Russia offers free e-visa to PH passport holders visiting St. Petersburg

Marje Pelayo   •   September 26, 2019   •   1518

General view of the Krestovsky Stadium, also known as Gazprom Arena, in St. Petersburg, Russia, 10 September 2019. EPA-EFE/ANATOLY MALTSEV

MANILA, Philippines – Starting October 1, 2019, Philippine passport holders may be granted free electronic visa (e-visa) to two key cities in Russia – Saint-Petersburg and Leningrad.

“Any other documents that confirm the purpose of your visit to Russia are not required,” Natalia Linovitskaya, press secretary of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Philippines, said in an interview.

According to the official, Filipinos who wish to visit the said cities only need to fill out an e-visa application form which can be accessed through the Embassy’s website.

Applicants may wait for their e-visa within 4 calendar days, including holidays and weekends.

Invitations or confirmations are also not needed when lodging an application.

Once approved, visitors may enjoy their stay in the said Russian territories for eight days.

It is noted in the website, however, that the free e-visa only applies to travels “through air, naval, automobile, and pedestrian checkpoints located in the territory of Saint Petersburg and the Leningrad region,” and its not available for rail transport.

Aside from the Philippines, the Russian government is also offering the free e-visa privilege to citizens of 52 other countries.

Russian granny turns tonnes of plastic bottle caps into art

UNTV News   •   February 17, 2020

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, is the motto of one Russian pensioner who has used around two tonnes of used bottle caps to turn her village house into an open-air art gallery.

Since 2013 Nina Krinitsina has been creating her mosaic masterpieces, some including over 1,000 caps, decorating her house in the village of Makarye around 850 kilometers east of Moscow.

The initial idea belonged to her nephew, who now helps the village artist to search for grid designs on the internet.

Krinitsina says she started her designs using peas but quickly switched over to a new material, which was easy to find and work with.

“If I walk and see a bottle lying around and it is with a cap on it – then I unscrew the cap,” says Krinitsina laughing.

The amateur artist collects materials at a nearby landfill and used daily donations from neighbors to support her hobby.

The pensioner has over thirty works, mostly inspired by Russian fairy tales and classic Soviet cartoons, nailed to the walls of her house and all over her garden, with some of the larger designs taking up to three months to complete.

“It calms me down. Settles my nerves,” Krinitsina says, adding that she spends any spare minute on the pastime which has already made her a local tourist attraction, with families bringing young children to marvel at her creations. (Reuters)

(Production: Tatiana Gomozova, Vladislav Krysov, Anton Derbenev)

Russia’s Putin: No gay marriage ‘as long as I’m President’

Marje Pelayo   •   February 14, 2020

Russian President Vladimir Putin answers questions during his annual life-broadcasted news conference with Russian and foreign media at the World Trade Center in Moscow, Russia, 19 December 2019. EFE/EPA/YURI KOCHETKOV

RUSSIA – President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday (February 13) the country would not legalize gay marriage as long as he was in the Kremlin.

He made clear he would not allow the traditional notion of mother and father to be subverted by what he called “parent number 1” and “parent number 2.”

“We need to clarify some things. A marriage is a union between a man and a woman. A family is a different thing, but the idea itself (to add a line in the constitution defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman) is good and must be supported, as it is,” he Russian President said.

“We only need to think how to phrase it and where to do this. As far as ‘parent number 1’ and ‘parent number 2’ goes, I’ve already spoken publicly about this and I’ll repeat it again: as long as I’m president this will not happen. There will be dad and mum,” he stressed.

During his two decades in power, Putin has closely aligned himself with the Orthodox Church and sought to distance Russia from liberal Western values, including attitudes towards homosexuality and gender fluidity.

He made the comments as he met a state commission to discuss changes to Russia’s constitution.

The commission was set up last month after Putin announced sweeping changes to Russia’s political system that are widely seen as being designed to help him extend his grip on power after his scheduled departure from office in 2024.

In separate comments during the meeting, Putin said he backed an idea to make it unconstitutional for Russia to give away any part of its territory, a move likely to irritate Japan and Ukraine that have land disputes with Moscow.

Russia annexed the peninsula of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and has been in a decades-long dispute with Tokyo over ownership of a chain of islands in the Pacific that Moscow seized from Japan at the end of World War Two.

Russia and Japan have been holding talks on the latter dispute which has prevented the countries formally signing a peace treaty after World War Two. REUTERS (Anastasia Adasheva)

Russia sets new rules for visitors in regulated territories

Robie de Guzman   •   January 30, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Russian government has implemented new rules for visits by foreigners to regulated territories, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.

In a statement issued Wednesday, the DFA said that Filipinos who wish to travel to Russia should observe the new regulations with regard to the list of territories regulated for visits.

The department cited a report from the Philippine Embassy in Moscow which noted the resolution of the government of the Russian Federation No. 1730 stating that as of December 20, 2019, visits to the following territories would need prior permission:

In Kamchatka Region:
– Ivashka, Voyampolka
– Klyuchevskaya Sopka volcano, Syvuchiy cape (except for the south slopes of the volcano, named inhabited areas and east coast of the peninsula of 20 kilometers width)

In Kalgyr cape, Koryaki:
– Automobile road Koryaki-Elizovo-Termalniy-Mutnovskaya Sopka volcano
– Russkaya Entrance bay (except for Petropavlovsk-Kamchatky City, Elizovo, inhabited areas – Paratunka, Termalniy, and automobile roads connecting them

The DFA added that “Mutnovskaya Sopka volcavo – Russkaya Entrance bay” in the list of territories will be replaced with “Barkhatnaya sopka – Saranniy cope”.

The department advised Filipinos traveling to Russia to ensure that proper permits are secured prior to visiting these territories to avoid inconvenience.


The Philippine Broadcast Hub

UNTV, 915 Barangay Philam,

EDSA, Quezon City M.M. 1104

(+632) 8396-8688 (Tel)

(+632) 8920.8336 (Fax) (General inquiries)

UNTV News and Rescue Emergency Hotlines:

LANDLINE (+632) 8396-8688


(+632) 8 442.6244 Loc. 143, 144, 162, 164


UNTV is a major TV broadcast network with 24-hour programming. An Ultra High Frequency station with strong brand content that appeal to everyone, UNTV is one of the most trusted and successful Philippine networks that guarantees wholesome and quality viewing experience.