Intervista a Svetlana Gannuskina sull' "ispezione" a Memorial di Mosca

Svetlana Gannushkina: We at Civic Assistance were visited by officials from the prosecutor’s office together with representatives of the tax authorities, the Ministry of Justice and the Federal Migration Service. And the Ministry of the Interior. In total, there were six people: three from the prosecutor’s office and one each from the Ministry of Justice and the Tax Service – and one from the Moscow Federal Migration Service (FMS) who, for some reason, went to the Olympic Village instead of to Olympic Prospekt, which explains why he was very late late.

He was a thoroughly awful man, who came into the premises, greeted no-one, and went to check the documents of all ‘non-Russians.’ Moreover, those were the very words he said, “Now I will check the documents of all the non-Russians.”

I asked him to come into my office, but he refused. He saw a man sitting behind a desk and began to check his documents.

This was our translator – an Afghan. The FMS official rushed towards him, demanding that he produce his passport. He was overjoyed on hearing that he did not have a passport with him, and said, “Here’s someone who has no documents!”

He did not, at first, really want to speak to me at all, to explain what he was going to do and on what basis.

He later we managed with great difficulty to get him to understand that the passport of a citizen of Afghanistan who has refugee status is stored at the offices of the Federal Migration Service. He did not know.

Yes, an official of the FMS did not know this. And he began to insist that this does not happen. Then he was also shown the refugee certificate issued by the FMS which states that this was a receipt for the passport, with a signature. He then asked to phone another FMS official, the one who had issued the certificate to the Afghan. In general, with great difficulty we managed to persuade him that this was sufficient.

All the while, the FMS official behaved very aggressively, and this was evident from his intonation.

By this time I had rung the Moscow FMS and spoke to the man’s boss. When his boss asked to speak to him, he would not take the phone, and did not believe it was his boss on the line. “Why should I pick up someone else’s phone?” I said to her, “He does not want to speak to you.”

She said, “OK, we’ll do it another way.” After a while, his mobile rang – apparently it was his immediate superior. After this his arrogance somewhat subsided, and he asked if we had any other foreign workers there. I said that yes, we have an Arabic translator.

I then remembered that we have a Ukrainian citizen in our employ. He went to meet him. The Ukrainian citizen had a temporary residence permit.

The FMS chap asked, “And a work permit?” I said, “Work permits were abolished this year for those who have temporary residence permits.” He asked, “Who told you that?” I replied, “You know, the law told me. It’s an amendment to the law.” This was something else that the FMS official did not know. Such is the level of this man…

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