How were officials kicked out of foreign cars in Russia?

Throughout the history of the USSR and the Russian Federation, personal cars of public officials have been and remain a special phenomenon, attracting the attention of the public. Also, attempts to limit (or at least streamline this process) the purchase of expensive cars abroad for the Soviet party elite and other high-ranking officials were made as early as 1923. Then the Politburo of the Central Committee of the CPSU, after long discussions, decided for state institutions. should buy only open-bodied cars and motorcycles with sidecars from abroad – taking into account the fact that in case of war such vehicles can be used as army vehicles.

However, the country’s top leadership continued to drive foreign cars even after the auto industry arose in the USSR – the armored Packard Twelve purchased in the late 1930s was used by Joseph Stalin and his associates in the late 1940s. Later they were replaced by domestic armored ZIS-110S. The pre-war ZIS-101, the first passenger model of the Stalin Moscow Automobile Plant, was not supposed to be protected from bullets at all.

Kuzkin mother showed

At the same time, the fleet of cars used as personal cars by leaders at various levels has grown. Also, often “personal cars” were used by members of the officials’ families for trips related to personal matters.

In the mid-fifties, the fight against civil servants’ privileges, including the reduction in the number of private cars, began to Nikita Khrushchev, the first secretary of the CPSU Central Committee.

A joint decision of the CPSU Central Committee and the USSR Council of Ministers, adopted in March 1956, radically reduced the list of officials based on personal cars. The released cars were transferred to taxi companies and resold to citizens. Only in April 1960, the sale of 4 thousand old “personal cars” in Moscow was reported by the magazine “Behind the Wheel”. At the same time, they tried to organize a rental car system in the USSR, but the idea quickly came to naught.

The fight against transport privileges continued until Khrushchev’s dismissal in 1964, but the bureaucracy went on a silent counterattack:

there were offers to pay monetary compensation to officials who lacked “personal means” for transport costs, and numerous exceptions to the accepted rules appeared, and the practice of concluding contracts with taxi companies for permanent transport services by government agencies was established.

In fact, even now, state officials prefer not to keep cars on their own balance sheets, but to conclude contracts for transport services with specialized companies.

As Secretary General, Leonid Brezhnev was not impressed by the radical decisions regarding the reduction in the number of personal vehicles.

On the contrary, the bureaucratic park under him grew and he was remembered as the lover of luxury cars presented to him by foreign heads of state and big businessmen. The demands of the authorities regarding personal vehicles, among other things, affected the production line of the GAZ plant. In particular, the new GAZ-3102 model, whose production began in 1981, was designed specifically for use in departmental garages and service workers, and the previous GAZ-24 model continued to work in a taxi and sell it to citizens.

New methods, new thinking

The next attempt at the state level to limit the appetite of the state apparatus was made in 1988. In particular, in the framework of the fight against privileges announced by Mikhail Gorbachev, the production of the GAZ-14 Chaika car was stopped ahead of schedule, even all the equipment and technical documentation for the production of a limousine was destroyed.

At the same time, the project of the representative limousine ZIL-4102 with a load-bearing body was closed. Only one of the two published copies has survived to the present day.

With the collapse of the USSR and the large imports of foreign cars, they gradually forced domestic cars out of state garages.

An attempt to transfer representatives of the state apparatus from foreign cars to the Volga was made in 1997 at the recommendation of the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, Boris Nemtsov.

His proposed idea was approved by President Boris Yeltsin and he signed the corresponding order. In the same years, Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov bought for the city government luxury versions of Moskvich cars, Prince Vladimir and Ivan Kalita. This practice did not spread widely: there were arguments that the cost of repairing unreliable domestic cars is higher than servicing foreign cars. As a result, this practice was abandoned two years later.

Flashers as an advantage

In addition to expensive foreign cars in state garages, “flashing lights” and special license plates have become an important symbol of the authorities’ transport privileges, but the first attempts to combat them date back to the Khrushchev era.

in 1957 published An order banning the movement of cars with flashing lights, additional lights, sirens and other distinguishing signs that serve to advantage in travel in Moscow – except for cars of high-ranking leaders, which are listed in a special list. The number of cars with special signals in Moscow is estimated at 150 units.

Concession numbers with the Russian flag instead of the regional code were introduced in early 1996, and by order of the Minister of the Interior, adopted in 1997, the traffic police were forbidden to stop and inspect such cars and were ordered to help them in unhindered passage. . The “flag” numbers lasted more than 10 years and were canceled at the end of 2006, but later the “exclusive” serial A MP97 actually became their analogue.

In the 1990s, the number of cars “flashing” and “zero” on the roads was steadily increasing: and even a government decree facilitating the use of special signals. caused the increase in their numbers. By 2006, there were 965 such vehicles in Russia (excluding vehicles with color schemes for operational services). Numbers by President Vladimir Putin’s decree signed in May 2012 reduced up to 569.

Finance Minister Anton Siluanov, during his speech at SPIEF, expressed a long-standing idea – to transfer Russian officials to domestic cars. About how the phenomenon of an expensive “personal” for an officer arose in our country and what attempts were made in recent times in the history of the Soviet and Russian state to combat nomenklatura privileges, read the material of Gazeta. .Ru.



Source: Gazeta

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