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Arrested Development

Arrested Development

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Published by Anthony Read
The tale of my arrest and subsequent interrogation in the Russian city of Novgorod.
The tale of my arrest and subsequent interrogation in the Russian city of Novgorod.

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Published by: Anthony Read on Apr 25, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/25/2012

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 ARRESTEDDEVELOPMENT
 Anthony Read  
 
goes foreigner hunting…as the prey
.
A knock at the door. I open it to face three armed military policemen and the base commander
staring me down. “Is this a Mr. Anthony Read?” Replying with a wary yes, I’m greeted with t
he
words, “Welcome to the Novoselits military base. You are under arrest for suspicious activities and
taking photographs of the garrison
. Please come with us.” Don’t believe me? Well neither did they.
 Since February I had been teaching English at schools around the Russian city of Novgorod, and inthe final weeks of my placement, I was asked to go to a military garrison to teach the children of thesoldiers. Ready for a challenge, I headed out to Novoselits on a Thursday with a mix of excitementand nervousness. With copies of my passport, visa, registration, and the base permit in hand, Itaught the kids for two days. Very excitable, as school children are, they took to me as some kind of alien for being Australian. Seems foreigners are still an oddity to the Russians.On the Saturday morning, I was arrested. In handcuffs, I was dragged to a filthy room with one tableand a light, in tradition of the best Hollywood movies. For three hours I was questioned about my
presence on the base. “What was I doing there?” “How many photos had I taken?” “Did I know itwas illegal for a foreigner to enter a military garrison?” It seems every question I was asked, I justcouldn’t answer it to their ‘standard’
. Upon showing my Australian passport, they lightened up(probably
because I wasn’t American), but only slightly, informing me that copies weren’t good

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