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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Can Rutskoi Get a Ticket To Ride?

Vice president, prisoner and now, pariah. Alexander Rutskoi wants to leave the country and says Mother Russia is clutching him a little too tightly to her bosom.

According to an associate, Rutskoi applied in May for a passport to visit more than 20 countries but was informed recently that his application had been denied.

The associate, who declined to be named, said the local passport authorities had no problem issuing the passport to the leader of the October 1993 parliamentary uprising, but the Federal Counterintelligence Service wanted its say.

The people at the service, the successor to the KGB, in turn had no problems, but said the president's office wanted the application killed, according to the associate who called the problem "political."

All three offices strongly refute this version of events.

"It is just taking a long time to review the application, and I told Rutskoi that over the phone, personally," Vladimir Grachev, head of the passport agency handling the application, said Friday.

Counterintelligence service spokesman Sergei Bogdanov said, "We are tired of getting blamed every time someone gets denied a passport."

Ditto Yeltsin's people, who say the president's office has nothing to do with the application.

"It is silly to talk about blocking Rutskoi. He does whatever he wants whenever he wants to," said spokesman Dmitry Ardamatsky.