4 Americans come to Russia for obscure medical treatment

Inclusion body myositis is a rare condition that is described by the Cleveland Clinic as “an inflammatory and degenerative muscle disease that causes painless weakening of muscle”.

Inclusion body myositis (or IBM) is widely considered not just to be incurable, but untreatable. Receiving this diagnosis is discouraging, to say the least. Alan, Ken, Hannah, and Bruce were four men who received this diagnosis but never dreamed that their search for treatment would take them to Russia.

In a previous post, I wrote about the Lymphatech Clinic in the city of Perm, Russia that is providing treatment of conditions as wide-ranging as chronic leukemia, lymphedema, Type-2 diabetes, arthritis, and much more. The clinic’s treatment approach can be traced back to Soviet times and is bringing promising results.

The first American patient with IBM came to Russia from El Paso, Texas. Alan Spencer first heard about the clinic in early 2020. Alan had been diagnosed with IBM and when he heard about the Lymphatech Clinic, he approached them about potential treatment. The clinic offered a treatment plan and Alan came to Russia. This video by Russia Today tells that story.

Since IBM is a rare medical condition, it is a relatively small community of affected individuals and their families. So after the Russia Today broadcast, the clinic started receiving inquiries from around the world.

4 Inclusion Body Myositis patients and their families in Perm, Russia

As an American who lives in Russia, I understand that for me, medical treatment in Russia is no stretch. As a matter of fact, it would be a challenge for me if I had to go anywhere else outside of Russia! And I have had the privilege of knowing the folks at Lymphatech as they treated some of my relatives from the States, and I even went for snoring treatment (it worked!).

Visas to Russia, the Easy Way

But I can’t imagine what it would be like for someone in America to have been diagnosed with IBM and being told your only chance for treatment is to visit a place in Russia you’ve never heard before. As I’ve thought about that, I’ve come to understand that hope requires courage.

It is because of this that I’m proud to know both know this clinic and to have also met the four men in this video. Four men who not only had the courage to believe that it was worth pursuing treatment but were ready to take the risk to come to Russia to do so.

Meet Bruce, Ken, Hanna, and Alan, together with Dr. Nadia, Vadim, Igor, and Alex in this in-depth video as each side describes their medical treatment in Russia:

If you are interested in a more detailed treatment explanation from the clinic, follow this link.

As a patriot both of Russia and the USA (yes, you can be both!), I firmly believe that we have much to learn from each other. As a friend of the clinic, I believe that their message of both science and hope must be known around the world. We don’t know everything yet. No one is saying they are providing a cure. But I love what each of these men said. Sitting around and waiting for a “silver bullet” wasn’t an option for any of them. So, they came to a clinic in Perm, Russia.

There is no Cow in Moscow |Correct Pronunciation

There is no Cow in Moscow

How do you pronounce Moscow?

What is the correct pronunciation of the word “Moscow”?

Yes, it’s time to address the cow in the room.

Of course, the Russian word for Moscow is not Moscow! It is Moskva (Москва).

Much like many other cities and nations around the world (Finland/Suomi, Hungary/Magyar, Albania/Shqipëri, etc.) the rest of the world seems to have made up its own name, rather than using the name of the locals.

But not so fast! The reason the rest of the world calls Moskva “Moscow” is because that’s actually pretty close to what it used to be called some centuries ago. And although the Russian capital city’s name evolved for itself over time, the rest of the world decided to stay traditional- although we have modernized ourselves to the point of calling the river running through the city the Moskva River.

But the question here is what is the correct pronunciation of the word “Moscow”.

And there is a right way and a wrong way.

And it’s not this confusing and somewhat amusing tutorial from YouTube. I mean the dude sounds a bit irritated during this 10-second video that the rest of the world is pronouncing it differently.:

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What we are talking about is the correct pronunciation of the English word for Moscow, Russia’s capital city.

The easy rule of thumb to remember when pronouncing this word is that “there is no cow in Moscow”.

A stock photo of a cow who is clearly not in Moscow

When people put a cow in Moscow, I normally stand and nod and smile like this lady:

“I mean, that’s wrong, but should I say something, or just be polite?”

Yes, I am saying there is a right and wrong way of pronouncing Moscow. And the correct way to pronounce Moscow is to take the cow out of it: “Mahskoh”.

Suggested post: Learn how to say “Hello” (and more) in Russian

And to help you remember, enjoy some timelapse scenes from one of the world’s most vibrant urban centers, with a soundtrack that, if you listen carefully, features both the correct Russian version of the city’s name (female voice), and the English version (male voice). The repetition of both language versions will help you remember! Enjoy and happy correct pronunciation to all, regardless of language!

American in Russian Village

How did the lockdown affect you?
 
Well, not long after the lockdown in the Moscow region was lifted, a good Russian friend invited me to the village about 75 miles north of Moscow that he and his family go to during the summer. We went to visit them and were told about pieces of land for sale in the village, and we also began to discuss the idea of starting a farm together.
 
The situation evolved quickly.
 
Here are some photos, which will end with a few more details:
 
Here this blogger, his wife, and two of their boys pose in front of the old house on the piece of village land we bought. (Taken from my Russian Instagram account).
 
You can go on a tour of the old house, in Russian, here.
 
Almost immediately after buying the old house a Moscow TV station came out to ask why on earth we would do something like that. 🙂   
Unfortunately, the house can not be restored (this is the back of it). But we do hope to use some of the material for a future banya (Russian bathhouse), perhaps a gazebo for picnics, and also a barn for sheep.
 
So, we built a new house. Electricity, heat, and water coming soon. 🙂
 
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Although running water is a future item, the house came equipped with a view that hasn’t been difficult to get used to.
 
 
 
The land had been left unused for ten years, so it took this blogger about two weeks of work with a hand scythe and some help from friends to get it cleared.
 
 
A big sky and fantastic sunsets, that my phone’s camera doesn’t do justice to.
Some tools from the old house used as decoration in the new house.
Three ancient cities are within an hour drive, including this spot which Ivan the Terrible ruled from more than 400 years ago.
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The closest store is about 6 miles from the village, so a “truck-store” comes 3 times a week, honks the horn, and everyone runs from their houses and gets in line. I’m thinking they need to try ice cream truck music instead of the horn.
 
For farming, we decided to start off with quail. Here are some eggs in the incubator.
 
And the first hatching!
 
And some newborns! They are much bigger now. We now have an incubator full of eggs, some that are growing, and a couple hundred that are getting close to harvest.
 
The quail have started their very own Instagram account.  Be sure to subscribe here.
 
We are bootstrapping, but we plan to add chickens, turkeys, and sheep in the coming months. Also, we are working on plans to acquire some more land and add some guest houses. Russians love to come out and relax in the village and we look forward to providing a family camp setting.
 
Of course, we were unsure how the village would receive us, but so far we have been blown away by how open and kind they have been. They are thrilled about new life coming to the village and the babushkas share zucchini and cucumbers from their gardens.
 
Here’s a Russian-language video I made about the village:

  More updates to come!  And we look forward to not only showing you photos and sharing news, but seeing you as our guest in the village.  

****   If you are a foreigner living in Russia, and are thinking perhaps not about the village, but of owning your own apartment or house, my day job remains real estate, and I would love to be able to help you out.  You can check out this post I wrote about Foreigners Owning Real Estate In Russia.

“Hitler’s Alligator” Dies in Moscow Zoo

Born in humble circumstances in 1936 in the state of Mississippi in the USA, Saturn the Alligator, was captured and sent that very same year to Berlin.

What happened next is the recipe for the urban legend that later embodied his personality in the Moscow Zoo.

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Saturn the Alligator

In Berlin, Saturn was put on display in the zoo, and it is reported that Hitler loved the zoo, and specifically the alligators.

According to Saturn’s Wikipedia article, only 96 of the 16,000 animals in the Berlin Zoo survived the bombing at the end of the war.  Saturn was eventually taken in by British troops who later gave him as a gift to the Soviet Union.

The details of how Saturn arrived in Moscow are unknown due to the fact that a tourism office in Moscow burnt down in the 1950’s.  We also can only presume that these were difficult years for Saturn that he didn’t like to discuss, even in his later years.

Mississippi alligators generally only live into their forties, but Saturn apparently was living the dream at the Moscow Zoo, because he passed away on May 23, 2020 at the ripe old age of 84.

Here is a video of Saturn getting a bath.

TJ Journal quotes Moscow Zoo employees as saying “He saw many of us as children.  We hope that we have not disappointed him.”

Saturn was preceded in death by his first wife, Shipka.

 

 

Russia’s Formula for Coronavirus Easing

Russia is currently number two in the world for confirmed coronavirus cases. But with the statistics starting to show a welcome drop in new cases, it’s time to turn our attention to how Russia will begin to ease from the current “self-isolation” to life as usual.

Russia’s Rospotrebodnazor (fabulously translated on their own web-site as the Russian Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing) is largely responsible for this process.

What drew me to study the Rospotrebodnazor details was some comments by Moscow regional Governor Andrey Vorobyev, mentioning that the region was ready to begin the easing process because, “We create hospital beds every day, therefore, most likely, by all three indicators we will be ready (for the start of easing) by Monday.”

In the midst of the madness that the world has found itself in, I love a formula.  So, here are the three phases, and three key indicators to ease to each phase, according to this May 8th document from Rospotrebadnozor, with my best attempt at explaining them.  It is important to note that, given Russia’s enormous land area, this will be controlled and processed on a regional level.

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It seems it will be a long time before we return to life with scenes like this from Red Square.  But there is a formula on how to move in that direction.

Phase 1:

In this first phase of easing, you are permitted to:

  • Exercise outside (until now prohibited), but not more than 2 people in one place, and they must be 5 meters apart.
  • You may walk outside (until now, also prohibited, unless you are walking to essential work, the grocery store, or a pharmacy), but not in groups of more than 2 people while maintaining social distancing.  During your walk, you must avoid “places of mass congregation”, including playgrounds.
  • Service-based businesses can re-open.  I’m unsure which services might qualify or not.
  • Non-grocery stores may open if they have their own separate entrance, if their space is 400 square meters or less, and if they can control that there is not more than one shopper in the store per 4 square meters.
  • What I do NOT see in Phase 1: Construction and manufacturing.  Both of these were re-instated in Moscow on May 12th, and my assumption is that they are considered pre-Phase 1.  Please correct me in the comments, if I’m wrong! 🙂

And now, perhaps more interesting, the criteria to enter Phase 1:

  • The Rt Index must not be greater than 1.  My understanding is that this means that one infected person must not infect more than one other person on average.
  • “Availability of free bed capacity at least 50% of the normative need for infectious beds.”  I understand this to mean that there needs to be a certain percentage of open hospital beds ready to treat COVID-19 patients.  This is why I found Governor Vorobyev’s comments to be interesting.  There certainly is the feeling that they are creating as many beds as possible in order to expedite the ability to enter Phase 1.
  • There must be a daily average of not less than 70 PCR tests per 100,000 population (taken over a 7-day average).

Phase-2:

In Phase 2, you are permitted to:

  • Open stores of up to 800 square meters, provided there is a separate entrance and you control that there is not more than one customer per 4 square meters.  Street markets and points of sale may also open at this point.
  • Certain educational institutions will open.  The document does not specify which ones.

Phase-2 criteria:

  • The Rt Index must not be greater than 0.8.  My understanding is that this means that one infected person must not infect more than one other person on average.
  • “Availability of free bed capacity at least 50% of the normative need for infectious beds.”
  • There must be a daily average of not less than 90 PCR tests per 100,000 population (taken over a 7-day average).

Phase-3:

In Phase-3, the restrictions are relaxed to:

  • All shopping centers are opened, with no restriction on the number of shoppers or floor space.
  • All public eateries are opened, with the restriction that tables must be 1.5-2 meters apart.
  • All educational institutions re-opened.
  • All hotels open.
  • Public “rest” areas: parks, squares, etc. re-opened.

During all phases:

  • People with health risk-factors and anyone 65 years of age or older must remain self-isolated.
  • Masks must be worn in all public spaces, including public transport.
  • Social distancing must be maintained (1.5 meters).
  • Upon re-opening, businesses and other organizations are required to hold health safety meetings with their employees.

My understanding is that if there is a degrading of the COVID-19 situation that there will be a return to full self-isolation or perhaps a step back in the phasing.

Most interesting is what appears to be a determination on the part of Governor Vorobyev to reach these criteria as quickly as possible through the enforcement of social distancing, health care, and continued increase in available hospital beds.

DISCLAIMER:

I am no expert in these area.  This is my attempt to cut through the coronavirus information overload and share my understanding of Russia’s formula for easing the current restrictions.  If you speak Russian and really want to geek out on the formula, you can either check out the document yourself or just take a quick look at the exact formula here:

Снимок экрана 2020-05-18 в 14.19.02 As always, be sure to use the comment section to let me know where I have made mistakes! 🙂

And most importantly, stay healthy!

 

 

American On Lockdown In Russia

This is a guest-post. There is plenty of information out there about the self-isolation situation in Russia, and particularly in Moscow.  So, I thought it would be interesting to catch the point of view of an American who is far away from the capital city, in the city of Ekaterinburg.

Stefan is a retired Respiratory Therapist who started coming to Russia in 2005. While he lived in Perm full time for several years, he now splits his time between Bangkok, Penang, and Ekaterinburg. As a hobby, he tours around the Ural region as a Blues singer with a band of local musicians.

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Stefan continues to smile from his flat in Ekat.

Stefan Goes To The Moon – And Stays There, Thanks To The ‘Rona
So when I first started coming to Russia in 2005 (on the advice of a Russian colleague), my friends were understandably amazed – they had no concept of traveling that far, or to that place. I used to joke with them, ‘hey, it’s not like I’m going to the moon’, though it seemed they thought I was.
After I’d been to Perm a few times, and established contacts and an ‘alternate life’ there, I became known as ‘The American In Town’ (Perm was a closed city during Soviet times, and they didn’t have a big experience with foreigners). Several times the local media would want to interview me, to get an American’s perspective on life in Russia. I told one reporter the story about how my US friends thought I was going to the moon when I came to Perm, which she thought was quite funny. When the story came out in the local paper (this was pre easy access to the internet in Russia) I saw that the title of the article was ‘Stefan Goes To The Moon’. I and all my Russian friends got a big kick out of that, surely.
Fast forward 15 years, and I find myself back in the Urals, ostensibly to do a 10 week Spring Blues Tour with my guys. I’d originally planned to come on 19 March, but when some shows in Kirov got booked, I saw that I needed to come a week earlier. This turned out to be highly fortunate, since Russia got locked down 18 March, and If I’d followed the original plan, I would not have been able to come at all, and I’d be stuck in Thailand.

Stefan displays his blues skills on a local Russia morning TV show in 2018:

So here I am in Ekaterinburg, 6 weeks in, with no shows, in a locked-down city, in a locked-down country. No meetings with friends, no going out to eat in a nice restaurant, etc. As with everyone else in the world, I’m having to adjust to being Sheltered In Place.

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Downtown Ekaterinburg

My agent here in Russia hooked me up with a studio flat in Eburg’s city center. Close to shopping and our rehearsal studio. It has a shop onsite the has all the food essential. It’s a new building, and very clean. The staff is excellent, and they even have hand sanitizer in the lobby. Two-minute walk to McDs, Blues, and the all-important ‘Red & White’ shop.

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A shot of Stefan’s lockdown quarters.

It’s not unlike getting on a train in St. Petersburg, on a trip to Vladivostok. Oh, and when you get there, you sleep through the layover, and the train heads back west with you on it. Or you can say it’s like going on a trip to the moon.
Listen to Stefan tell the story of his “trip to the moon” and then enjoy his “flying to Russia song”. His mellow vibes serve as a beacon to fellow expats around Russia, learning to live a new life with coronavirus.

How I Got An Unlimited Russian Residence Permit

You might be thinking of getting a Russian residence permit if things are starting to get serious between you and the Motherland.

I will tell you the story of how I got an unlimited Russian residency permit.  By unlimited, I mean a Russian residence permit “with no expiration date”.  This is the result of a new law that came into effect on November 1, 2019, simplifying both the requirements for residency permits in Russia and also making these permits free of expiration dates.

I won’t tell you every single step, because that would require much more than a blog post.  That would be sort of like doing an interview with Neil Armstrong on the lunar surface and asking, “How does a man get on the moon?”.

If you are looking for a to-do list on getting a Russian residence permit, there are plenty of good resources online.  If you would like someone to guide you through the process, I will provide a recommendation at the end of this post.  Because I’m not that guy.

Here are a few points to get started with for applying for your Russian residence permit.  There are exceptions to nearly every point, but in most cases:

  • In order to get a permanent residence permit in Russia, you will first need to get a temporary residency permit.
  • In order to get a temporary residence permit, you will first need to already be in Russia, which in most cases, will mean you need a visa.
  • Owning real estate in Russia does not guarantee residency, but it does simplify the process.  Because otherwise, you will need to find a good friend who will register you in their home.  Not always an easy task.  As a point of product placement in this blog post, I might mention that I run a real estate agency in Moscow, and we are seeing a rapidly growing number of foreigners make the decision to buy their own home.  This will certainly ease the residence application for them if they choose to follow that route.
  • You will need to pass a Russian language, history and law test (more on that later)
  • You will also need to pass various medical tests (such as TB, HIV).

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I’m smiling on the inside, like a Russian, after receiving my unlimited residence permit.

Here’s the great news.  In the past, the “permanent” Russia residence permits needed to be renewed every 5 years.  Not the end of the world, but also not my favorite procedure.

But as of December 1, 2019, all Russia permanent residence permits are now without an expiration date.  That means if you already have a Russia permanent residence permit, the next time you need to get a renewal, it will be for a shiny new residence permit, happily free of any expiration date.

3 Unusual Russian Investment Ideas

If you are going for renewal, here is the list of necessary documents, according to my local immigration office:

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This notice reads that in order to renew your Russia residence permit you will need:

  • To write an appeal letter for renewal (an example is found in the bottom third of this page).
  • Your passport and notarized passport translation.
  • Your current residence permit.
  • A document proving that you passed the Russian language, history, and law tests.
  • 2 photos, 35X45 on non-glossy photo paper.
  • And your receipt of paying the related fees.  Currently, that amount is 5000 rubles.  Which means if you have 4 kids and 1 wife, like this blogger, the total fees will be 30,000 rubles.

If you have already received your temporary residence permit you will agree with me- this could not possibly be any simpler.  But if you have renewed before, the new system might make you uneasy, just like it did me.  You see, in the past, you had to apply for renewal no later than 2 months before your residence permit was due for expiration.

However, the wording of the law under the renewal/no expiration date reform states that you can apply during the validity period of your current residence permit.  I hate keeping anything until the last minute.  So, in all, I paid 11 visits to my local immigration office over a period of 2 months.  Each time, I found a bit more useful information that was helpful in the process and was told to come back last minute.

If you are from a country that requires a visa to enter Russia, it is strongly recommended that you apply further in advance than we did!

How Much Does It Cost To Rent An Apartment In Moscow?

It’s probably worth mentioning that the lines in the immigration offices have become much more organized, much less desperate, and happily shorter, due to many people making appointments online.  It’s a much better system.  The lines didn’t really bother me during those 11 visits.  I do have queue experience, and I’ve learned that these types of situations in Russia are much more about a journey than a formula.  Once you learn that philosophical truth you will find life to be much more enjoyable.

And I do have a little experience with queues in Russia. 🙂

Long story short, two weeks of relative uneasiness, and yesterday we received our unlimited Russia residence permits.  Of course, this story is not over, because you have 7 days to get registered, so will be scrambling to do that after I write this blog post.

The Russian Language, History, and Law Test

This is sort of a side-show that perhaps deserves its own blog post.  If you have already done the test in the past 5 years, you shouldn’t have to do it again.  I had never done the test before.  Here are a few points that I still remember.

  • The year that the Romanov dynasty began.
  • If you adopt a child in Russia, you can’t marry them later.  I think if you fail that question you should not be allowed to get a residence permit anywhere.
  • There was an uprising in 1825.  Not sure what the kerfuffle was all about, but I know the year.
  • Your employer in Russia does not have the right to take away your passport.  There were quite a few points about labor law, presumably to protect new immigrants.
  • There is a fish festival in Moscow every year.  We listened to an audio segment about this and then answered questions.
  • I wrote a letter to an imaginary friend describing how I had taken part in a dance competition in Moscow.

Come to think of it, that’s all I remember!  Which is sort of surprising because I think I answered 100% of the answers right.  I’m not bragging.  I’m just saying.

Try a Sample Russian Language Test

Try a Sample Russian History Test

Try a Sample Russian Law Test

If you speak Russian and can memorize facts, it’s not too difficult.  Much easier than a Russian driver’s license test.

If you are serious about getting Russian residency, and want a guide, you can contact my friend Dmitry Phillipov here.  Dmitry is great and has helped a lot of folks. Dmitry’s consultations start at 250 euros, so only serious inquiries.   If you are at the beginning of your journey to Russia, I recommend that you start off with some time on Google and a visa.  

As for me, I guess the next step for me is to apply for Russian citizenship.  Because when it comes to love for the Motherland… it’s all about the journey.

 

 

 

The Fiddler on the Roof or Moskva-City? | Russian Real Estate Investment

An updated version of this post is available HERE.

Is it possible for foreigners to own real estate in Russia?  The answer is YES!

This blogger works in the area of real estate, and I can say that there is a rapidly growing interest in real estate investment in Russia.  I thought it would be interesting to share a few of the investment opportunities in Russia that have crossed my desk in recent weeks:

The Fiddler on the Roof

You can learn how to play the balalaika, buy a cow, move to the village, and build your very own banya. I guess this is an investment mainly in the sense that you would be investing in something like peace and quiet… or unforgettable life experience.

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Do you like carrying water and chopping wood?  Then this is for you!

Here’s a brick house for sale in a village in the Rostov region.

A Real Estate Investment/Medical Business

Not only is Russian law very open to the foreign purchase of real estate, it is also very open to foreign ownership of local businesses.

Here’s a clinic in the city of Perm, Russia that is selling both the facility, and also the licensing and business documents.  The clinic claims to have an annual stream of about 15,000 patients.

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You can own a functioning medical clinic in near Siberia for under $400,000 USD

There are a large number of real estate/business offers ranging from medical clinics to factories to stores or even small apartment buildings with long-term renters.  The latter has become a popular option among foreign university students, presumably financed by relatives from back home.

The “Apart-Hotel”

This is perhaps my favorite.  You can essentially buy an efficiency apartment in a hotel facility and either live there, rent it out yourself, or sign a contract with the hotel management in which they operate your apartment and you split the profits with them, often an 80/20 split.  There are many such options in Moscow and St. Petersburg, often located in high demand areas of the city.

For example, the Tverskaya Residence complex in downtown Moscow offers both penthouses (at $5 million USD and up) and also smaller efficiency apartments (starting at around $267,000) in the hotel portion of the building.  It offers a guaranteed annual return on investment of 10%, creating a true passive income with your real estate investment.

It’s the hotel’s responsibility to attract customers, service the room during their stay, clean, fix any damages… and transfer money to your bank account.Снимок экрана 2020-01-22 в 20.51.47.png

These 3 Russian Real Estate Investment options are only the tip of the iceberg.  It has been encouraging to see this uptick of serious long-term interest from foreigners from all around the world.

It’s cool to be a part of options with such a strong upside, help provide management options for the foreigner if they don’t plan to live in Russia, and also steer them away from dubious investment situations.

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It’s easy to forget about the villages when you visit Moscow’s vibrant Moskva-City district

Whether you are looking for an office in Moskva-City or have always dreamed of living in a Russian village, the doors are open, and you can start making steps towards a more serious long-term relationship with Russia today. And perhaps nothing shows how vast and diverse Russia is than all of its real estate investment opportunities.

And as I work in real estate, I enjoy being a small part of opening the potential of Russia to the world.  Welcome to Russia!

 

 

 

American Football 🏈 In Russia

The city of Izhevsk, Russia is probably best known as being the birthplace of the AK-47.  But the hidden surprise for me in my visit to this industrial city located a 16-hour train ride east of Moscow was the local American Football team.

Russians are known both for their love and mastery in sports from hockey and gymnastics, to weight-lifting and cross-country skiing.  But in 20 years of living in Russia, I had no idea that there was a small, but incredibly enthusiastic American football movement around Russia.  These are men who have taken the effort and time to learn the rules of American football, train, acquire the necessary equipment, and even travel around Russia to compete with similarly fanatical teams.

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A muscular Rafis looks more like a linebacker than nose guard to me, but as he happily exclaims “It’s fun to beat up people!”.

We caught up with the team during an evening practice and were able to hear their views on playing a completely obscure sport that they love, and also their views on their favorite NFL teams.

It was fun to ask them their opinion on my beloved, yet historically beleaguered Cleveland Browns, and be pleasantly surprised as they rattled off some of the Browns’ players’ names.

The team’s defensive coordinator gave an interesting viewpoint, saying that for the team members, playing football is a fight, and seemed to suggest that it is metaphorical for the fight that they face every day in their jobs and other life circumstances.

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Even acquiring the necessary equipment is no easy task as it must be sourced from the United States.

My Russian friend Zhenya is also a big American football fan.  He and I run the Russian language “The Amerikanets” YouTube channel.  I even wrote a blog post on why my YouTube channel is in Russian, instead of English.

But the passion of these American football players in Russia challenged Zhenya and me to start another very big project:  an English-language YouTube channel about life in Russia.

With that, here is our English-language video report from our time with the Izhevsk American Football Team:

I love the fact that every Russian city holds so many hidden surprises, and I hope that we can continue to show them to you as we travel around the nation.  Who knows, we might even break some stereotypes as we journey together.

And we will continue to create Russian language videos as well.  Here is our Russian video report of the same team:

I would love to hear your ideas for future videos.  What would you love for me to not just write about, but show?

BONUS: Check out the Izhevsk team in action as they take on the American football team from Perm, Russia.

 

Soviet Medical Treatment Finds Rebirth With Foreign Patients

“Those who have had lymphedema know how it feels.”

I’m talking to Natalia in a clinic in the city of Perm, a two-hour flight from Moscow.  She is describing the 14 years of pain and swelling in her legs that no doctors had been able to alleviate until she came in for treatment with the Lymphatech Clinic.

Natalia probably has no idea that this “miraculous” treatment began many years earlier during Soviet times.  It was already in 1986 that the Soviet medical authorities first approved further development of medical treatment through the lymphatic system.

ALSO READ: 4 Americans come to Russia for obscure medical treatment

Natalia’s story of lymphedema being treated with lymphatic methods is perhaps unsurprising, but surprising are the results that the clinic is now seeing treating arthritis, diabetes, certain types of cancers, pneumonia, asthma, and even mouth-breathing and snoring.

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The Lymphatech Clinic’s chief doctor, Professor Nadezhda Garyaeva, or as most of her foreign patients affectionately refer to her, “Doctor Nadya”.

The Lymphatech Clinic is housed in an unassuming two-story brick building not far from the center of the city of Perm.  Nobody would pick out this city on the edge of Siberia as the birthplace of innovative medical treatment.

But the Lymphatech clinic’s chief doctor, Professor Nadezhda Garyaeva, begins to tell her story:

In 1983, I went to Professor Borisov in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) to start a scientific career in lymphology – a branch of medicine about which many knew almost nothing. Namely, the lymphatic system largely determines the course and outcome of almost all diseases. We conducted research on the lymphatic vessels – I wrote a doctoral dissertation on this topic. I met with the academician Yuri Borodin, who headed the valuable Institute of Lymphology in Siberia. I was inspired by the possibilities that the lymphatic system offers to the doctor – a completely different approach to the treatment of the entire spectrum of diseases.

It is, of course, more than a little interesting that the lymphatic system, which affects so much of our health has remained largely ignored.

Visas to Russia, the Easy Way

It is also unfortunate that the political and economic events in the Soviet Union, and then Russia, in many ways hampered the further development of these ideas.  During the 1990’s, although Professor Garyaeva headed the largest department of the Perm Medical Academy, there was no funding for research, so she bravely created a private research institution that carried on this important work. As a result, 9 medical method patents were developed. 

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A Soviet medical document from 1987, related to lymphatic treatment.

For many years, the Lymphatech Clinic both successfully and quietly handled its work among local patients and was mostly known for its cutting-edge cancer treatment.  However, it is now starting to receive some international attention, and patients are making the trek internationally to this city in the heart of Russia.

Mike French has suffered from asthma and chronic sinus issues for many years.  Listen as he tells his story of visiting the Lymphatech Clinic in Perm.

Susanne Trokhymenko of England talks about how she was unable to find relief from her lymphedema, even after seeking medical attention for many years.  But at the Lymphatech Clinic, she was able to find relief after just two treatments.

Wee Tiong Howe is the head of an investment capital company in Singapore.  He describes his time at the Lymphatech Clinic as “Amazing. They were able to solve all of my issues in an extraordinarily short period of time.”

Patients are surprised to learn the benefits of this innovative treatment and how the lymphatic system affects so much of our health. But even more surprising is how the Lymphatec Clinic doctors take the time to thoroughly study their situation before moving into the treatment phase.  A first visit with Professor Garyaeva generally lasts at least two hours, as she is careful to look through all of the details and listen to the patient attentively.  The treatment itself is outpatient and usually involves a daily injection with the purpose of bringing health through the lymphatic system.  Since the injection is targeted, the dosage is lower and more effective than what a patient would experience elsewhere in the world.

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The blue highlights in this heart mark the lymphatic system.  When most patients see how significant the lymphatic system is for human health, their only question is “Why haven’t we heard about this before?”.

John is a retired plumbing contractor from the State of Ohio in the USA who was diagnosed with chronic leukemia a few years ago.  His latest tests showed a spike in his white blood cell count, but his American doctors offered him no options except to wait.

John decided to send his tests to the Lymphatech Clinic.  Three oncologists at the clinic, including Professor Garyaeva, spent 4 hours each, studying John’s test results.  They then sent him a detailed report in English. It was surprising for John to learn as the Lymphatech doctors explained that as they are members of both the Russian and American Cancer Societies, that they understand the approach to cancer treatments in both nations.  They then explained that with his present white blood count, that in Russia, chemotherapy treatments would have already been prescribed.  

The Lymphatech doctors’ report for John then explained that they had a high level of confidence that they could at least positively affect John’s situation, with a lymphatic system treatment.

Pleasantly surprised both by the doctors’ thoroughness, the price, and also simply an option other than “just waiting”, John immediately made plans to fly to Perm.  Listen as John describes his experience at the Lymphatech Clinic in detail on the clinic’s Facebook page.

Much of the clinic’s results can only be treated as anecdotal as there is not a large enough sample size to predict future results.  But the list is more than fascinating: Alzheimer’s, Type 2 Diabetes, multiple sclerosis, arteriosclerosis, and much more.

If you just have a question or are looking for a second opinion, you can contact the Lymphatech Clinic.  

On a personal note, I am proud to say that I am working with the Lymphatech Clinic.  And it is without reservation that I can say that this is one of the most both intriguing and useful of Russia’s gems that I have been able to uncover in 20 years of living in this great nation.