Many Muscovites decided to escape from Moscow, after medics urged everyone to use any opportunity of going out of the city to avoid smog and high temperatures. Dishonest travel agencies quickly used the situation to gain profit from suffocating people. As a result, those who, who believed commercial promises, found themselves in trouble in their destination spots, a report by Vesti-Moskva said.
In Turkey, for example, Russian tourists had to storm the kitchen of their hotel restaurant after they had not been given any food for several days because of a computer mistake.
A female Muscovite, who purchased a tour from a small travel agency, was jailed in Arab Emirates for two days because the visa confirmation, which the agency provided, turned out to be a fake. The inviting company offered the woman to either go back to Russia or stay at the airport for several weeks before she received the real visa. The woman managed to defend her right and even win a $2,000 compensation from the travel agency.
Another tourist from Moscow had her hotel replaced shortly before her departure from Moscow. As a result, the woman was accommodated in a place, which, as she said, looked like a brothel, although she paid her money for three-star hotel accommodation.
Experienced travelers know that one should not believe nice photographs in promotional booklets. For example, a booklet of a Turkish hotel offers very nice photographs of the location, but it does not say a word about the sewer in the bay right opposite the beach. The sewer was discovered by divers. The canalization tube on the beach of a 5-star SPA resort in Greece is not mentioned in any promotional materials either, of course.
Many Moscow-based companies decided to take extraordinary measures because of the thick smog in the city. Employees can take days off, work from home or even travel to the sea at employer's expense. Other companies provide their employees with gas masks. A large publishing house offered its female employees to take their children to a sea resort at the expense of the company for the time period of up to one month. Male employees suffering from asthma or lung diseases received tickets to the sea too. Others received bromhexine, vitamin C and medical masks free of charge.
Employees of another large company, a news agency, were offered to go to a resort on the cost of the Gulf of Finland. The administration of the company is also ready to cover 50% of the cost of the tour for employees' family members.
Some other companies changed work and day hours (four days a week instead of five), provided employees with masks, ice cream and milk, which prevents carbon monoxide poisoning.
Many Muscovites acknowledged that they were very happy about their office works, because air conditioned offices became the only place for them, where they could rest from heat and smog. Many others complained, though, that the smoke had seeped into their offices and made their work a torture.
Vadim Gorshenin, the head of Pravda.Ru media holding, describes several options of how the situation may develop in Russia in the near future, after Vladimir Putin's presidency