Evidence of Bizarre New Forms of Nationalism …. with an Old Odor

A young scientist has been charged with “smuggling” for buying at a Russian flea market and then trying to leave Russia with some old bank notes, coins, and medals:

Three early 20th century bank notes she bought and a 1924 coin she was given drew the smuggling charge, for which Contreras could be sentenced to three to seven years in prison in convicted, said the lawyer, Alexei Andreyeshev.

Contreras, a graduate student in physics at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, is also charged with the illegal acquisition of official documents and state awards, which carries a fine of up to $3,100.

The growth of bizarre nationalism in Russia is very worrisome. (It’s worrisome everywhere, the US certainly not excepted, but it’s been taking an exceptionally aggressive tone in Russia lately.)

6 Responses to “Evidence of Bizarre New Forms of Nationalism …. with an Old Odor”

  1. In a similar case I was almost charged with weapons smuggling for trying to bring into the country a decorated knife which was supposed to be gift to my uncle who likes to hunt.

    It happened as I was entering Ukraine back in 2004. A small bribe of $80 satisfied the border police official. And yes, he took the knife as well…
    … as much as I love Ukraine and Russia I would never do any sort of business there and I would strongly advice anyone against it.

    It’s the place of ultimate freedom, where even the law is privatized.

  2. Tom G. Palmer

    You paid a bribe to a US Customs official or a Ukrainian official? How is it “ultimate freedom” if you are forced to pay money to someone who steals your property? Very confused, it seems to me.

  3. To Ukrainian official of course. It’s “more freedom” in the sense of “less oversight”, the cap had official duties, certain amount of power. He used that power for his gain like others use their private property. Officials on every level in that part of the world assume ownership of power alloted to them to perform certain duties.

    I don’t think what happened to the young lady was a form of nationalism. I think it was unprofessionalism of the kind that’s rampant in Russia and her failure to respect the local culture by offering a small… hm… appreciation gift to the understanding officer from the respectful traveler.

    They did not search her to prevent contraband, they searched her in hopes of supplementing their salaries. Instead she made them do a bunch of extra paperwork for no money at all… whom do you think the final fine was paid to?

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>