Russia: G8 Security and Domestic Issues

Global Voices Online
Friday, June 9, 2006

Domestic politics seems to somewhat interfere with the attempts of St. Petersburg police to provide security for the upcoming G8 Summit (July 15-17). LJ user aneta_spb, a journalist, retells a friend's story (RUS):

There's been much noise in the [state-funded] mass media about pre-Summit security, about fighting xenophobes, fascists and [skinheads]... Arrests have already been made because of this, apartments have been checked. Just in case, they do check-ups at random apartments - cops show up, check registraiton papers and if there are young people in there, they are being interrogated on the subject of their belonging to the "extremist" organizations...

But today they came to an anti-fascist activist (who is no longer 20, far from it), or, to be more precise, to her elderly parents, and told them that their daughter was on the extremists list, that she was against the existing regime...

The parents responded cleverly - can't one be against the government in this country or what?

They promised to the parents to keep their daughter under surveillance. [...]

LJ user domohozjayka responds with a joke:

- Who is it?
- It's us, the cops.
- What do you want?
- To talk.
- How many of you are there?
- Two.
- Well, why don't you two talk to each other?

Later, domohozjayka adds three more possible ways of dealing with the police, of her own creation:


- Who is it?
- Please open the door.
- I wasn't asking for advice on what to do. I was asking who's there.

- Who's there?
- Open up, it's the police.
- Oy, no, I'm scared, I don't know you.
- Look into the peephole - I'm wearing uniform.
- Oy, but I don't know you in uniform, either.

- Who's there?
- Open up, it's the police.
- It's a mistake, I didn't call the police.
- No, you didn't. I've come by myself.
- It's the wrong apartment.
(what follows is too long and boring)

A few comments later, LJ user shavu posts a wonderful excerpt (RUS) from Sergei Dovlatov's story about how he was always ready for visits from the Soviet police - thanks to a local drunk who used to warn him.


This almost cosy image of a 1970s Soviet kitchen - with homegrown dissidents telling political jokes and reading banned literature - is suddenly interrupted, however, by aneta_spb's proactive journalistic approach:

I'm getting in touch with various cops. Press service is demanding that I send them a written request (ha-ha). But we'll choose another path. I've fished out phones of several deputy heads of district police departments. Now, while I'm going to the clinic to solve my son's problems, I'll think of how it'd be easier to get info for the story. Because if I introduce myself as a journalist, they wouldn't tell me anything and let me bypass the press service.

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