Monday, February 4, 2019

Russians Who Claim to be ‘Living Citizens of the USSR’ an Increasing Problem for Authorities

Paul Goble

            Staunton, February 4 – The Kremlin may be pleased that ever more Russians seem inclined to have a positive attitude toward the Soviet period of national history, but Russian officials are anything but pleased by the destructive consequences of those Russians who identify as “living citizens of the USSR” and refuse to pay bills or use Russian documents. 

            In the regions, “the movement is rapidly gathering strength,” no longer just the actions of a few marginals but a real movement who are seeking to establish “their own state and consider residents of the Russian Federation and Russian officials as “’dead’” to them, one telegram channel reports ( as discussed at

            These “Soviet citizens” refuse to obey Russian laws, pay for communal services as required, and denounce all official documents such as passports as bearing “’the mark of slaves.’”  They typically inundate companies and officials with letters and emails denouncing the latter as false and declaring that they will not pay their bills or have anything to do with them.

            In Kurgan Oblast, these people have even declared the formation of a Kurgan oblast executive committee and begun to try to correspond with foreign diplomatic missions, actions that have prompted the powers that be to intervene and bring charges against them (

                The Kurgan activists are not alone. There are others in various parts of the country who argue that “the Soviet Union has not ceased to exist but is simply ‘temporarily occupied by private commercial enterprises,’” that were put in place by the United States. Some of these groups have existed for several years and have even established “soviets of peoples deputies.”

            Russian officials are especially concerned because these groups advocate not paying for communal services, something many Russians are not doing at present in any case because of poverty. But the authorities must also be concerned about yet another movement that denounces the current powers that be as fundamentally illegitimate.

            In the longer term, that may matter far more in terms of what happens next in Russia than the failure of a few people to pay their bills.

No comments:

Post a Comment