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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Flood Victim? Can I See Some Propiska?

A few days ago, PM Tymoshenko threatened to fire government officials in Kyiv who resort to red tape in liaising with local governments involved in flood relief efforts

In addition to meager victim compensation, the frontlines appear to be replete with the very bureaucratic runarounds Tymoshenko warned against.

Narrator: Today the first precedent occurred. Newcomers were required to show passports with propiska. Lilia Ivanova is one of those who failed to show her ID.

Lilia Ivanova: We lost it. I took my black bag, that bag. I left this black bag with my ID and instead I took this one.

Narrator: Evacuation center employees are outraged at this order coming from the top. They say there’s hasn’t been a huge supply of free riders.

Relief worker: People who have no electricity, no water, no gas, people who have already consumed whatever food supplies they had and came to have some warm meal, I believe that in this case, the passport should…it’s not the sort of document that should be required of them.

In the USSR, propiska served as a system of residence registration that severely restricted freedom of movement and employment opportunities.

Despite being outlawed by the Constitutional Court of Ukraine in 2001, propiska and internal passports remain very much in use.

Video uploaded from:


Anonymous said...

MUST SEE: Taras,
Take a look at a photo of Karadzic posted on my blog. It's a close up of his gaunt and tired face. Visibly shaken, he appears to have cried. Take a look:

Bravecat said...

Typical. Same thing happened in burned out areas of Greece recently, by the way. People were required to show proof of residency in the affected areas (however, as propiska is unheard of in Greece, the process was way more tedious!)

Michelle said...

The propiska issue fascinates me. It is outlawed, yet it constantly is a must have document for people.

I once tried to get a library card at American House Library and they wouldn't let me because I didn't have a propiska. I showed her my US passport and registration stamp but that was not good enough, even though I was a foreigner with good standing documents required by law, I still needed an Ukrainian propiska!!! :) I never got the library card that day! LOL

Taras said...


He disguised himself quite artisitcally, having grown that beard, but crimes against humanity do not age.


Good to see you again! I’ve heard about the fires in Greece. They look as massive as those in California.

Of course, proof of residency may be necessary in such situations as long as it doesn’t hurt the people who lost their papers due to circumstances beyond their control.

They should get the help they need and propiska shouldn’t stand in the way.

That Greece doesn’t have propiska makes Greece lucky:)


As a Kyivite, I’ve been a member of that Library since 1995. It’s the only “virtue” of propiska I can think of.

I’ve seen people flutter into the Library only to have their wings clipped, i.e. denied membership on the grounds of propiska.

Theoretically, I could have seen you but didn’t know you at the time:)