OK, as I mentioned in a couple of other threads:
1. There is no way UEFA can enforce the "must have ticket" threat - it's bullsh*t.
2. To save the hassle with the paperwork, go via an "agency" - you pay 30-40 quid extra on top of the 45-quid visa fee but it's worth it but you'll probably have to do this in ADVANCE, i.e. before the semi-final outcome is known.
3. In case of an English team making it to the final, as I mentioned to some people in Milan, the only really viable way of the Russian consular services dealing with a glut of visa applications would probably be to prioritise travel firms arranging organised trips at the expense of independent travellers as bulk applications are obviously easier to process.