Passport magazine: Russian lifestyle
Home Archive December 2011

About Us

From the Publisher

Contact Us

Current IssueArchive
Restaurant GuideRestaurant ReviewsInternational Food BlogsWine TastingsTravelMoscow EmbassiesAirlines to RussiaMoscow AirportsCustoms and VisasResidence permitMoscow Phone DirectoryMuseums and GalleriesWi-Fi Hot Spots in MoscowClubs!Community ListingsMoscow Downtown MapMoscow Metro MapRussian LinksInternational Links
Advertise with Us
Our Readers - a profileAdvertising RatesDistribution List
Click for Moscow, Russia Forecast
Our Partners
Knights of the Vine RUSSIA


Playing War and Peace
Text by Eva Hua.
Photos by Eva Hua and Tatyana Tsvetkova

A great way to spend a sportive day in Moscow with your friends is definitely paintball. Surely one has to be a bit of a sadist (and has to have a certain level of pain tolerance as well), as this is not a lazy Sunday afternoon in the park. In addition to the ordinary bruises and exhaustion from the game, in Russia you can occasionally also expect consequences from over eating or heavy alcohol consumption.

So what is paintball all about? Very generally, people play in teams, dressed in camouflage and face masks (which is very important to avoid serious accidents), equipped with air guns (markers) filled with rainbow-colored, marble-sized gel balls. Game-play includes simulations of terrorists (one team) guarding a house, while others try to clear it, grabbing a flag from the other team or just shooting each other. But that’s not all. In Moscow, where leisure activities are rather scarce, paintballing becomes a whole-day event. Reasons for paintballing can be anything you want, some celebrate birthdays shooting each other merrily, others come for corporate team-building and a way to finally get out what you really feel about your colleagues, and all that while getting some good exercise. But there is time for making peace with each other in between games, over beers and a barbecue.

In the paintball clubs, the number of male players is clearly greater. Although some hard-core girls are not afraid of blue colored bruises all over their bodies (yes, when you shoot at a person, the gel ball pops and often leaves a quite painful spot, so good shoes, pants and gloves are recommended), as are broken nails and strong arms (the marker weighs quite a bit). Many Russian girls excuse themselves from paintballing and watch their male counterparts playing while taking photos or preparing snacks.

But where to go in Moscow? A personal favorite is Paintland Poligon, located in the middle of Kuzminki Park, not far from the centre and reachable by Metro, with reasonable diversity in game courts, offering an airfield, village, bunker and some other constructions from wooden houses to old soviet tank and trucks. When selecting the location, one has to look for a variety of game courts. Places that offer only one or two different courts quickly get boring. A plus is also a location reachable via Metro, otherwise the entire beer and barbecue idea will not work—you can’t cut the peacemaking part of it. To each visiting group, an instructor is assigned to give a brief lesson on how to use the equipment without getting hurt, and he also plays the part of the referee for your team. Unfortunately the need of English language for those trainers hasn’t arisen yet—so a basic understanding of Russian is recommended.

Ambitious paintballers reserve the club of their choice about a week ahead, including a place in a tent, a grill and bring along their entire catering. As an example, the location mentioned above takes an entrance fee of about 300 roubles per person (when booking, pre-payment is required), plus equipment (marker, uniform and mask) for 150 roubles per person, barbecue grill rent for 450 roubles and space in the resting tents for about 2000 roubles depending on the number of people. Professionals and wannabes bring their own equipment, in which they invest often quite a sum. Various online shops offer fully automatic markers, grenades (many gel balls exploding at once), clothing and of course paintballs. The latter is recommended to buy up front via an online shop for about 1200 roubles per box of 2000 bullets instead of 2800 roubles at the club. Calculate about 600 balls per person. Playing in cold Russian winter? Shops even sell special paintballs, which do not freeze when the temperature goes below freezing point.

After a few rounds, the first shashliky (an integral part of nearly every Russian outdoor get-together) are roasted on the grills. Vegetables are washed at very basic washing facilities (outdoor plastic toilet containers with outdoor sinks) accompanied by beers. While most guys focus on the sportive side of this event, some indulge in Russian-style drinking (shots of vodka or cognac, including drinking toasts) and overeating in their tents. Whether you play or party, paintball is fun and on the next day you can start a contest comparing who has the most bruises on their bodies, watching them changing colors.

 Copyright 2004-2012 +7 (495) 640 0508,,
website development – Telemark
OnLine M&A Russia Deal Book
Follow Us