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Friday, 22 June 2018


A twin for Panfilov

2011-09-07 11:43

Sergey Kuznetsov, a "dissident" from Yekaterinburg, will soon be released from prison in Israel. Though the court ruled out bailment last week, Kuznetsov is still in jail. The media noise he makes is better heard from the deportation prison in Givon. Soon he will be set free to choose his new place for living. He already has one invitation - from Georgia.


Studying Kuznetsov's case there is one conclusion to be made: this man is not really sane in his mind and the goal of his life is to be heard. Let's not go into detail about his daily life in Yekaterinburg. One remark: he fled thinking that his life is under the threat because of his rights defending activity. Let's begin our story from his visit to Turkey. He went there as a tourist cherishing a scheme to seek a political asylum in some democratic country. This all resembles the Cold War times when a happy renegade leaving the Soviet-Turkish border behind went straight to Istiklal caddesi (Independence Avenue) in Istanbul in search of a Western embassy to ask for an asylum. Another remark: both then and now Turkey was not considered a democratic state.

Thus, reaching Turkey via an international airport - not through cracks in the mountains (by the way) - Sergey Kuznetsov subscribed to (or elbowed into) a group of tourists going to Israel. According to his ideas, Israel was the closest democratic state.

When ordinary tourists arrived in Jerusalem, Kuznetsov was gone. He had a different itinerary - to the country's ministry of interior to submit an application for a political asylum. If all that had taken place some 30 years ago, KGB-men, intently watching Soviet tourists, would have started looking for the missing man. But times have changed, and nobody was interested in the activist from Yekaterinburg.

It's hard to say why Kuznetsov prepared his trip so poorly and did not know that Israel was not the country that sympathizes with political refugees. Basically, there has never been such a precedent for many years. The policemen, shocked as they were, accepted the application and appointed the date of consideration - August 22. It will be remembered that the events were taking place in mid July.

Our hero was disappointed. The period for consideration was too long and besides he failed to make noise he had wanted to in Tel Aviv. The visa-free regime between Russia and Israel lets Russian citizens stay for three months in the country, but our protagonist, as his lawyer - Mr. Aptekman - says, he did not have enough money to stay so long. On the whole, Kuznetsov was not impressed by Israel, so he decided to go to a place where he would be welcome - to London.

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