Allegedly undocumented Russians in Bali are getting cheekily called out by this Instagram account

Screenshots from Instagram/@moscow_cabang_bali
Screenshots from Instagram/@moscow_cabang_bali

With 212 posts and counting since Feb. 10, a fresh community Instagram account is taking over online discourse in Bali recently.

Its niche? The account seems to have been launched with the explicit purpose of calling out Russian nationals (as well as a smattering of foreigners from other countries here and there) who are working illegally and/or have been misbehaving in Bali.

@moscow_cabang_bali roughly translates to Bali being a chapter or extension of the Russian capital. The account describes itself as a provider of “free marketing service” to micro, small, and medium enterprises — a sarcastic dig at Russians making a living in Bali without the proper documents.

From freelance photographers to yogis to tattoo artists to vocal coaches to property agents dealing in rubles, alleged illegal workers are being named and shamed by the account with incredible regularity. Much of its content is crowdsourced.

One pinned post shows that people in Bali are starting to catch wind of what @moscow_cabang_bali is up to, with one Russian national warning those who are working without the appropriate permits to either stop or be more discrete in their activities.

Of course, there is the occasional post about good old misbehaving foreigners.

The account has even engaged with Russians who accuse it of inciting racism and hatred. It has always cheekily dodged the accusations, maintaining that it is merely a free marketing service.

We have reached out to @moscow_cabang_bali for comment, as we are curious as to why it almost exclusively calls out Russians. A recent post by another account and shared by @moscow_cabang_bali seems to suggest that there is acknowledgement of things getting out of hand, and that the true solution was to put pressure on the authorities who have long turned a blind eye to foreigners — Russian or otherwise — tainting life on the island.

“I’m all for jokes and memes but this anti-Russian rhetoric is getting pretty weird, people being so angry and absolutist against a whole entire race,” the post’s caption reads.

“Bali has been taken advantage of for a long long time, yes the day to day behaviour of some Russian’s maybe quite brazen. But is it really worse than the Aussie schoolies off their head making a mess while partying in Kuta or the businesses which have caused a looming environmental water and waste disaster?

“Bali has many problems and hating on some annoying Russians are not the key to solving it, put pressure on those in power if you want to see true change.”

In its bio, @moscow_cabang_bali pasted a link to Lapor!, an online platform for public complaints.

Immigration officials say over 58,000 Russians arrived in Bali last year. In January of this year alone, Bali saw more than 22,500 arrivals from Russia.

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Editor’s note: We previously attributed to the last Instagram post to @moscow_cabang_bali, whereas in fact the account merely shared another account’s post. We have corrected this mistake and we apologize for the error.

Reader Interactions


  1. It’s not a problem peculiar to Bali. Visa ‘abuse’ is world wide.
    I’ll bet for example there’s far more Indonesians OS working contrary to their visas.
    In many cases shutting down or penalising is counter productive.
    They employ local staff and pay for and use local utilities.
    Perhaps it’s simple. If the ‘business’ is generating local income tax it rather than closing .

  2. It may be that only a small part of Russians behave badly. But my friends and I in Bali subjectively feel that it is among the foreigners, those who behave by far the worst (naked in the temple is still the most harmless). They show little to no respect for the host country. Increasingly, we find that more and more Russians take away the work of the Balinese through illegal work activities. Also, the Russians are trying to install mafia-like structures here in Bali (e.g. the many cryptoactivities). Do you really think that if they set up a business here they will hire locals? No, they are trying to hire only Russians, of course. I also don’t mind if they have a work permit, but very many try to work here illegally. That is why I support the new initiative to stop and punish illegal work regardless of nationality. I myself have had to deal with Russians, their mentality is simply different from the Asian mentality, especially the Balinese. Ask Google why the Russians rarely laugh, they see this among other things as a weakness and therefore look down on these people. For most Russians, the only rule is that the strongest is right and gets his way.
    Yes, other nationalities do not behave properly either. Often the Aussies are called, just the young people organize nasty parties on Bali and beat very often over the top. But they do not have the criminal energy like the Russians and do not take away the jobs of the locals.

  3. The Russians have brought themselves under the microscope and have no one to blame but themselves. There is so much that is not disclosed bc it is hidden in Russian language website. I love the Russians, great people, great history, strong to the everything life has to offer. We have to look at the present Geopolitical situation in that Russia is a war. Who wants to live in Russia and deal with the stress of war, when you can be in Bali on the beach and find a way to live.

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