Came across a YouTube video from July 2008, where a Russian border official on a night train from Ukraine checks a big logbook before stamping the passenger's passport.

What is the purpose of this, and is it still common practice?

  • 4
    Probably a black list of some sort, before everything was computerized.
    – JonathanReez
    Aug 15 '17 at 10:20
  • 3
    This list contains people wanted by police, people who tries to avoid the army due and some peoples who cannot leave the country by the security level access permissions. Back in 2008 year there was very low computerization rate across the borders, especially for mobile border controls like train ones.
    – VMAtm
    Aug 16 '17 at 14:26
  • 1
    @VMAtm Where do they get the list of people from to write down in the book?
    – Crazydre
    Aug 16 '17 at 16:34
  • 3
    Police reports, usually. I think that there is a security protocol to update these books on some recurrent basis, but can't say anything more about that.
    – VMAtm
    Aug 16 '17 at 16:51

Somewhere in the mid-late 00s we with my friends were taking a train from Ukraine to Russia and have experienced exactly this.

The train stopped and Ukrainian border control folks came in. They had small (for that time) devices connected to laptops which they've used to scan passports of the passengers and apparently check if a passenger was in any kind of a database they'd be interested in.

15 min later Russian border control came in with those huge books and asked for my full name. Then opened the book on the page tagged with the letter my last name begins with and started manually scanning it trying to find a handwritten match.

Needless to say, it made us laugh like a bunch of kids on a caffeine.

  • 3
    Of course one system can get hacked, crash and have outages, and one system is immune to any cybersecurity vulnerabilities...
    – user71659
    Mar 8 '18 at 4:13

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