Messaging • Last Updated 1/16/2024

How to text Russia: A guide to business communications

This guide provides helpful tips for texting in Russia. Learn how to send text messages to Russia and avoid common mistakes.

By Adeniyi Makinde

Are you struggling to send text messages to Russia? Whether you're a business owner, marketer, or salesperson, we’ve got you covered. Sending text messages (also called SMS) to Russia is easy, but it requires attention to detail to ensure your message gets delivered. This guide will cover the ins and outs of texting to Russia, including formatting, country codes, and regulatory compliance.

Sending a text to Russia

In Russia, local phone numbers vary between five, six, and seven digits depending on the city and network provider. They also start with a three-digit area code depending on the location of the phone and its user in the country (area codes vary between 3-6 digits, but are mostly three).

Russian phone number formatting

A Russian phone number is normally a 10-digit series that includes the country code, area code, and local number. The number normally starts with Russia’s country code: +7 (or +8 when dialing within Russia).

The area code, a sequence representing a particular region or city within Russia, is between 3-6 digits. And the local number—a 5-7 digit combination that’s distinct within the designated area code—comes after. However, there are nuances for individual cities.

The size of a city determines its need for more specific numbers. That's why larger cities have three-digit area codes and seven-digit individual numbers, while smaller villages opt for five-digit codes and five-digit individual numbers.

For instance, Moscow and St. Petersburg, the largest cities in the country, use 495 and 812, respectively, as their area codes.

On the other hand, a smaller town like Volokolamsk, which is home to fewer than 20,000 residents, uses a five-digit area code (49636) and a matching five-digit individual number. Then there are cities like Kaluga, with around 340,000 residents, which fall in between. Kaluga employs a six-digit area code (4842) and six-digit individual phone numbers.

Russian country code

When texting someone in Russia, you must include the country code +7 to alert the mobile network that your message is intended for Russia.

To input the country code, long-press the "0" key on your phone until a "+" symbol appears, or type "007" before the phone number.

After adding the country code, ensure the Russian phone number follows the correct format: a sequence beginning with the area code, followed by the local number. Once the Russian phone number is properly formatted, enter it into the "Recipient" field on your messaging app to send your message.

When texting internationally, always remember to input the country code (+7) to avoid message misdelivery. However, when texting from within Russia, you don’t need the country prefix code.

Staying compliant while texting Russia

When sending text messages in Russia, it's crucial to adhere to the country's specific regulatory requirements to avoid legal complications. Russia has stringent laws and regulations governing SMS messaging, overseen by bodies such as the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology, and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor) and the Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media of the Russian Federation (Minkomsvyaz). These organizations enforce rules designed to protect consumer rights and prevent fraudulent activities.

Under Russian regulations, businesses must secure explicit consent from individuals before sending them SMS messages. This consent must be clearly and voluntarily given, and records of consent should be maintained. Sending unsolicited text messages is strictly prohibited, and companies found violating these rules may be subject to significant penalties.

Furthermore, all SMS messages must include a straightforward opt-out mechanism, enabling recipients to easily unsubscribe from future communications. Non-compliance with these opt-out requirements can also lead to severe fines and legal actions. It’s essential that your business stays up-to-date with the latest regulations to ensure continued compliance with Russian SMS messaging laws.

5 steps to send a text to Russia

Now that you’re equipped with the knowledge of formatting guidelines and regulatory compliance, you're ready to send your first text message to Russia. Follow these steps to send your message:

  1. Inspect the number to ensure it's in the correct format.
  2. Make sure to include Russia’s country code (+7) if you’re texting from outside Russia.
  3. Input the correctly-formatted number into the "Recipient" field.
  4. Ensure your message complies with any local or international regulations when sending texts to Russia.
  5. Compose and send your message.

Now that you know how to format and send a text message to Russia, it's important to follow some best practices to ensure your messages are delivered successfully and comply with local regulations.

Best practices for texting Russian numbers

Businesses should consider the following, which reflect Russia's approach to managing digital communications, emphasizing user consent, identifiable users, and restrictions on foreign messaging services, especially for government officials:

Strict opt-in requirements

In Russia, there are strict requirements for obtaining consent (opt-in) from users before sending them text messages. Penalties of up to 500,000 RUB may apply for each short text message sent without proof of a valid opt-in. This emphasizes the importance of ensuring that recipients have explicitly agreed to receive messages.

Regulation of messaging services

The regulation of messaging services in Russia, including messenger apps, is an attempt to apply traditional regulatory approaches to new technologies. This includes ensuring that all users of messaging apps are identifiable, as per a decree by the Russian government.

Time restrictions

There are restrictions on the time during which messages can be sent. Communications are only allowed during an end user's daytime hours, which helps prevent unwanted disturbances during night or early morning hours.

Enforcement actions

There have been instances where Russian authorities have imposed fines for unlawful SMS marketing. For example, the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) in Moscow fined MTS, a major telecommunications company, for such violations.

Ban on foreign messaging apps for government officials

Russian government officials are prohibited from using messaging apps developed and run by foreign companies, as per a new law. This law reflects the government's approach to controlling and regulating digital communication within its jurisdiction.

Choosing the right greeting for your text message to Russia

You don’t need to be a fluent Russian speaker to be able to include an appropriate basic greeting when texting. In Russia, greetings in text messages can vary based on the level of formality and the relationship between the individuals.

Here are common greetings for both formal and informal situations:

Formal greetings

"Здравствуйте" (Zdravstvuyte)

This is the formal way of saying "Hello" or "Greetings." It's appropriate for professional or formal interactions, especially when addressing someone you don't know well or someone in a higher position.

"Добрый день" (Dobryy den')

Translating to "Good day," this is another polite way to greet someone in a formal context during the daytime.

"Уважаемый/Уважаемая" (Uvazhaemyy/Uvazhaemaya)

This phrase translates to "Respected" or "Dear" and is often used in formal communication before addressing someone by name. For instance, "Уважаемый г-н Иванов" (Respected Mr. Ivanov).

Informal greetings

"Привет" (Privet)

This is a common informal greeting similar to "Hi" or "Hello" used among friends, peers, or in casual settings.

"Здравствуй" (Zdravstvuy)

A slightly less formal version of "Здравствуйте" used in more familiar settings but still respectful.

"Приветствую" (Privetstvuyu)

A formalized version of "Привет" used in a more respectful or polite manner, often in semi-formal situations.

The choice of greeting largely depends on the relationship, context, and level of formality you want to convey. In professional or formal settings, it's safer to use the more formal greetings initially, and as the conversation progresses and rapport builds, you can shift to a more informal style if appropriate.

Text Russia: How to get started

With these tips and recommendations, you're ready to send SMS messages to Russia with confidence. Whether you're sending a personal message or business communication, understanding the formatting and regulatory compliance is essential to ensure your message gets delivered.

If you’re looking for more guidance on global texting, Telnyx’s team of experts can help you navigate the complexities of international communication. Telnyx is a next-gen communications platform that offers a global private IP network, multi-cloud redundancy, and carrier-grade services. Our developer-friendly SMS API and intelligent features make it easy to build messaging capabilities into your existing apps. We also offer support and guidance to help you grow and scale your business.

With competitive pricing and a wide variety of local phone numbers in over 140 countries, Telnyx provides cost-effective messaging solutions with unmatched expertise. Our deliverability reports help businesses optimize their messaging campaigns, while easy implementation and a complete set of features make it easy to get started.

Contact our experts today to learn how we can help your business communicate effectively with contacts in Russia and 140+ other countries.

Note: This is not legal advice. Consult your legal team and the appropriate regulatory authorities before beginning an SMS message campaign in Russia.

Share on Social

Related articles

Sign up and start building.