No one knows where life will lead you. Maybe you’ll have to send a letter to Russia one day. Maybe the day has already come.
The task is more complicated than expected as the world’s largest and most mysterious country is not that helpful when it comes to understanding its rules. All you should know about Russia that there are rules but abiding by them is not always a necessity.
Let’s Talk about the Address Order First
The Russians you know might advise to write the address in reverse to what is common globally. That’s true — but that’s not always the case. Most Russian people are still used to the Soviet-style country-to-street order. But the international, street-to-country order is common in Russia too.
Well, this means you can choose whatever you want.
Follow the Advice by Russian Post
Being the biggest Russian postal delivery service, Russian Post (Pochta Rossii) writes as follows:
Please make your writing legible.
Write the recipient’s address to the lower right of the envelope. Write the sender’s address to the upper left of the envelope.
The address should include:
- Recipient’s full name with last name indicated first, followed by first name and patronymic (a Russian equivalent of middle name);
- Street, house number, apartment number;
- District, region (oblast, krai, or republic);
- POB, if any;
- Postal code in a special format:
Write every bullet point in a separate line.
Official instructions from Russian Post website
Postal Code Special Format
As you have noticed Russian Post suggests to put down the postal code in a special format. And if you buy an envelope at one of the Russian Post's offices, it will feature a dedicated place for the postal code in that format.
Putting down the postal code in this special format is not mandatory. It just means that your letter may be processed automatically and will be delivered faster. It is perfectly fine if you write it by hand. In this case your letter will be processed manually (i.e. slowly), but still delivered anyway. Just put down the postal code right below the address, and make sure the digits are big and legible.
You can put down the address in both ways, but please do indicate the recipient’s address to the lower right of the envelope and the sender’s address to the upper left of the envelope for the postal officer.
Keep Track of the Detail
Keep in mind that Russian addresses can be both translated and transliterated.
If you have your Russian address both in Russian and in English, arrange it according to the advice above and indicate the address in Russian below the address in English. It is OK to have 1 address written in different languages just in case.
If you have your Russian address in English only, and it has obviously been transliterated (no streets and buildings, only weird "ulitsa", "pereulok", "korpus" etc.), just arrange it according to your choice and let it be.
If you have your Russian address translated into English (with streets, regions and houses) but no original address in Russian, arrange it according to your choice and let it be, hoping that the local postal officer knows English just enough to understand it.
Should I Write the Address in Russian?
If you have it, you can write the address in Russian. If you don’t, a romanized address would do. To have an address romanized, you can use this or similar online service.
If you have your address both in Russian and in English
- Arrange the address according to our advice above;
- Indicate the address in Russian first and add the address in English in the same order below the address in Russian.
If your address is in Russian only
- Arrange the address according to the advice above;
- Romanize the address (see the link above)
- Indicate the address in Russian first and add the romanized address in the same order below the address in Russian.
For your convenience, we’ve collected the most common Russian abbreviations in the table below that an address may contain, and translated them. Maybe you’ll find them useful.
Streets, houses, apartments
|ул. – улица||ul. – ulica||Street|
|пр-т – проспект||pr-t – prospekt||Avenue|
|пр-д – проезд||pr-d – proezd||Passage|
|пер. – переулок||per. – pereulok||Lane|
|наб. – набережная||nab. – naberezhnaja||Embankment|
|пл. – площадь||pl. – ploshad||Square|
|б-р – бульвар||b-r – bulvar||Boulevard|
|ш. – шоссе||sh. – shosse||Highway|
|д. – дом||d. – dom||House No.|
|корп. – корпус||korp. – korpus||Building No.|
|стр. – строение||str. – stroenie||Building No.|
|кв. – квартира||kv. – kvartira||Apartment No.|
|г. – город||g. – gorod||City or Town|
|пос. – поселок||pos. – poselok||Settlement|
|пгт. – поселок городского типа||pgt. – poselok gorodskogo tipa||Urban-type settlement|
|д. – деревня||d. – derevnya||Village|
|с. - село||s. – selo||Village|
|обл. – область||obl. – oblast||Oblast or region|
|кр. – край||kr. – krai||Krai or region|
|респ. – республика||resp. – respublika||Republic|
|р-н – район||r-on – raion||Region or district|
|окр. – округ||okr. – okrug||Autonomous region|