The most common visa entry options for crews coming to film in Russia are a Media Visa, Cultural Visa, or Business Visa.
Media Visas are most often applied for by journalists. Visiting crew submit their application and passport scans to the Russian Foreign Ministry. The Russian fixer / service producer then deals with the Russian Foreign Ministry on your behalf. Once Telex numbers processed the Media Visa is stamped in crew passports. Process takes about 2 weeks. Visas are usually valid for around 1 month, which makes them good for short form projects.
Cultural visas are valid for around a year so a better option for long-form shoots or shoots involving multiple entries. Visiting crew submit their application and passport scans. Usually takes 2-3 weeks to process. Russian Immigration services issue physical invitations which the Russian fixer / service producer sends to the Moscow embassy for visiting crew to collect. The embassy takes about 3-5 days to process once they receive the invites.
Visiting on business visas is a better option for crews that don’t have the lead time and are only planning to shoot small-footprint shoots in mostly private locations. Not a good idea if you are planning a larger footprint shoot or are filming in sensitive locations.