if you have an accident in russia
I had the missfortune to have a minor bump in russia and thought I would relay my experience for others. It was a classic right hand drive accident whilst waiting to turn left accross a junction. because I was too far over to get a view I was hit by a car coming the other way (lada versus landcruiser, no contest!) because I was over the centre line I was held to be at fault, even though I wasn't moving.
For speed I tried to pay the guy off but he wanted more money than I would give him for his car so we did it on the insurance (see my other post) a guy turned up who I thought was a police accident investigator but was in civvies, turned out he wasn't, I think he might have been an insurance guy. He gave me a statement to sign which I didn't understand and wasn't filled in. He received a reply understandable in any language, sign nothing if you don't understand it and cetainly sign no blank forms! The police turned up and did their stuff. They wouldn't let me leave Kazan until the process was complete (about 24hours) but as my visa was due to run out we went to the cop shop instead, I followed them there, giving the guy who had hit me a lift. In the cop shop they took their statements. No one spoke english, one of the coppers spoke a little french, as I do, unfortunately not the same bits so we were stuck. They sorted out an interpreter but she spoke no english either! At this point I got them to phone a friend in Kazan who speaks english. The conversation was light hearted and we were managing to have a good laugh but it was turning to talk of corruption and how much people in England earn, which is a line of discussion I did not wish to pursue. When my friend turned up she phoned a friend and got them to speak to the coppers, turns out this friend was the local chief of police. Ever seen a policeman stand to atention on the telephone!! The upshot of all this was that they played it straight. the only payment needed was 200 rubbles which is paid to another office to stop it being pocketed. The guy who had hit me kindly took this to the office for us so I could sort my visa out (another story all together)and refused to take 50 rubbles for his trouble. After interviews with the police you are taken in front of a more senior guy and he is judge and jury with regard to blame.
To get the visa sorted and to get a release from the country I needed 2 forms from the police stating that their inquiry was completed, but you will also need the letter of receipt from the office where you pay the 200 rubles.
Even before they realised my friends connections the police were very nice and I escaped with all my finger nails intact!
I spoke with the consul when having problems getting a visa extension and as he said, it's who you know that gets things done in this country.
hope that helps anyone stuck ion the same situation, email me if you need more info.
If you are in Kazan and need an english or French translator I may be able to help get one.
yes, I know, but you have to have them as proof that the inquiry has finished. Unsuprisingly I was held to be at fault (obviously being the tourist)!
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