When you're a tourist in a major city, you always do the same things. You walk more than you'd want to, eat things you don't want to, and see beautiful buildings all over the city. Moscow is no different in this regard, with magnificent buildings and landmarks like the Kremlin and the Red Square. Perhaps the most awe-inspiring part of the Russian capital though, is below the ground. The Moscow Metro.
According to Veronika Silina, spokesperson for the Moscow Metropolitan (responsible for the Moscow public transport), this is because it is 'prohibited to create situations that interfere with the movement of passenger traffic'. "In connection with this, film and video shooting on the territory of the Moscow Metro is only possible with the written permission of the metro authorities. If video shooting is carried out without permission, the station or police officers may demand the shooting to be stopped."
Although amateur photography is not prohibited in the Russian metro system, you aren't allowed to use 'professional equipment, tripods and flash'. This isn't because Russia only wants you to make boring pictures, but due to safety concerns. Let's say you're a driver of a busy rush hour metro, when all of a sudden someone thought it would be nice to take a picture of a moving train. The bright, white light blinds you, you miss the platform and collide with the train in front. Massive casualties, all not very good. Silina also says it is ' unfavourable for the operator's eyes'. The tripods are also prohibited due to safety reasons, as it 'makes it difficult for passengers to move, and during rush hour can be very traumatic', says Silina.
, most of the time the only way you can move up and down is by stairs, or if you're lucky escalators.
And even if you can somehow get to the platform, the gap between the platform and car is still more than noticeable. So saying you're allowed to bring a wheelchair in the Metro is like saying you're allowed to bring an ice cream into a steam room. That is why many websites advise against using the Metro if you're disabled.
According to Silina, however, the situation is improving. "Currently 39 metro stations are equipped with elevators and wheelchair lifts and can be considered accessible for the movement of less mobile people. Accesibility environment works are underway for the improvement of the vestibules, which include expanded turnstibles, entrance doors, ramps and tactile pointers for the visually impaired passengers. We are conducting systematic work to improve the accessibility for all passengers, and we're listening to feedback from our passengers all the time."