One of the first things we did when we arrived in Moscow, was to buy a sim card. We didn`t buy one at the airport because we didn`t have energy to look for a place. However when we arrived at the Metro Station we saw an outlet for MTC (Pronounced MTS in Russian).
I remember back in 2008 it was extremely difficult to buy a sim card in Kaliningrad and we had to ask a friend to do it. She also had to complete paper work. 4 years later it has changed completely and now you find outlets everywhere in the city. All you need is your passport and to be able to speak some Russian or ask somebody to translate for you. I am only joking, I am sure they will be able to help you in English.
We used MTC for the past 3 months and we have had no problems with their service. If you phone a friend who also uses MTC then you can phone for free. Reception is good and you can recharge at any supermarket or shopping centre. They have electronic machines everywhere.
Call rates and sms charges are relatively cheap. There are other companies as well like Beeline. I guess they are all more or less the same.
In a nutshell: You will not battle to get hold of a sim card while you are in Russia. The language might be a problem but I am sure somebody will be able to help you in English in the big cities. In smaller cities you might battle with the language.
When: 17 May 2012