Support The Moscow Times!

Mass Raids Target St. Petersburg Bus, Taxi Drivers During Rush Hour

A taxi cab at Pulkovo International Airport. Peter Kovalev / TASS

Traffic almost ground to a halt in Russia’s second-largest city of St. Petersburg following a series of police raids on bus and taxi drivers this week.

Social media channels said that afternoon inspections created massive bottlenecks Thursday on a road leading to Pulkovo Airport. Passengers got out of their taxis and continued their journey on foot with luggage in tow, eyewitnesses said.

vk.com/spb_today

“People are enraged. … There are around 20 police cars,” a journalist from the Komsomolskaya Pravda tabloid reported.

St. Petersburg traffic police told the Fontanka news website that the taxi and bus raids were scattered throughout the city. Transport police added that several law enforcement agencies had been looking for undocumented migrants.

The authorities carry out bus and taxi driver raids on a regular basis, Fontanka wrote. The latest operation, Fontanka reports, follows a public outcry over a string of high-profile traffic accidents and city authorities’ proposal to replace 270 privately run minibuses with public transportation.

The police department said Wednesday it had inspected almost 200 bus drivers in southwestern St. Petersburg in the past week, handing down administrative charges against more than 100 of them.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

The Moscow Times’ team of journalists has been first with the big stories on the coronavirus crisis in Russia since day one. Our exclusives and on-the-ground reporting are being read and shared by many high-profile journalists.

We wouldn’t be able to produce this crucial journalism without the support of our loyal readers. Please consider making a donation to The Moscow Times to help us continue covering this historic time in the world’s largest country.