I am a US citizen. I'm only concerned about the Russian Visa situation.
Because of the timing of the trip and the fact that I don't live near a consulate, if a visa is required, the trip cannot happen or I'll have to book a flight at twice the cost.
Dusseldorf ---> Moscow DME (5 hour layover) ---> Osh.
Return: Dushanbe ---> Moscow---> Minsk ---> Paris.
Is the first flight okay without a visa because I am transiting? Is the return flight a problem because I fly to Minsk?
I have read one source that says as long as I am transiting, I don't need a visa. Wikipedia and this Russian Dutch Embassy website seem to say that I need a visa:
Please note that if a foreign citizen travels across the territory of Russia to the countries of the Customs Union (Belorussia, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan) he is required to apply for a transit visa, unless he’s a citizen of countries eligible for visa-free travel to Russia in accordance with bilateral agreements.
The Russian US embassy says I only need a transit visa if travelling to Belarus or changing airports. What if I am only travelling though Belarus?
Transit visa is required if the period of stay in Russia exceeds 24 hours or a traveler needs to change the airport.
To apply for a transit visa, an applicant should submit to the Consular Division a completed visa application form, national passport, one standard picture, Money Order (see points 1-4 of General Information), as well as:
Visa of the destination country;
Tickets for the whole itinerary.
Passengers travelling to the Republic of Belarus or the Republic of Kazakhstan via the Russian Federation must obtain Russian Transit Visas.
Does anyone have experience or knowledge about this?