Although racism is officially banned in Russia, there is no escaping the fact that racial prejudice and anti-Semitism is widespread among Russians, even those with whom you make friendships. Black and Asian students in particular have encountered verbal abuse on the streets and, occasionally, physical harassment.
RLUS takes this situation very seriously and monitors the experiences of its students through its representatives and pastoral visits. Recently there have been a number of racial attacks in St Petersburg. None of them have involved RLUS students. Each year RLUS sends to Russia a number of black and Asian students, some of whom have expressed concern about their safety, but the overwhelming majority of these students have no problems and enjoy their stays in Russia. It is, nevertheless, clear that black and Asian students need to be especially vigilant.
If you are at all concerned, you can contact the RLUS representatives before you go and they may be able to put you directly in touch with black and Asian students currently in Russia. The representatives will of course be there to help you when you are in Russia. Their contact details are on the Contacts page.