
To have the remains returned to the United States for burial, these costs increase due to additional transportation and preparation charges: total cost for preparation and air shipment to the U.S. is currently approx. $8,000.
When a death occurs outside of Moscow, the remains may be transferred to Moscow for preparation. Under these circumstances, additional transportation fees may be charged by Moscow undertakers.
Air Freight: The airline freight charge per kilogram differs from destination to destination. The lowest costs for transportation of remains are to the U.S. West coast, the highest are generally to the U.S. East coast.
Human Ashes: The cost for cremation and interment of ashes in Russia is approximately $3,500. The cost for cremation and air shipment of ashes to the U.S. is approximately $5,000.
In addition to the above, there could be a security surcharge, fuel surcharge, and pickup, handling, and airway bill charges.
(8) Exhumation and Shipment:
There is no time limit for exhumation after burial. In order to exhume a body, an application must be made to the Authority of the Cemetery.
(9) Local Customs Regarding Funerals, Disposition of Remains, Mourning, Memorial Services
Funerals typically include a funeral ceremony, a burial in a grave or cremation of the remains, a wake, and a periodic memorial service. Local customs depend on religion.
Preferable Funeral Services
Ritorg and GBU Ritual funeral homes provide full services and have English speaking staff members. These companies coordinate with U.S. insurance companies on a regular basis. Non-Russian speaking families who choose to use Russian mortuaries may have to hire a Russian speaker to handle arrangements. Certain types of U.S. travel insurance require the family’s reimbursement for the expenses incurred, while full insurance usually allows funeral homes to charge U.S. insurance companies directly.
Russian law requires an autopsy if foul play is suspected. Only state pathologists are authorized to perform autopsies. An autopsy may be waived upon request of the next-of-kin if the police do not suspect a criminal cause of death. Russian authorities require a letter from the Embassy either relaying the relatives’ permission for or objection to an autopsy. Objection to an autopsy causes the Russian authorities involved to spend up to three additional days completing the necessary paperwork. The next-of-kin usually must wait two months to receive complete autopsy results. The full autopsy report will be in Russian. In general, it is easier and less expensive to translate the document in the United States rather than attempting to obtain a translation in Moscow.
Options for in-country transportation
In most cases, Moscow-based funeral homes prefer to send their own representatives to provincial mortuaries to expedite the preparation of remains, as well as to ensure proper embalming and encasement. This may create additional costs.
Local Law Governing Disposal of Personal Effects
Russian law provides for a six month waiting period before effects can be released to the NOK. This period is calculated to allow potential heirs (both foreign and local) time to claim their inheritance rights. In practice, the Embassy has seldom encountered serious delays in taking custody of the deceased’s effects, and the full six month waiting time was not observed.