Petr Didenko (kippie) wrote,
Petr Didenko

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World's most stupid security measures named and shamed

Most Egregiously Stupid Award
Winner - The Australian government for a "litany of pointless, irritating and self-serving security measures"
Runner-Up - Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov for the 'Propiska' Identity Papers

Nomination 15


Ladies and gentlemen!

Let us introduce you the heavyweight challenger from Russia to win “Stupid security” competition. Its name is Moscow propiska, a special permission to be in Moscow for foreigners and even citizens of Russia.

Propiska is a kind a modern slavery, has a long history, and big money and politics are involved. Now Moscow authorities call it registration but it is pretty the same thing. Propiska was invented in 1932 by Stalin and getting even worst nowadays. Propiska seriously violates freedom of movement and other basic human rights. Russian authorities playing democrats signed all papers to meet the requirements of the international law and promise to abolish propiska many years ago but have not done this yet.

Moscow mayor Mr. Luzhkov explains existence of Moscow propiska as a main security measure against terrorism and crime in Moscow and says that propiska exists in all progressive Western countries. Is he telling the truth? The Chief of FSB (former KGB) named propiska checking as a primary measure to prevent crime and new terrorist acts in Moscow.

If you have visited Moscow last years you could see militia checking Moscow registration almost at every corner, street, and metro station. Usually foreigners feel very secure looking at this. We have to disappoint you, it is a wrong feeling. Moscow greedy and corrupted militiamen in their majority are real criminals. You will understand it when they stop you and demand a bribe. We have evidences that militia robs foreigners even in the center of Moscow on the Red square and around the Kremlin.

Usual price is $1-3 for Russians and $10 and more for others. If you are carrying a gun or a bomb or have non-Slavic face - prepare little more money. The real registration might not help you. If militia needs money urgently, for example, to buy some vodka, they can tear up your papers and just take away all your money.

Government pays militia ridiculously small salaries, around $100 a month. High ranked Moscow authorities and militia generals are often asked: “Why don’t you stop corruption and bribery in militia?” Usually they answer: “Be real and generous! Is it possible to survive in Moscow with $100 a month?”

Here is one anecdote:

Militia recruit is asking: “How much are you going to pay me?”

“Don’t ask us such stupid questions anymore. You will get a uniform and a gun. Please, help yourself.”

Real income of an average militiaman is more than $1000 a month and trying to rich this amount of money keeps him busy entire day. Even when he is waking from or to a job or on vacation militiaman stops people and checks their Moscow registration hoping to catch a, so called, nelegal (illegal resident of Moscow).

Some statistics: There are 26,812 policemen in London, 36,673 - in Tokyo, 40,000 - in New York, In Moscow - more than 150,000.

In 2002 Moscow militia officially registered 163,418 crimes, other words - one crime per one militiaman in a year. At the same time Moscow authorities say that militia is filled only on 70% and demand more human resources.

It is extremely hard to get an official registration in Moscow. You need to fill out a lot of applications, collect many signatures and permissions. According different sources you are responsible to get a registration in 3 or 10 days after arriving to Moscow.

This is even theoretically impossible because registration department (pasportnyi stol) works only 2-3 hours a week and you have to wait hours and hours in a huge line. In addition, any official may refuse you without any explanation. It is much easier to buy a fake or even real registration or pay few dollars every time when militia stops you. There are hundreds underground offices in Moscow where you can buy necessary papers. Yes, you are right; registration department workers also get small salaries. The value of the market of fake registrations in Moscow is estimated in 30-60 million dollars.

How about real terrorists and criminals? Don’t worry about them, they already bought a real Moscow propiska and do not afraid any encounters with militia. It is not a secret that Nord-Ost terrorists had valid Moscow propiska. We have not heard yet about any real terrorist or criminal who was arrested after checking Moscow propiska. This is an absolutely useless and stupid security measure. The first thing Bin Laden is going to do if he could ever visit Moscow is to pay $100 to corrupted officials and get propiska.

Because of Moscow propiska millions of innocent people are suffering. There are about 3 million nelegals by official reports in Moscow. The majority of them are citizens of Russia. Every day more than one million people are arriving in Moscow from suburbs and other towns. All of them are subject for violations of human dignity and humiliations by militia. Last few years 30-40 min. before departure of a train or plane militia has been closing entrances and checking everybody’s propiska. Citizens prefer to pay them some money other than to be late to boarding.

People without Moscow propiska are treated as low-grade and can be insulted and robbed without any consequences. Specially if you have non-Russian face or skin color your life is going to turn into hell. There is no any Russian left who personally or his or her close relatives or friends have not been robbed by Moscow militia.

In 1999 Luzkov deported hundreds of innocent men without propiska from Moscow and scares to do this again and again. Recently Moscow authorities ordered militia to visit every apartment in Moscow to check Moscow propiska of tenants. If you do not open them they may just knock out the door. Luzkov asked Muscovites to inform local militia every time when they see an unknown person in the apartment building.

It is very difficult to get a job in Moscow without propiska and you will receive only about a half of a regular for Muscovite salary.

Without propiska you can not get full public medical aid, your children can not attend Moscow public schools and kindergartens.

If you have enough money you can buy an apartment in Moscow but without propiska you don't have the right to live in it.

All of the above-mentioned refers to Russia own citizens. For foreigners the situation got much worst particularly after signing the new citizenship law in 2002.

Because of the situation in the capital of Russia the number of foreign tourists visiting Moscow for last 12 years has been dropped from 5-6 million a year to 200-300 thousand a year and only desperate Russian women without Moscow propiska hoping to merry a foreigner keep up some tourists' traffic.

Thousands of talented high educated engineers and scientists had to leave country because, of Russia specific, almost all facilities where they can work are located in Moscow. Athletes, artists, dancers are not an exception.

On our web site we collected thousands articles and evidences of stupid security facts in connection with Moscow propiska (registration).

No doubts, our Moscow authorities and particularly mayor Luzhkov with his anti-terror initiative are the dumbest authorities in the whole world! Terrorizing millions of innocent people trying to catch few real terrorists is a real stupid security measure.

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