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Moscow, Russia

You are here, about moscow.

Moscow is unlike any other city on Earth. It is the wealthy economic center for one-sixth of the world's land mass and has over 120 ethnic groups and nationalities. A diverse and vibrant city with a strange combination of traditional Russian architecture and newer Soviet tastelessness, Moscow is an adventure waiting to happen!

Reasons to travel to Moscow

But what makes it so popular among tourists is the concentration of Moscow attractions. When you travel to Moscow you definitely want to see the red-bricked walls of the Kremlin , to take a picture in front of St. Basil's Cathedral , and probably visit the world-famous Bolshoi Theater . All of these places are located within a very small area around Red Square , so seeing them on a walking sightseeing tour of Moscow is convenient and allows you to avoid traffic jams.

The concentration of Moscow's main sights is one of the facts that make this city a world-class tourist destination. The majority of its attractions is centered in one small area, and the Kremlin is the hub of this concentration.

These sights extend into the realm of fantasy and are a must to put on your Moscow itinerary: the colorful domes of the Cathedral of St. Vasily the Blessed, the neo-gothic consumer wonderland that is the GUM , or state department store, and the timepiece of Russia's New Year's celebrations, the Spassky clock tower, all tower over the beautiful Red Square.

The neighboring Kitay-Gorod, or "Basket-Town" (likely a reference to the construction method of the city walls surround it), remains a significant concentration of traditional Russian structures serving as a commercial center. The Bolshoi Theater, the Lubyanka, and the hotels that tower above the Manege Square all are situated within the Boulevard Ring, an urban open-space doubling as a heavily-trafficked roadway created after the Great Fire of 1812, the one that left Napoleon's Army starving deep within wintry Russia.

Moscow transport system

As Europe's largest metropolis, and the 5th largest city in the world, Moscow comes with its share of traffic blunders. It seems that all of the world's most expensive black cars are here, and that most of the city's car owners do not understand the difference between sidewalks and parking lots. Still, while the traffic situation leaves much to be desired, the Moscow subway is superb.

The advanced Metro system carries up to 3 million passengers a day and its trains run every few minutes. With stations that could rival art museums, the Metro is one of Moscow's great must-see sights. Travel in Moscow Metro at least once to see that there is nothing like it in the world.

Best time to visit Moscow

The peak of the Moscow travel season is May through September. However, you may prefer to savor Moscow tourism delicacies during the low travel season. The snowy winter months offer just as many entertainment options as one can find during summer.

You can celebrate New Year's Eve or see Russia's biggest ice rink on Red Square, taste blinis or visit one of the numerous winter markets. Any popular St. Petersburg - Moscow tour hides a handful of memorable experiences the whole year round!  

Although the best time to visit Moscow is from May to September, the city in winter still enchants with its towers and lights. Its great celebrations on the day of the October Revolution (held on November 7, a discrepancy resulting from the difference between the traditional Russian Julian calendar and the Gregorian calendar in use around the world today), and New Years Day make it the place to be. Of course, the best way to plan your trip is through one of our package tours to Moscow. If you are planning a trip to Russia , don't hesitate to contact our experienced travel experts who'll be glad to help.

Best Things to Do in Moscow

  • Explore the Kremlin and the gorgeous Red Square
  • Get acquainted with Russian art at the Tretyakov Gallery
  • See the "underground palaces" down in Moscow metro

Top Attractions in Moscow

GUM, Moscow

The famous GUM is a large department store in the Kitai-gorod part of Moscow facing Red Square.

Kremlin, Moscow

The symbol of Moscow and entire Russia, the Kremlin is often described as the 8th Wonder of the World.

Moscow Subway

Moscow Metro is like a whole underground city that holds the world's largest collection of Stalinist Art.

Novodevichy Convent, Moscow

Moscow's most well-known cloister with golden domes, untouched since the 17th century.

St. Basil's Cathedral, Moscow

St. Basil’s Cathedral is Moscow’s most famous artistic work of architecture set in the romantic Red Square.

Armoury Chamber, Moscow

History and luxury is revealed inside the Kremlin as the Armoury Chamber displays treasures like Faberge Eggs.

The State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow

Over 1000 years of Russia's finest art from Rublev to Shishkin, over 150 000 exhibits of religious and modern art.

All Attractions in Moscow

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The epicenter of modern Russia, Moscow booms with shiny new skyscrapers, the bulbous onion domes of the tsars and politically-rich Red Square. Explore the metropolis with a tourHQ guide.

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Jorge De Reval

Jorge De Reval

I am a happy, enthusiastic, amusing Spanish guy. Lively and hyperactive. Recently became qualified ...

Julia Koval

Julia Koval

Hello!My name is Julia and I work as a guide last 4 years, but before together with my friends we ...

Tanya Neyman

Tanya Neyman

I became a local tour guide 6 years ago in Moscow and now we are a team of passionate guides ...

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Vasil Valiev

Occupation: Senior guide-translator. Guiding since 2012 in Altai mountains, North of Russia ...

Marina Spasskaya

Marina Spasskaya

Hi there! My name is Marina and I'm a licensed Moscow city guide.Moscow is like ...

Ali Haider

Greetings from Saint Petersburg. This is your private tour guide Ali in Saint Petersburg. I was ...

Maria Deulina

Maria Deulina

Dear friends,My name is Maria, I am a licensed guide about Moscow. Being a native Muscovite I have ...

Ashraf Rabei

Ashraf Rabei

My name is Ashraf ...I'm graduated from faculty of tourism and hotel guidance department, in Egypt ...

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Hengameh Ghanavati

My name is Hengameh Ghanavati. Im a licenced international tour guide since 2014 and I have ...

Todd Passey

Todd Passey

We are a cooperative of highly experienced, certified, professional guides. Each guide takes ...

Tim Brinley

Tim Brinley

Young at heart, adventurous, organized, good people skills, a good speaker, entertaining, ...

Nikolay Borkovoy

Nikolay Borkovoy

Hace 38 años nací en la ciudad de Moscú. Tengo experiencia trabajando como guía turístico en ...

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The sprawling, mind-boggling metropolis of Russian Moscow has long been one of the theatrical stages on which the great dramas of Europe and Asia have been played out in grand style. Burned by Napoleon in 1812, immortalised by Tolstoy, utilised by the Bolsheviks and championed as a bastion of heroic defiance by the post-war communists, it’s almost hard to believe just how defining the historical events that found their home on Moscow’s streets have been. Moscow tour guides will easily be able to mark the major must-see landmarks on the map, from the onion-domed orthodox Saint Basil's Cathedral, to the political powerhouse of Red Square just next door, while others will be quick to recommend a ride on Moscow’s famous subterranean metro system, or a visit to the UNESCO-attested Novodevichy Convent on the city’s southern side. But Moscow is a city also in the throes of a cultural wrangling between the old and the new. Creative energies abound here: Boho bars and pumping super clubs now occupy the iconic mega structures of the old USSR; high-fashion outlets, trendy shopping malls and luxurious residential districts stand as testimony to a city that’s now the undisputed playground of the world’s super-rich, while sprawling modern art museums dominate the cultural offering of the downtown districts north of the Moskva River.  

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Moscow Vibes – Three Day City Escape

Duration 3 days

Price from USD $730 ? Currency Conversion Converted from USD based on the latest exchange rate. Final amount and payment will be in USD. Final conversion rate is determined by your bank.

Trip Style Sightseeing

Time of year All Year

Home / Moscow Tours / Moscow Vibes – Three Day City Escape

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This short Moscow tour will give you a true taste of the history, culture and incomparable urban vibe that define one of the world’s largest metropolises. In just three days, this Moscow itinerary takes in all the most iconic sights of this attraction-packed destination. After two and half days getting acquainted with the city, we’ve set time aside for you to explore Moscow your way and discover your own favourite hang-outs in a city overflowing with hidden treasures

3-Day Moscow Tour Highlights:

  • Panoramic Tour of Moscow: See Moscow beyond the postcard images on a private excursion by car through the city streets including a drive along the banks of the Moskva River. Visit the famous Bolshoi Theatre, pass by Gorky Park and the Novodevichy Convent, and admire the city from on high at the Sparrow Hill observation platform.
  • Moscow Historical City Centre Guided Walking Tour : Immerse yourself in the atmosphere of one of the world’s biggest metropolises and discover local haunts on foot, including the Red Square, the Kremlin and the multi-coloured domes of St Basil’s Cathedral.
  • Armory Chamber tour: Explore the endless treasures of this unique museum, displaying the wealth accumulated by Russian rulers from the 12th century until the October Revolution of 1917. Walking through the exhibition halls is a journey through the centuries.
  • Moscow Metro Tour : Go deep underground on a subway tour of the famous Moscow metro. The world’s deepest metro system is renowned for its palatial, art-adorned stations, complete with marble columns and chandeliers.

On your first day, you’ll be treated to a panoramic, drive-by tour of Moscow to get a feel for the immense scale of one of the world’s most rapidly developing urban centres. The city’s history unfolds in real-time as you pass lavish imperial mansions, solemn Soviet structures and luxurious modern shopping centres.

Day two kicks off exploring Moscow’s historic centre on foot, followed by a tour of the Kremlin, the seat of Russian power and political intrigue for centuries. Stand in the Red Square, surrounded by the stunning architecture as you hear stories of the people and events behind many of Moscow’s most iconic landmarks.

On your final day, we’ll head beneath the city for a tour of the Moscow Metro and its famously ornate underground stations. Art lovers should hit up one of Moscow’s many world-class galleries such as the Tretyakov State Gallery, the Pushkin Museum or Garage, Moscow’s cutting-edge contemporary art museum. History fans can follow a Soviet trail through the city including Stalin’s Bunker, while those seeking a more indulgent experience can browse trendy neighbourhoods like Kitay Gorod or shop for everything from fashion to kitsch souvenirs at the enchanting Izmaylovo Flea Market. Foodies can head to one of the countless speciality stores sampling vodka, caviar and chocolate.

If you only have a few days to spend in Moscow, this tour will ensure you make the most of your time in the city. Let the experts navigate you through this complex and occasionally overwhelming capital, giving you plenty of time to soak up the city’s most unmissable attractions.

Accomodation

Not Included

Sightseeing

Action rating ?

Type of tour

3 days / 2 nights

Private - Any Date

Russia Moscow Tour

Day 1 Panoramic city tour

Welcome to the glorious capital of Russia, Moscow! You’ll be met by your driver at the airport and taken to your centrally located hotel.

After check-in and rest, meet your private guide at the hotel lobby for a comprehensive tour of Moscow by car. Visit the starkly contrasting Theatre Square to see the stunning Bolshoi Theatre, pass Tverskaya Street, the city’s main boulevard and home to the landmark Yeleseyevskiy Grocery Store.

You’ll enjoy a panoramic drive along the Moskva River, where a huge, controversial state of Peter the Great was erected. Pass by the legendary Gorky Park and the White House before a stop at the architecturally stunning Novodevichy Convent, and the observation platform at Sparrow Hills, for a bird’s eye view over this staggering megalopolis.

Day 2 Red Square and Kremlin

After breakfast at the hotel, your guide will take you on a walking tour of the historical city centre. Stroll through the Red Square, the hub of cultural life in Moscow, with its elaborate ‘stone flower’ fountain and fantasy-like St Basil’s Cathedral – a postcard-perfect symbol of the nation. Admire the grandiose façade of GUM, the city’s most luxurious shopping centre, and visit Alexander’s Garden, with its eternal flame and the chance to watch a changing of the guards.

Break for lunch before continuing on a tour of the Kremlin and Armoury Chamber, famous of its collection of tsarist fashion, with regalia such as jewel-encrusted crowns, orbs and sceptres as well as arms and armour, exotic gifts from the leaders of faraway lands, and an illustrious case of Imperial Faberge eggs.

As an option* spend an evening on a sumptuous dinner cruise, taking in the stunning sights and city lights of this mesmerising metropolis by night.

Day 3 Metro and Arbat Street

Start a day with a tour of Metro, stopping on the way to marvel at some of the most elaborately decorated stations of the world-famous Moscow subway system. Take a stroll along Old Arbat street - the most famous street in Moscow. Through the centuries Arbat used to be one of the most bohemian places in Moscow. Today Arbat is a promenade full of small cozy cafes and street life.

The afternoon is free for you to either enjoy the rest of the day on your own or choose among optional excursions to explore more of Moscow. Visit the Tretyakov Gallery or Pushkin State Museum to admire Russian art. Join locals for a stroll at the Gorky or VDNH park.

Visit beautiful Kolomeskoye Estate or Izmailovo Kremlin, or spend a day exploring the beautiful city of the Golden Ring (Russian province) - Sergiev Posad. In the evening you will be transferred to the airport for your departure to your next destination.

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Group airport/train-station arrival and departure transfers

All transportation according to the itinerary with a private driver

4* hotel accommodation in the historical city center (twin/double)

Local licensed English-speaking guide

All activities, indicated in the itinerary, except optional

Entry fees according to the itinerary (skip-the-lines policy)

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Russian visa and visa fees. Russian visa can be arranged by 56th Parallel for an additional cost (for Australian citizens only). Apply for concierge visa service here .

Optional excursions/activities

*Private tour. Price is per person, based on min 2 people

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Day 1: Panoramic city tour

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Moscow - St. Petersburg

The classical tour of Moscow and Saint Petersburg is designed for tourists, who just start their acquaintance with Russia and its two treasures — the biggest cities, Moscow, the capital, and Saint Petersburg, the cultural center and the cradle of architectural and gems of tsar époque. The classical program usually takes from 5 to 8 days and can be adapted in intensity depending on how much free time you would like to have in addition to excursions.

moscow russia tour

day 1 Welcome to Russia!

Our driver meets you at the airport (or railway station). Watch out for your name on a signboard the driver will hold. Don’t worry if your flight is coming late: we are monitoring the actual schedule of each customer and you can be sure we are aware of the delays, and your driver is waiting for you patiently.

After you arrive at your hotel, we can either give you time to have a rest and deal with jet-lag or take you to your first tour where you will see Moscow in its night-lighted beauty.

day 2 Panoramic tour of Moscow and the Kremlin

moscow russia tour

Together with the guide, who is most likely to become a great company for you for the next couple of days, and the driver, responsible for your comfortable transportation during the tour, you are going to see Moscow, learn about its history and make photo-stops. You will see the beautiful Red Square, the landmark of Moscow and Russia; watch the picturesque panorama from the Sparrow Hills; enjoy the view of the magnificent MSU building, walk down the elegant Nikolskaya street and shop around GUM — posh and exquisite oldest shopping center of Moscow.

Our guide will show you the best places to have lunch. Tell them about your preference and you will be taken to a sweet cosy cafeteria or a high-end restaurant. We do not normally include meal prices in the individual package so that you could have a wider choice of places and meals that you can pay for on the spot.

After lunch, get ready to immerse into the earliest Russian history. The Moscow Kremlin tour is about heritage, art, culture, and religion — and, of course, the pleasure of your eyes. Our packages include the visit of the territory of Kremlin and two cathedrals of three. You can also choose the extras: a visit to the Diamond Fund, Armory, or Saint Basil’s Cathedral, located on the Red Square just a few minutes walk.

Usually, our second day ends after the Kremlin tour and we take you back to your hotel.

day 3 Get closer to Russian art: The Tretyakov Gallery

moscow russia tour

Be ready to wake up early today if you book the optional tour to Moscow metro and the Old Arbat: Why should you choose it? The essential part of the travel is to feel the vibe of the life of locals and traveling by metro followed by the stroll down the favorite pedestrian street of the Muscovites. This is a fully walking tour, so make sure you can walk on long distances; it will take approximately three hours. The metro tour will start at the station closest to your accommodation place — near the station or at your hotel if it is located within walking distance from a station. You will see the impressive stations designed like the palaces: Ploschad Revolutsii, Komsomolskaya, Novoslobodskaya, Teatralnaya, and the others. This tour is only available in the morning according to the excursion committee of the metro regulations, so don’t oversleep! The next point is the beautiful pedestrian street Old Arbat. Here you can have lunch, take beautiful pictures and do some shopping, or just walk down the busy street, so loved by youth and tourists.

The main tour of the day is about art and you will definitely enjoy it: there is hardly a person who cannot find a catching thing for them in the famous Tretyakov Gallery, the greatest collection of Russian fine art. There you will see the most significant pieces of art, known by every Russian from a schooler to an expert. The classic tour includes the visit to the division of classical art, but if you also want to get acquainted with modern style paintings, don’t forget to book an extra tour to another building of the Tretyakov Gallery.

day 4 Open the window to Europe: transfer to St Petersburg

moscow russia tour

Have a hearty breakfast before you start: today you are going to travel 750 kilometers to visit another brilliant Russian city. We offer you to try the unique experience with Russian Railways and take an overnight brand train with sleeping berths; you can choose between 4-berths and 2-berths compartments; hot meals and bed linen for your comfortable overnight journey are included!

Before the train, you have plenty of time, so why not take another extra tour of Pushkin museum, with its enormous collection of sculptures, paintings, art, and other items of different epochs.

In the afternoon, you are collected from the hotel and dropped off at the railway station. During your trip between Moscow and Saint Petersburg, you are not having a guide, but the friendly staff will help you with any questions.

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day 5 Arrival to Saint Petersburg and the city tour

moscow russia tour

In the early morning, your train arrives at the main railway station of Saint Petersburg. Your guide is already here, waiting for you with a signboard. People in the city are in a hurry to their jobs and you can take your time, enjoying the views of this true tzar city. The city tour, organized upon arrival before you check it, will show you the main square of the city — Palace square, Vasilievsky island with its rostral columns, and aesthetical architectural monuments of the 18th century. Everyone will find enjoyment during the tour: history lovers will learn more about the Russian culture, art enthusiasts — find out the unique architectural objects, and the Instagram addicts will definitely enrich their accounts with the new stunning pictures with city views.

After the tour, you check-in to your hotel and have spare time for the rest of the day.

day 6 World-famous museum: Visit the Hermitage

moscow russia tour

Get ready to walk a lot today! It’s time to explore the gem of Saint Petersburg and its main lair of the world art objects: the Hermitage. The guided tour allows you to skip the enormous lines and see as much as possible in a three hours tour. It would take many years to explore each item of the Hermitage, so the tour is focused on the most famous paintings and sculptures: Rembrandt’s Danaya, Gainsborough’s Woman in Blue, Matisse’s Dance, The Peacock Clock, and the others.

day 7 Tour of Pushkin: Catherine Palace and Park

moscow russia tour

This is the most desired part of the tour for many visitors: today you have an opportunity to visit the legendary Amber room in the Catherine Palace, located 25 km away from Saint Petersburg. With the help of the driver, your guide takes you to the town of Pushkin and shows the impressive summer residence of Russian emperors. The Amber Room is a gem: it is a chamber, fully decorated with amber and gold; it is the unexceptionable reconstruction of the missed genuine Amber room. If there is no chance to get in the Catherine Palace (sometimes there are too many requests), it is replaced with the amber workshop, where you have a chance to work on your own piece of amber and have a glass of sparkling champagne as the cherry on a pie. In addition, the trip includes walking around Catherine park, a piece of landscape design art.

day 8 Goodbye Russia! Departure transfer

moscow russia tour

Today the journey comes to its end; if you want to have the most of your last day, book the tour of Peterhof, if time allows. It is usually called a Russian Versaille for its fountains layout and complex of sculptures; the Great Palace visit is also included in the tour. The whole assembly holds the spirit of the Tsars epoque and is a great place for walking, taking pictures, and learning more about the emperors' time of Russia and Saint Petersburg.

After the tour, you are delivered directly to the airport for your return flight, or to the hotel — if you need a transfer later.

  • Day 1: Welcome to Russia!
  • Day 2: Panoramic tour of Moscow and the Kremlin
  • Day 3: Get closer to Russian art: The Tretyakov Gallery
  • Day 4: Open the window to Europe: transfer to St Petersburg
  • Day 5: Arrival to Saint Petersburg and the city tour
  • Day 6: World-famous museum: Visit the Hermitage
  • Day 7: Tour of Pushkin: Catherine Palace and Park
  • Day 8: Goodbye Russia! Departure transfer

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moscow russia tour

Russia passenger jet crashes near Moscow during test flight

A Russian passenger plane has crashed near Moscow, Russia's emergencies ministry says.

It says the Sukhoi Superjet 100 went down in a forest, and all three crew members are believed to have been killed. There were no passengers on board.

Russia's state-run media report that the plane went down during a test flight following repair works.

Russia's has been developing the Sukhoi Superjet - a regional jet - for some time to replace Western-made aircraft.

Heavily sanctioned over its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Russia has struggled to replace its ageing aircraft fleet.

Russia has been developing the Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft as Western sanctions have blocked imports

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Putin meets Indian prime minister in Russia on his first visit since Moscow sent troops into Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his suburban residence of Novo-Ogaryovo outside Moscow on Monday. Modi’s two-day visit is his first since Russia sent troops into Ukraine in 2022.

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India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Moscow on Monday on a two-day visit, his first since Russia sent troops into Ukraine, an action that has complicated the relationship between the long-time partners and pushed Russia closer to India’s rival, China. Modi is set to have dinner with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday, to be followed by talks.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, speaks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during an informal meeting at Novo-Ogaryovo residence, outside Moscow, Russia, Monday, July 8, 2024. (Gavriil Grigorov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

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FILE - Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi greet each other before their meeting in New Delhi, India on Dec. 6, 2021. Modi on Monday begins a two-day visit to Russia that is his first since Moscow sent troops into Ukraine, a conflict that has complicated the relationship between the longtime allies by pushing Russia closer to India’s rival China. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup, File)

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visit a stable during an informal meeting at Novo-Ogaryovo residence, outside Moscow, Russia, Monday, July 8, 2024. (Gavriil Grigorov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, left, and Russian President Vladimir Putin embrace during an informal meeting at Novo-Ogaryovo residence, outside Moscow, Russia, Monday, July 8, 2024. (Gavriil Grigorov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

THIS IMAGE WAS DIRECTLY PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY AND HAS NOT BEEN VETTED FOR EDITORIAL ACCURACY BY THE AP EDITORIAL TEAM. THE IMAGE MAY CONTAIN REFERENCES THAT DO NOT ADHERE TO AP’S EDITORIAL STANDARDS CONCERNING THE CONFLICT IN UKRAINE. AP ALSO CANNOT INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY, THE DATE, LOCATION OR CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH IT WAS SHOT. 8725225 08.07.2024 Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, left, walk before their meeting at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence, outside Moscow, Russia. Sergey Bobylev / Sputnik via AP

THIS IMAGE WAS DIRECTLY PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY AND HAS NOT BEEN VETTED FOR EDITORIAL ACCURACY BY THE AP EDITORIAL TEAM. THE IMAGE MAY CONTAIN REFERENCES THAT DO NOT ADHERE TO AP’S EDITORIAL STANDARDS CONCERNING THE CONFLICT IN UKRAINE. AP ALSO CANNOT INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY, THE DATE, LOCATION OR CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH IT WAS SHOT. 8725303 08.07.2024 Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomes Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi before their meeting at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence, outside Moscow, Russia. Sergey Bobylev / Sputnik via AP

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, right, and Russian President Vladimir Putin visit a stable during an informal meeting at Novo-Ogaryovo residence, outside Moscow, Russia, Monday, July 8, 2024. (Gavial Grigorov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

THIS IMAGE WAS DIRECTLY PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY AND HAS NOT BEEN VETTED FOR EDITORIAL ACCURACY BY THE AP EDITORIAL TEAM. THE IMAGE MAY CONTAIN REFERENCES THAT DO NOT ADHERE TO AP’S EDITORIAL STANDARDS CONCERNING THE CONFLICT IN UKRAINE. AP ALSO CANNOT INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY, THE DATE, LOCATION OR CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH IT WAS SHOT. 8725226 08.07.2024 Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi ride in an electric car before their meeting at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence, outside Moscow, Russia. Sergey Bobylev / Sputnik via AP

THIS IMAGE WAS DIRECTLY PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY AND HAS NOT BEEN VETTED FOR EDITORIAL ACCURACY BY THE AP EDITORIAL TEAM. THE IMAGE MAY CONTAIN REFERENCES THAT DO NOT ADHERE TO AP’S EDITORIAL STANDARDS CONCERNING THE CONFLICT IN UKRAINE. AP ALSO CANNOT INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY, THE DATE, LOCATION OR CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH IT WAS SHOT. 8725132 08.07.2024 Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, left, before their meeting at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence, outside Moscow, Russia. Sergey Bobylev / Sputnik via AP

India Prime Minister Narendra Modi, second left, and Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, walk during an informal meeting at Novo-Ogaryovo residence, outside Moscow, Russia, Monday, July 8, 2024. (Sergei Karpukhin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

THIS IMAGE WAS DIRECTLY PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY AND HAS NOT BEEN VETTED FOR EDITORIAL ACCURACY BY THE AP EDITORIAL TEAM. THE IMAGE MAY CONTAIN REFERENCES THAT DO NOT ADHERE TO AP’S EDITORIAL STANDARDS CONCERNING THE CONFLICT IN UKRAINE. AP ALSO CANNOT INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY, THE DATE, LOCATION OR CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH IT WAS SHOT. 8725127 08.07.2024 Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, left, shake hands as they pose for photos before their meeting at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence, outside Moscow, Russia. Sergey Bobylev / Sputnik via AP

THIS IMAGE WAS DIRECTLY PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY AND HAS NOT BEEN VETTED FOR EDITORIAL ACCURACY BY THE AP EDITORIAL TEAM. THE IMAGE MAY CONTAIN REFERENCES THAT DO NOT ADHERE TO AP’S EDITORIAL STANDARDS CONCERNING THE CONFLICT IN UKRAINE. AP ALSO CANNOT INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY, THE DATE, LOCATION OR CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH IT WAS SHOT. 8725224 08.07.2024 Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, left, walk before their meeting at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence, outside Moscow, Russia. Sergey Bobylev / Sputnik via AP

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, left, and Russian President Vladimir Putin walk during an informal meeting at Novo-Ogaryovo residence, outside Moscow, Russia, Monday, July 8, 2024. (Sergei Bobylev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

THIS IMAGE WAS DIRECTLY PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY AND HAS NOT BEEN VETTED FOR EDITORIAL ACCURACY BY THE AP EDITORIAL TEAM. THE IMAGE MAY CONTAIN REFERENCES THAT DO NOT ADHERE TO AP’S EDITORIAL STANDARDS CONCERNING THE CONFLICT IN UKRAINE. AP ALSO CANNOT INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY, THE DATE, LOCATION OR CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH IT WAS SHOT. 8725128 08.07.2024 Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomes Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (not pictured) before their meeting at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence, outside Moscow, Russia. Sergey Bobylev / Sputnik via AP

FILE - Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, listens to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during their talks on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, on Sept. 16, 2022. Modi on Monday begins a two-day visit to Russia that is his first since Moscow sent troops into Ukraine, a conflict that has complicated the relationship between the longtime allies by pushing Russia closer to India’s rival China. (Sergei Bobylev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

FILE - Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi pose for a photo shaking hands prior to their talks on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, on Sept. 16, 2022. Modi on Monday begins a two-day visit to Russia that is his first since Moscow sent troops into Ukraine, a conflict that has complicated the relationship between the longtime allies by pushing Russia closer to India’s rival China. (Alexandr Demyanchuk, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File)

THIS IMAGE WAS DIRECTLY PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY AND HAS NOT BEEN VETTED FOR EDITORIAL ACCURACY BY THE AP EDITORIAL TEAM. THE IMAGE MAY CONTAIN REFERENCES THAT DO NOT ADHERE TO AP’S EDITORIAL STANDARDS CONCERNING THE CONFLICT IN UKRAINE. AP ALSO CANNOT INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY, THE DATE, LOCATION OR CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH IT WAS SHOT. 8725130 08.07.2024 Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, left, shake hands as they pose for photos before their meeting at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence, outside Moscow, Russia. Sergey Bobylev / Sputnik via AP

FILE - Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi walk during their meeting ahead of the Eastern Economic Forum at the Russky Island, in Vladivostok, Russia, on Sept. 4, 2019. (Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File)

MOSCOW (AP) — India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in Moscow on Monday for a two-day visit , his first since Russia sent troops into Ukraine, complicating the relationship between the longtime partners and pushing Russia closer to India’s rival, China.

Modi met Russian President Vladimir Putin at his residence outside Moscow, to be followed by talks at the Kremlin on Tuesday. Modi last traveled to Russia in 2019, when he attended a forum in the far eastern port of Vladivostok and met with Putin. The leaders also saw each other in September 2022 in Uzbekistan, at a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization bloc.

Modi posted photos of his arrival in Moscow on the social media platform X, in both Russian and English, saying he was “looking forward to further deepening the Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership between our nations.”

“Stronger ties between our nations will greatly benefit our people,” he wrote, also sharing a picture of himself and Putin hugging.

Later, the two leaders were pictured in videos shared by the Kremlin at Putin’s residence, Novo-Ogaryovo, near Moscow.

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Putin drove Modi around the grounds in a buggy and showed him his stable with horses. According to state news agencies, the two had earlier watched a horse show with performers in national Russian dress.

Modi thanked Putin on X for hosting him at Novo-Ogaryovo and said he was looking forward to Tuesday’s talks which he hoped will “go a long way in further cementing the bonds of friendship between India and Russia.”

Russia has had strong ties with India since the Cold War , and New Delhi’s importance as a key trading partner has grown since the Kremlin sent troops into Ukraine in February 2022. China and India have become key buyers of Russian oil following sanctions imposed by the United States and its allies that shut most Western markets off to Russian exports. India now gets more than 40% of its oil imports from Russia, according to analysts.

Under Modi’s leadership, India has avoided condemning Russia’s military action in Ukraine while emphasizing the need for a peaceful settlement.

The partnership between Moscow and New Delhi has become fraught, however, as Russia has moved closer to China. Modi notably stayed away from last week’s summit in Kazakhstan of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a security grouping founded by Moscow and Beijing.

Chietigj Bajpaee, senior South Asia research fellow at the U.K.-based Chatham House, said India is increasingly estranged from forums in which Russia and China play a prominent role.

“This is evident in India’s relatively low-key presidency of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization last year, and now the decision by Modi not to attend this year’s summit,” Bajpaee said.

A confrontation in June 2020 along the disputed China-India border dramatically altered their already touchy relationship as rival troops fought with rocks, clubs and fists. At least 20 Indian soldiers and four Chinese soldiers were killed. Tensions have persisted despite talks — and have seeped into how New Delhi looks at Moscow.

“Russia’s relations with China have been a matter of some concern for India in the context of Chinese increased assertiveness in the region,” D. Bala Venkatesh Verma, a former Indian ambassador to Russia, told The Associated Press.

But Modi is expected to seek to continue close relations with Russia, which is also a major defense supplier for India.

With Moscow’s arms industries mostly serving the Russian military in Ukraine, India has been diversifying its defense procurements, buying more from the U.S., Israel, France and Italy.

“Defense cooperation will clearly be a priority area,” Bajpaee said, adding that 60% of India’s military equipment and systems is “still of Russian origin.”

“We’ve seen some delay in the deliveries of spare parts ... following the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” he said. “I believe both countries are due to conclude a military logistics agreement, which would pave the way for more defense exchanges.”

Following an arrest warrant issued in 2023 by the International Criminal Court for his actions in Ukraine, Putin’s foreign travel has been sparse in recent years, so Modi’s trip could help the Russian leader boost his clout.

“We kind of see Putin going on a nostalgia trip — you know, he was in Vietnam, he was in North Korea,” said Theresa Fallon, an analyst at the Center for Russia, Europe, Asia Studies. “In my view, he’s trying to demonstrate that he’s not a vassal to China, that he has options, that Russia is still a great power.”

Alexander Gabuev, head of the Carnegie Russia Eurasia Center, said that Putin’s interactions on the world stage show he “is far from isolated” and that Russia is not a country to be discounted.

Trade development also will figure strongly in the talks, particularly intentions to develop a maritime corridor between India’s major port of Chennai and Vladivostok, the gateway to Russia’s Far East.

India-Russia trade has seen a sharp increase, touching close to $65 billion in the 2023-24 financial year, due to strong energy cooperation, Indian Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra told reporters Friday.

Imports from Russia touched $60 billion and exports from India $4 billion in the 2023-24 financial year, Kwatra said. India’s financial year runs from April to March.

He said India was trying to correct the trade imbalance with Russia by increasing its exports. India’s top exports to Russia include drugs and pharmaceutical products, telecom instruments, iron and steel, marine products and machinery.

Its top imports from Russia include crude oil and petroleum products, coal and coke, pearls, precious and semi-precious stones, fertilizer, vegetable oil, gold and silver.

Pathi reported from New Delhi and Heintz from Tallinn, Estonia. Associated Press writer Ashok Sharma in New Delhi contributed to this report.

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Modi’s Moscow Visit Showcases a Less Isolated Putin, Angering Ukraine

Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India made his first visit to Russia in five years, even as Ukraine reeled from an attack on a children’s hospital.

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By Paul Sonne and Anupreeta Das

They hugged and strolled under the trees. They sipped tea and exchanged thoughts for hours. They petted horses together at the stables.

The jovial scenes between President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India, captured during the Indian leader’s first visit to Russia in five years, illustrated a sobering reality.

Despite the West’s campaign to isolate Russia over its 2022 invasion of Ukraine, other nations have pursued their own interests with regard to Moscow, helping Mr. Putin shore up the Russian economy and continue to wage his war. India, which has close ties to the United States, has emerged as the second-biggest importer of Russian oil after China in the years since the invasion.

Mr. Modi’s state visit, which began late Monday with a trip to Mr. Putin’s residence outside Moscow, underscored the point. At the Kremlin on Tuesday, Mr. Putin awarded Mr. Modi the Order of St. Andrew, the Russian government’s highest civilian honor, expressing “sincere gratitude” for his contribution to relations between their states.

“We have had two and a half years now of endless Russian atrocities, and most of the world is not daunted or uncomfortable maintaining some kind of business as usual with Moscow,” said Andrew S. Weiss, the vice president for studies at the Washington-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “That’s a really sad commentary on Russia’s continued geopolitical weight.”

While Mr. Modi was hugging the Russian leader late Monday, rescue workers and volunteers in Kyiv were clearing away rubble from a Russian strike on Ukraine’s biggest pediatric hospital . Images of children outside the destroyed medical facility with their IVs still attached, or in some cases covered in blood, wrenched a nation that has been exhausted by more than two years of Russian bombardment.

“It is a huge disappointment and a devastating blow to peace efforts to see the leader of the world’s largest democracy hug the world’s most bloody criminal in Moscow on such a day,” Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, wrote on X .

The leaders of India and Russa standing in an ornate hall.

The state visit was also juxtaposed against the gathering of NATO countries on Tuesday in Washington, where they discussed continued support for Ukraine.

Western governments have failed to persuade India and many other governments around the world to take a public position against Mr. Putin’s war. Mr. Modi has avoided condemning Russia’s invasion and instead issued general calls for peace, maintaining the warm relations with Moscow that India has cultivated since the days of the Cold War.

The Indian leader said he had discussed Ukraine with Mr. Putin at his residence, agreeing on the need for peace as soon as possible.

“Any person who believes in humanity feels pain when people die, and especially when innocent children die,” Mr. Modi said Tuesday, a possible implicit reference to the hospital attack. “When we feel such pain, the heart simply explodes, and I had the opportunity to talk about these issues with you yesterday.”

The state visit offered still more evidence that Mr. Putin has managed to avoid the pariah status Western leaders tried to force on him after the invasion. Mr. Putin has maintained a robust diplomatic schedule holding two meetings with China’s leader , Xi Jinping, in two months, along with meeting the leaders of Vietnam , Hungary , Belarus and the nations of Central Asia,

On Tuesday, Indian officials said that the two countries had struck various agreements to strengthen economic ties, with the goal of reaching $100 billion in bilateral trade by 2030.

Russia and India also said they would strengthen their military cooperation, including manufacturing more weapon spare parts and units in India. They pledged to continue developing national payment systems, which allow Russia to conduct trade outside U.S. dollars and away from platforms impacted by Western sanctions.

Mr. Modi, who said he had met Mr. Putin 17 times over the course of the past decade, invited Mr. Putin to visit India next year.

“Russia is India’s true friend,” Mr. Modi said at a meeting with members of the Indian community in Moscow, according to the Russian state news agency Tass.

While India imported little Russian crude before the invasion of Ukraine, the nation has since risen to become the No. 2 importer of Russian oil after China, helping fill the Kremlin’s coffers despite a Western ban on most Russian oil imports. In many cases, India has been refining Russian crude and re-exporting it to European nations that are subject to the ban, giving it a lucrative middleman role .

Matthew Miller, the State Department spokesman, told reporters on Tuesday that the U.S. has “been quite clear about our concerns” about India’s relationship with Russia, and has related them “privately, directly to the Indian government” — including within the past 24 hours. “We continue to urge India to support efforts to realize an enduring and just peace in Ukraine,” he said.

Mr. Modi said Tuesday that as a friend, he had always told Mr. Putin that peace was a prerequisite for future generations to have a bright future.

“That is why we believe that war is not a solution,” he said. “There can be no solution through war. Bombs, missiles and rifles cannot ensure peace. That is why we emphasize dialogue.”

India has a long history of friendly relations with Moscow. The Soviet Union and later Russia for decades supplied much of India’s arms and military equipment, though that reliance has decreased in recent years, in part because of pressure from the United States.

“This has been a time-tested relationship, and there is a consensus in India, regardless of political orientation, that the relationship with Russia is one to be preserved and not squandered,” said Rajan Menon, professor emeritus of political science at City College.

Mr. Putin has cast his invasion of Ukraine as an anti-imperial struggle against an encroaching West, and that message has resonated in parts of the developing world that once lived under Western colonialism. According to a Pew Research Center poll conducted this year, just 16 percent of respondents in India expressed unfavorable views of Russia, compared with 46 percent who voiced positive associations.

During his talks with Mr. Putin, Mr. Modi sought the early discharge of all I ndian nationals who were recruited by the Russian army under “false pretenses,” according to government officials. The contentious issue had introduced a sour note in the countries’ friendly relations. Mr. Putin agreed to the discharge of those citizens, who India has said number between 35 and 50.

Mr. Menon predicted that India would continue to cultivate deeper ties with the United States over the long term, but not at a cost of having to choose sides.

“Anyone who expects you can peel India off and put it in the U.S. column — that is not going to happen,” he said. “Would you rather be completely dependent on the United States or Russia, or have a position of maneuverability between the two?”

Michael Crowley contributed reporting.

Paul Sonne is an international correspondent, focusing on Russia and the varied impacts of President Vladimir V. Putin’s domestic and foreign policies, with a focus on the war against Ukraine. More about Paul Sonne

Anupreeta Das is the finance editor of The New York Times, overseeing broad coverage of Wall Street, including banking, investing, markets and consumer finance. She was previously the deputy business editor of The Wall Street Journal. More about Anupreeta Das

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Modi's Moscow visit points to enduring friendship with Putin's Russia

Charles Maynes

Modi goes to Moscow

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi take a walk during an informal meeting at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence, outside Moscow, on July 8.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi take a walk during an informal meeting at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence, outside Moscow, on July 8. Sergei Karpukhin/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

MOSCOW — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in Moscow for a two-day visit with Russian President Vladimir Putin — his first trip to Russia since the Kremlin ordered its full-scale invasion of Ukraine more than two years ago.

Yet there are few signs Modi, the leader of the world’s largest democracy, plans to challenge Putin directly over his actions in Ukraine. Instead, the Indian leader appears to be engaging Moscow as part of a wider balancing act between East and West that has been at the core of his foreign policy.

Ahead of his departure for Moscow, Modi noted the partnership with Russia had “advanced” over the past 10 years, and he looked forward to reviewing all aspects of bilateral cooperation with his “friend” Putin.

“We seek to play a supportive role for a peaceful and stable region,” Modi added, without clarifying.

Statements by the Kremlin were similarly sanguine, saying that Modi’s visit would build on “traditionally friendly Russian-Indian relations.”

Modi was greeted by a goose-stepping honor guard upon arrival at Moscow’s Vnukovo airport Monday afternoon. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Denis Manturov, who had worked with an Indian-Russia aeronautics company in the past, greeted him on the tarmac.

As Modi’s motorcade made his way toward his hotel across from the Kremlin, throngs of well-wishers gathered to wave Indian and Russian flags.

Among other announced activities: Putin will host Modi for a private dinner “with a free agenda” for discussion, the Kremlin’s spokesman said — setting the tone for formal talks on Tuesday.

Modi is also expected to lay flowers at Russia’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

There were no current plans for the leaders to address the media, the spokesman added.

Cold War allies

Russia and India have strong ties that date back to the height of the Cold War.

In a partnership that often blurred ideological lines, the Soviets provided weapons to India as both countries found a common threat in the rise of their neighbor China.

Fast forward to today and much has changed: The United States is now one of India’s major partners and India’s military needs have diversified. Yet Modi’s Moscow visit is part tribute to an enduring Indian-Russian friendship, analysts say.

India has refused Western entreaties, including by Washington, to condemn Russia's invasion of Ukraine — with Modi instead urging a vague diplomatic settlement to the conflict.

“Today’s era is not an era of war,” the Indian prime minister told Putin during their last meeting on the sidelines of a regional summit in Central Asia in the fall of 2022.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) meets with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization leaders' summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, on Sept. 16, 2022.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) meets with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization leaders' summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, on Sept. 16, 2022. Alexandr Demyanchuk/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

Putin responded by promising Modi that Russia was doing “everything to stop this as soon as possible.”

Nearly two years later, the death toll and destruction in Ukraine continue to mount, with hundreds of thousands dead and no end to the fighting in sight.

Ukraine invasion — explained

Ukraine invasion — explained

Just hours before Modi landed, Russian rockets struck cities across Ukraine, killing at least 29 people and injuring dozens more. Among the targets hit was a children’s hospital in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.

Russia’s Defense Ministry insisted its forces had carried out precision attacks on military installations.

Meanwhile, New Delhi has grown increasingly alarmed as Western sanctions have pushed Russia into the arms of India’s key regional rival China, regional exports say.

“India has not condemned the Russian invasion, but that doesn't mean that it supports the war,” Michael Kugelman, South Asia director of the Wilson Center, told NPR late last year. “It doesn't support the war at all. The war makes Russia more dependent on China, and India doesn't want that because China is India's strategic competitor."

The economic ties that bind

Further complicating the picture: New Delhi has also benefited from purchases of Russian oil at steep discounts after the U.S. and its allies imposed sanctions on Russian crude.

Meanwhile, easing the way for more Russian-Indian business — and adjusting a massive trade imbalance that has come with Russia's oil exports — appears at the heart of this week’s talks.

One of key topics discussed will be development of alternative money transfer systems — think a Russian-Indian version of Paypal, Zelle or Venmo — as a workaround to Western sanctions that removed most Russian banks from the global SWIFT payment system.

Ahead of Modi’s visit, India’s Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra, said talks would also focus on freeing between 30-40 Indians who were “misled” into Russian military service by promises of mercenary pay.

In this photo issued by the Hungarian prime minister's press office, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, right, and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán hold a meeting in Kyiv on Tuesday.

Hungary's Orbán in Kyiv for talks with Zelenskyy in first visit since the war began

Different views of a multipolar world.

In Moscow, Modi’s arrival is seen as the latest evidence of the West’s failure to isolate Russia over its invasion of its neighbor. Shortly before Modi’s visit, Putin hosted Hungary’s prime minister , Viktor Orban, in Moscow and met with China’s Xi Jinping and a host of other leaders at a Eurasian regional summit in Kazakhstan.

Russia's president, Vladimir Putin, and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban (left) deliver a joint press statement following their talks at the Kremlin in Moscow on July 5.

Russia's president, Vladimir Putin, and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban (left) deliver a joint press statement following their talks at the Kremlin in Moscow on July 5. Alexander Nemenov/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

Putin and Xi further their embrace to defy U.S.-led pressure

Putin and Xi further their embrace to defy U.S.-led pressure

The Indian prime minister’s visit — which partially coincides with this week’s NATO summit gathering in Washington, D.C. — provides yet another opportunity for Putin to herald Russia’s membership in non-Western clubs such as the BRICS group of advanced developing nations and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization among others.

Putin has framed these organizations as evidence of a new “multipolar world order” emerging from what, he argues, is the West’s moral rot and economic decline.

The war in Ukraine — now in its third summer — tops NATO's agenda

Modi, too, has embraced India’s rise in a new multipolar reality. But he has pursued a balancing act to maintain good relations with Western economies with which New Delhi does much of its business.

  • narendra modi
  • prime minister narendra modi
  • Vladimir Putin
  • President Vladimir Putin
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Moscow - St. Petersburg 4-star cruise by Vodohod

With this 12-day cruise, you will visit Russia's largest cities - Moscow and St. Petersburg - and several charming small towns and villages, all rich in Russian culture and history: Uglich, Yaroslavl, Goritsy, Kizhi, and Mandrogui

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Classic Moscow

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Journey of a Lifetime

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Astrakhan - Moscow 4-star cruise by Vodohod

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Trans-Sib through Russia - Mongolia - China

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Moscow - St. Petersburg 5-star cruise by Vodohod

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A Week in Moscow

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Moscow - Astrakhan 4-star cruise by Vodohod

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Jewels of Two Capitals

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Ancient Russia, the Beginning

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St. Petersburg - Moscow 5-star cruise by Vodohod

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St. Petersburg - Moscow 3-star cruise by Vodohod

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Moscow - St. Petersburg Luxury Cruise by Vodohod

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With Orban in China and Modi in Russia, Putin’s multipolar world takes shape

As Hungary’s leader pushed for a Ukraine cease-fire, Russian missile strikes hit a children’s hospital in Kyiv and killed at least 37 across the country.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban made a surprise visit Monday to Beijing, where Chinese leader Xi Jinping called for a global effort to push Russia and Ukraine toward a “cease-fire” and praised Orban’s diplomatic initiatives. It was a powerful display of how Xi and Russian President Vladimir Putin are seeking to create a multipolar world order not dominated by the United States.

Even as Xi embraced Orban in the Chinese capital, Russian missiles smashed down in Kyiv, Dnipro and other Ukrainian cities on Monday — killing at least 31 people, including two at a children’s hospital in Kyiv, and highlighting the vicious brutality of Putin’s war.

In response to the missile attack, but also apparently the new diplomatic maneuvers, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called for global pressure to halt Russia’s aggression. “The whole world must use all its determination to finally put an end to the Russian strikes,” Zelensky posted on Telegram. “Murders are what Putin brings. Only together can we bring true peace and security.”

The Russian Defense Ministry, posting on Telegram, confirmed that it had carried out a major missile attack on Ukraine on Monday but insisted that the targets were “Ukrainian military industry facilities” and “air bases.”

Orban’s visit to China followed trips to Kyiv and Moscow last week, just days after Hungary took over the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union. His foray into peacemaking has drawn criticism in the West of his attempt to pressure Kyiv to surrender territory that Moscow has seized by force.

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In Brussels, officials disavowed Orban’s efforts, saying he was not authorized to conduct diplomacy for the E.U. “It should be clear he is only representing his own country,” said an E.U. diplomat, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the press.

Eric Mamer, a spokesman for the European Commission, emphasized that Orban was flying solo. “He has no mandate on these visits to represent the E.U.,” Mamer said.

But Putin, welcoming Orban in Moscow last week , pointedly invoked Hungary’s E.U. presidency. And in a sign of the new multipolar dimension of geopolitics, the Hungarian prime minister’s visit to Beijing occurred just hours before Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Moscow on a state visit, his first since Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

In a statement before he left New Delhi on Monday, Modi hailed “my friend Vladimir Putin” and “the Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership between India and Russia.” After he landed, Russian and Indian media showed Modi, dressed in a bright turquoise vest, arriving at his Moscow hotel and being greeted by Indian dancers and well-wishers waving Indian flags.

Indian purchases of Russian oil, which have surged 20-fold since 2021, have helped Moscow withstand tough Western economic sanctions imposed in response to the invasion of Ukraine.

With his visit to Moscow, Modi, who was reelected last month, was signaling his autonomy even though the Biden administration has worked assiduously to court the Indian leader.

“Mr. Putin will like to convey to the public: India is a friend, all this talk about isolating Russia is empty talk, not everyone is under the sway of the U.S.-led West, and the asymmetrical but multipolar world has arrived,” said Nandan Unnikrishnan, director of the Eurasian program at the Observer Research Foundation, a think tank in New Delhi. “India would agree that it’s a multipolar world, even if [India] is slightly skewed toward the West.”

Orban’s visit to China represented a diplomatic triumph for Putin, who has long called for such a multipolar, non-Western world order. Putin has insisted that the West, particularly the United States and Britain, is responsible for prolonging his war in Ukraine by not pressuring Kyiv to give in to his territorial demands.

Upon landing in China, Orban posted a photo of himself on X captioned: “Peace mission 3.0 #Beijing.”

At the meeting with Orban in Beijing, Xi said he appreciated the Hungarian leader’s efforts to bring about a political solution to the war in Ukraine, which he referred to as a “conflict.”

“China and Hungary share the same basic positions and are working in the same direction,” he said.

“Only when all major powers exert positive energy rather than negative energy can the dawn of a cease-fire in this conflict appear as soon as possible,” Xi said, according to Chinese broadcaster CCTV. China, Xi added, has been “actively urging peace and advocating talks in its own way.”

In an interview with the German newspaper Bild, Orban insisted that Ukraine could never defeat Russia. “There is no solution to this conflict on the front lines,” he said, adding: “​​Putin cannot lose if you look at the soldiers, equipment and technology. Defeating Russia is a thought that is difficult to imagine. The probability that Russia could actually be defeated is completely incalculable.”

Ukraine, meanwhile, has insisted that it cannot agree to any cease-fire while Russian forces are occupying about one-fifth of its territory and missiles and bombs are falling on its cities. Zelensky has called for a full withdrawal of Russian troops, including at a “peace” summit in Switzerland last month that China pointedly did not attend. Russia was not invited.

Beijing has rejected criticism from Ukraine, Europe and the United States over its decision to skip the Swiss-hosted peace summit, arguing that it cannot take part in talks where Russia is excluded. China, alongside Brazil, instead provided its own six-point proposal, for which Chinese officials claimed to have secured support from dozens of countries across the developing world.

From Beijing’s perspective, Western countries have served as an impediment to getting Russia and Ukraine to sit down and negotiate directly, said Cui Hongjian, an international relations scholar at Beijing Foreign Studies University. Beijing believes “it must make a voice and it must have a position,” Cui said.

China’s claimed neutrality has come under increasing strain as the war drags through a third year and China’s trade with Russia booms — along with mounting evidence of Chinese companies providing economic and indirect support for Russia’s military-industrial base.

In public statements and appearances, Putin and Xi increasingly have shown alignment in their shared ambition to remold the global order and weaken the influence of the United States.

Xi and Putin met last week in Kazakhstan, where Putin spoke of progress toward a “fair, multipolar world order” during the annual meeting of the Shanghai Organization Cooperation, one of many multilateral groupings the two powers have used to extend their influence.

At that meeting, Putin suggested resuming negotiations that took place in Istanbul in 2022, shortly after Russia’s invasion, when Ukraine was in a weak position. In the years since, each side has suffered tens of thousands of casualties, and Russia has made only marginal progress toward illegally annexing four southeastern Ukrainian regions, in addition to Crimea, which it seized by force in 2014.

In Moscow on Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow was in favor of the diplomatic efforts.

“President Vladimir Putin is a convinced supporter of the preferability of political and diplomatic efforts to find a solution to the Ukrainian conflict,” Peskov said.

Shepherd reported from Taipei, Taiwan, and Shih from New Delhi. Serhii Korolchuk in Kyiv , Kate Brady in Berlin, Emily Rauhala in Washington, and Natalia Abbakumova in Riga, Latvia, contributed to this report.

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Russian diplomat says Moscow won't attend a second Ukraine peace summit

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    3-Day Moscow Tour Highlights: Panoramic Tour of Moscow: See Moscow beyond the postcard images on a private excursion by car through the city streets including a drive along the banks of the Moskva River. Visit the famous Bolshoi Theatre, pass by Gorky Park and the Novodevichy Convent, and admire the city from on high at the Sparrow Hill ...

  14. Best Private Tours in Moscow 2024

    Moscow Must-See's. Our Bestselling Private Walking Tour. Major attractions in one day. Duration: 4 hours + options. Optional visit to the Kremlin. Bestselling genuine tour since 2011. 12 000₽ More details.

  15. Best Moscow Walking Tours

    Moscow Underground Tour. See Moscow's unique and beautiful metro stations on a 1.5-hour tour of the Soviet palaces that were built for the people. See the marble pillars, stained glass, and ornate sculptures that make the Moscow metro unlike any other metro system in the world. Book My TourLearn More. 3 Hours.

  16. OLTA Travel

    Our goal is to provide the highest quality services to make your clients fall in love with Russia. OLTA Travel is a leading Russian DMC with offices in Moscow, Saint Petersburg and Irkutsk (Lake Baikal). Tour operators, travel agencies, and other businesses from more than 53 countries have selected us to experience an unforgettable Eurasian ...

  17. Russian Tour Agency

    Welcome to Russia! Grand Russia is a Russian Tour Agency based out of the cosmopolitan Moscow city. We are a prominent Russia Travel Agency engaged in providing travel experiences to the people wishing to explore Russia for more than ten years. We specialise in providing guided tours, custom made packages, exclusive excursions, visa facility services, unexplored destinations and lot more.

  18. Moscow

    The Moscow Kremlin tour is about heritage, art, culture, and religion — and, of course, the pleasure of your eyes. Our packages include the visit of the territory of Kremlin and two cathedrals of three. You can also choose the extras: a visit to the Diamond Fund, Armory, or Saint Basil's Cathedral, located on the Red Square just a few ...

  19. Moscow Kremlin Museums: VISIT US

    Moscow Kremlin Museums tours The Moscow Kremlin Museums offer guided tours in Russian and with an interpreter of your choice. The tours include general information about the architectural ensemble of the Kremlin, the treasures of the world-famous Armoury, the ancient Kremlin cathedrals and their historic burial places, ensembles of wall ...

  20. Moscow

    Moscow - St. Petersburg. Price per person. 658,18. View details. About the tour Reviews 10. 8 days / 7 nights. St. Petersburg Moscow. We offer you a unique opportunity to visit Russia's two largest cities, Moscow and St. Petersburg. This fascinating, week-long tour will take you to the historic Russian capitals that have always played the most ...

  21. The 20 Best Moscow Day Tours of 2022

    Kremlin, Red Sq., Cathedrals & Armory Tour. 4 hours. The Kremlin is truly a fascinating structure, at the same time it is an ancient tower, the city's former military fortification, a palace, an armory, the sovereign treasury and the workplace of the Russian President.... $ 112 From/Per person. Details.

  22. Russian tours and vacation packages

    Your personal tour guide, private car and all tickets to museums booked in advance are included in our individual tour programs of Moscow. Moscow package tours Our individual tours are here to help you not to get lost in the Russian capital's vibrant rhythm and explore the most exciting spots of Moscow with our professional guides.

  23. Russia passenger jet crashes near Moscow during test flight

    A Russian passenger plane has crashed near Moscow, Russia's emergencies ministry says. It says the Sukhoi Superjet 100 went down in a forest, and all three crew members are believed to have been ...

  24. Putin meets Indian prime minister in Russia on his first visit since

    India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in Moscow on a two-day visit, his first since Russia sent troops into Ukraine, which has complicated the relationship between the longtime partners and pushed Russia closer to India's rival, China.

  25. Modi's Russia Visit Showcases a Less Isolated Putin, Angering Ukraine

    Despite the West's campaign to isolate Russia over its 2022 invasion of Ukraine, other nations have pursued their own interests with regard to Moscow, helping Mr. Putin shore up the Russian ...

  26. Modi's Russia Visit Dents West's Efforts to Cast Putin as Pariah

    Worried by deepening China-Russia relations, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is heading to Moscow next week for talks with President Vladimir Putin, his first visit to the country since the ...

  27. Modi's Moscow visit points to enduring friendship with Putin's Russia

    MOSCOW — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in Moscow for a two-day visit with Russian President Vladimir Putin — his first trip to Russia since the Kremlin ordered its full-scale invasion ...

  28. 20 Best Russia Tours 2022

    Moscow - St. Petersburg 4-star cruise by Vodohod. 12 days and 11 nights. With this 12-day cruise, you will visit Russia's largest cities - Moscow and St. Petersburg - and several charming small towns and villages, all rich in Russian culture and history: Uglich, Yaroslavl, Goritsy, Kizhi, and Mandrogui. Route.

  29. With Viktor Orban in China pushing cease-fire, Russian missiles slam

    Indian purchases of Russian oil, which have surged 20-fold since 2021, have helped Moscow withstand tough Western economic sanctions imposed in response to the invasion of Ukraine.

  30. Russian diplomat says Moscow won't attend a second Ukraine peace summit

    MOSCOW, July 11 (Reuters) - Russia will not attend a follow-up to last month's Ukraine peace summit, state news agency RIA quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Galuzin as saying on Thursday.