I am an individual of Indian (person from India) descent. I have been asked by my company to travel to Russia later this year to carry out a market survey related to consumer durables. I will have to spend around 3 months in Russia, especially in Moscow, Volgograd,Vladivostok & Saint Petersburg.
However, based on information provided by various Western media groups related to safety in Russia, it seems any individual who is not White can be targeted in Russia by Neo-Nazis, Neo-Fascist and skinhead groups. Moreover it seems law enforcing authorities in Russia also harass dark skinned people.
The US state department in its travel advisory pertaining to Russia states:
Incidents of unprovoked, violent harassment against racial and ethnic minorities regularly occur throughout the Russian Federation. Travelers should exercise caution wherever large crowds have gathered. U.S. citizens most at risk are those of African, South Asian, or East Asian descent, or those who, because of their complexion, are perceived to be from the Caucasus region or the Middle East. These U.S. citizens are also at risk for harassment by police authorities.
Similarly the Canadian Government in its travel advisory regarding Russia states:
Crime against foreigners is a serious problem. Harassment and attacks are prevalent, especially for foreigners of Asian and African descent. Some victims have died.
I also came across a RT video that spoke about how an Indian student was stabbed to death in Moscow by skinheads.
So, I have two questions in this regard:
(1) What are the chances of physical violence against people, who are not of European descent?
(2) Is it difficult to find accommodation in cities like Moscow if you are not European?