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Village cowherd lives in Russia's center without any IDs for 53 years

Last week a district court in the Yaroslavl region was to consider a claim filed by the local Prosecutor’s Office. The claim is for acknowledgement of birth of Valery Fedotov, a resident of the village of Selishchevo. Mr. Fedotov is a cowherd of a local agricultural company. He is 53 years old (his exact age needs verifying), and he never had any kind of ID in his life. 

Speaking to Regnum correspondent, Alexei Maksurov, senior assistant to prosecutor of the Yaroslavl region, said that Valery Fedotov had been living in Borisoglebsk district without any ID at all. The authorities want to look into his status since the man had no pension, no social security or medical insurance. He does not have a birth certificate or military registration card, he has no passport. Mr. Fedotov can not read or write, he never went to school or served in the army. The state was not aware of his existence and therefore he did not receive his summons. Mr. Fedotov says he was born at a railway station in the city of Rostov Veliky.

Speaking to a local TV station NTM, Valery’s sister Olga put all the blame on his mother. According to her, the mother just left a newborn on the street and disappeared. Valery Fedotov does not know the date of his birth, he normally celebrates his birthday whenever he likes. He had no complaints regarding his ID-free life until the end of last year. At the end of last year he had to work alone round the clock because all his colleagues at the agricultural company went on a binge. Valery was filling for the absentees at the personal request of the company’s director. He fell ill after a period of hard work, but the medical authorities refused to admit him to hospital due to lack of medical insurance. He was finally taken into a local hospital after having his share of red tape. Following his hospital experience, Mr. Fedotov began thinking about ID.

“Life was a lot easier in the past, and now they do not even let me in a hospital without that paperwork so I need to get it,” said Mr. Fedotov. But the cowherd was unable to file a claim on his own since he is an illiterate man and has no money to pay the legal costs. The local administration brought his case to attention of the Borisoglebsk Prosecutor’s Office. “Making a claim for his rights in court is the only way of protecting his rights, so we made a claim with regard to legal acknowledgement of Mr. Fedotov’s birth, he will be deemed a Russian citizen once his birth is formally acknowledged,” said Mr. Maksurov, senior assistant to prosecutor of the Yaroslavl region. Mr. Fedotov will get a passport if the claim is allowed by court. But the problems regarding his pension are likely to remain. Mr. Fedotov was never officially employed and never paid any taxes.

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12/2008 02/2009


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