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No comment – see link to original text (in Romanian). I have added a Google translation, helped by yours truly:
A camera collector was arrested because he dared to own a camera created by and for the Soviet espionage and which, apparently , the Ukrainian was not allowed to own or use.

Collecting old gadgets was always costly, but Alexander Komarov paid a price of 7 years in prison. He is a noted collector of old cameras and one Soviet production recently created problems . He was arrested in Donetsk in early this month, because it had two cameras of the F -21 type, also known as Ajax -12, produced by the Krasnogorsk Mechanical Factory.

This camera model was introduced in the mid 1900s, and in Ukraine are still listed as objects of smuggling and espionage. By law, owning or usage or sale or purchase of such devices can be punished by up to seven years in prison. Komarov explained on his website that the Ukrainian authorities err in applying the same laws even for machines already scrapped already listed as collectibles . However , he will go to court on Tuesday and remains to be seen if even he get to sit in jail.

Camera F- 21 was created in the former USSR and uses as film a twice smaller format than the classic 35 mm. It was created especially for espionage and was in production between 1951 and mid-90s , even as the Union was falling apart and Russia became a democratic country . Surprising are the charges of spying when you find out that F -21 is identical to Zenit MF -1 , which sells for $ 800 , but those who did the transaction involving the Zenit MF-1 never went to jail”.


Well, I’m lost for words. Nonetheless, I do understand the situation. I’ve lived for the best part of my youth under the Communist regime in Romania. Owning a “imperialist tool for spying on the working people and their achievements” could be just one of many possible accusations which the Party could bring against you, should you be caught using one of these “spy tools”. Those days are now long gone…

Sadly, not in Ukraine.


This is the camera mentioned in the article. Never owned or used one, God forbid, tovarisch komisar!

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