Friday, January 20, 2012

Russia's Peculiar "Internal Passports"

Masha Gessen, who visits March 8, writes in the NYT about the peculiar institution of "internal passports" in her native Russia:

MOSCOW — As of last Friday, I am an undocumented person in my own country. I cannot open or close a bank account, receive medical care at a state clinic, buy a cellphone, return a purchase to a store or enter into a contract, which my job requires me to do several times a day. All of these operations and many more require a valid internal passport, a peculiar document that may be the most significant vestige of the U.S.S.R. in modern Russian society. More.