You can also use wire-transfer services of the major international banks which have subsidiaries in Russia (for example ICICI Bank) without opening a bank account. For example, VTB24 charges $20 or 1% for an outgoing transfer. Normally the money is credited in 3 business days. If you use Promsvyazbank the money arrives at your account the next day.
Another option you might look at is online transfers like e-moneygram. They a fraction of the cost of Western Union.You could probably send a few thousand cheaper than a wire. The Moscow International Bank offers online money transfer services through its website.
If you need to transfer money within Russia, a good option is to do it using the services of the post office. At the moment Post of Russia is a money transfer leader in the home market with a market share of 30-50%. Posts of Russia’s services include CyberMoney (KiberDengi) – a mobile money transfer service. Currently, in Russia money orders remain the most popular means of transferring money between individuals. Russian Post operates nationwide, in even the most remote parts of the country.
Money order payment is typically carried out within 72 hours, depending on how far your money is travelling. Maximal sums of money orders are 500.000 rubles. As for the rates, for example, if you transfer up to 1.000 rub you will pay a 5% commission of the transferred sum.