A brief note on the tourist voucher

I personally have never needed one but will include a small section on them to avoid confusion. The bulk of this is from way to Russia but should prove useful. If you are involved in the visa process, the middle men or tourist agents should tell you anything you need to know, but if you are unsure and want to cover all your basis you can ask them about vouchers.

What are tourist vouchers?
The voucher is basically a receipt from the travel agency confirming you have paid for something, and the reservation confirmation is a confirmation for the consulate, that Mr. John Smith is indeed invited to Russia for such and such dates and will visit this and that city and the purpose of his trip is tourism. We hope that they (the Russian government) will get rid of all this formal crap soon, but for now, the most important is whether your data are correct (your name, birth date, passport number), and whether the entry / leaving dates are correct, because that's the period for which your visa will be issued. If that is allright, your visa will be fine.

Will I need one?
Well, if you do, you should receive a tourist invitation made up of a tourist voucher and a tourist reservation confirmation - sometimes these two documents may be united in one. These documents can be issued by a Russian travel agency, which is registered as a tourist company in Russia, has a registration in the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), and has a reference number in MFA. All this data should be stated on the invitation.
This is what your voucher may look like:

Restricted cities
Some cities in Russia are under restricted entry regulations. Practically, this means that you will have to undergo stricter than usual passport control in these cities. It is better to avoid flying to these cities from abroad if you have an alternative (taking a train or driving a car, for example). Taking a domestic flight should not pose any problems, as you won't have to go through passport control in this case.

Samara and Nizhny Novgorod.
Crossing the border in the cities of Samara and Nizhnii Novgorod requires special vouchers. Processing time is one business day and the cost is $100. Please note that this applies ONLY to tourists flying DIRECTLY into these cities and going through passport control there. For those flying into Moscow and St. Petersburg and then traveling to Samara or Nizhnii Novgorod, regular invitations will suffice.

Volgograd, Astrakhan, Novosibirsk, Murmansk, Severodvinsk, Apatity, Moscow Region (Dubna, Obninsk, Korolev and other "science" towns which used to have restricted access in the Soviet times), also at Northen Caucasus: Rostov Region, Krasnodarsky Krai, Mineralnye Vody, Pyatigorsk, Krasnovodsk. If the first point of your entry is any of these cities, please make sure that you do all of the following:
1. Inform your visa support company that you're going to visit these cities, so that they add it to your itinerary on the visa support documents (voucher).
2. Have a voucher copy with you when going through passport control
3. Remain consistent with the visa information and when asked about the purpose of visit and a place of stay, to indicate TOURISM and a hotel entered on the voucher.
4. If you travel to these cities, we strongly recommend you to to stay at a hotel the whole period you're in that city, but if you're visiting friends or relatives – have them find a way to register you with local migration authorities.

Here's a list of the cities you cannot enter with an invitation issued by a Moscow or St. Petersburg travel agency. In order to enter, you have to seek a special authorization from the local migration authorities.

Yakutia - Sakha Republic, Norilsk, Sakhalin, Kamchatka, North Ossetia (Vladikavkaz), Chechnya, Nalchik, Dagestan.

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