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How to call a Russian cell-phone mobile number from a foreign country?

+2 votes
Hello People,

I am trying to call a friend who is living in St. Petersburg but I can't establish any connection.

I type the number in this way: 007(904)xxxxxxx.

I know that 7 is the Russia's code.
1 also know that 904 is a federal code.

The problem is that I don't hear a tone (phone ringing) neither a welcome voice-mail message. What I hear is the following message: "The phone is turned off".

I have read this article:
Types of Cellphone Numbers in Russia

Historically, there are two types of mobile numbers in Russia: a "city" one and a "federal" one.
The "city" one is a normal phone number of the city where you are based (for example, 555-5555 in Moscow). It is as if you have a normal city phone and it is almost not recognizable from a standard fixed line number.
The "federal" cannot be accessed directly: you should dial it as if you are calling to another city: 8 wait for a tone, then a code of the network (i.e. 902, 903), and then the 7-digit number. Even if you are in Moscow and you are calling to a "federal" number in Moscow, you should dial the number through "8 tone code" routine.
It is obvious that the "city" numbers are much easier to remember and to access, however, they are more expensive. With a "federal" number you can generally "pay as you go", there are no monthly fees, while with a "city" number you have to pay a certain fixed fee every month on top of your calls (from $20 per month).


Does this mean that I should type the following number:
0078 (wait for the tone)

I hope that my problem is clear for you guys and some of you will be able to tell me should I do.

Otherwise, can one of you tell me to which operator does the number 904xxxxxxx belong please?

Thanks in advance!
asked Mar 6, 2015 in About Russia by demleedz (1,400 points)
Call a Russian mobile, cheap and easy using WayToRussia phone cards: https://phonecards.waytorussia.net

1 Answer

+1 vote
Best answer

It's true what you write about the numbers.

Basically, when you get a number inside Russia it will often be either something like

8 904 492 24 94


192 29 29


(495) 319 92 29

The last two numbers are most likely to be city numbers, so if you're in the same city and you're using a stationary phone (not a mobile),  you just need to dial the last 7 digits with no codes.

If you're using a mobile, you can dial 8 (code - e.g. 495) and then 319 92 29.

The first number you always have to dial using all the digits: 8 904 492 24 94

However, the surest way to avoid confusion is to use +7 (Russia's country code) instead of 8 – a standard international way of notating numbers.

In this case, if somebody gives you a number like 8 905 202 22 84 just write it down using +7 instead of 8, so +7 905 202 22 84

If somebody in Moscow gives you a number like 392-3923 write it down using the country code, the city code, and the number, so: +7 495 392-3923

Also, keep in mind that calling to Russian mobile phones can be much more expensive than calling the city phones. However, you can use our partners' phonecards, which you can buy online on http://phonecards.waytorussia.net/ and start using straight away. Their prices are very likely to be much cheaper than Skype or your cellphone provider.
answered Mar 6, 2015 by WayToRussia (3,930 points)
edited Nov 9, 2020 by Ivan Stepanenko