Some amendments to one-year visa requirements are going to change things for missionaries in Russia, as well as for other foreigners here with the same kind of visa.
To put it simply, with the kind of visa I have now, I can leave and enter the country as I please within the one-year period. Last year the requirements added a clause that foreigners had to leave every 6 months and come back in and reregister. But that could be done by simply crossing the border into Estonia or Finland and then coming back in, even that same day.
Under the new amendments, a foreigner with a one-year visa to Russia can remain in Russia for a maximum of only 90 days within a 180-day period, and 180 days in one year. So even though the visa is for one year, you can only physically be in Russia for half of that. If you want to maximize your time spent in Russia, you will have to observe the following schedule: 3 months in Russia, 3 months somewhere else, 3 months in Russia, 3 months somewhere else. For short-term missionaries who come and go often, it might work out okay. But it simply will not do for anyone who wants to live here full-time.
The law is supposedly in effect, but I don’t think can be applied to anyone who already had their visa. Meanwhile, Russian Consulates around the world have not been uniformly notified, so foreigners currently trying to settle visa questions are being given a variety of answers. It is going to take some investigating to obtain clearer answers. But within a year, as one-year visas begin to expire, a lot of foreigners in Russia will be thinking about what to do next.