I'm looking to book an apartment in Moscow for 2 weeks this summer. What alternatives exist for Booking.com/Airbnb, which shut down their operations in Russia last year? Ideally it would be a platform that lets me put down a reservation using a Visa/Mastercard but Mir could also work as a worst case scenario.
There are two obvious alternatives:
Ostrovok.ru, which is a decade old faithful clone of Booking.com with somewhat better UI, I've used it half an hour ago to book a hotel in Vytegra. Many hotels do not require paying in advance at all — you may pay in cash when you arrive.
sutochno.ru, which is more like AirBNB, but mostly targets business travellers and not party goers. Expect short term flat rentals. It would usually be sufficient to prepay a fraction of stay via Sberbank/SBP instant transfer. Most apartment rentals cannot accept cards anyway.
I would suggest trying Avito for renting an apartment short-term. As a replacement of AirBnB.
Avito is a general classified advertisement service, so you have to switch to the real estate section. Unfortunately, the service does not have an English language version of the website, but online translation service do a decent job translating it on the fly.