In Russia, old USSR passports are being exchanged for new ones of the the Russian Federation. According to passport services, many Russians already possess documents of the new standard. However, while exchanging the passports, the workers of passports services destroy the old passports with Soviet symbols. However, it is strongly forbidden by the law to throw out passports and other documents belonging to book-keeping. Abroad, documents are as a rule annihilated with special machines, while in Russia, Soviet passports are often annihilated in an old and well-tried way: in stoves.
This is the task of every district internal affairs office to which passport service belongs. The stove is usually rented from a factory or in a heat electropower station. The burning is carried out under the control of the passport service workers to avoid missing or stolen documents. However, by this time, the old passports cannot be used, thanks to measures taken by the passport service workers: just after the passport is handed in, the number is cut out, which is then pasted onto the acceptance and annihilation report.
Larisa Rodionova St Petersburg
Translated by Vera Solovieva
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/north-west/2002/06/20/42892.html