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This is What a Grocery ID Card Really Looked Like… in Russia



On Tuesday, President Trump took the stage in Tampa, Florida for a rally, and proceeded to make a statement that left even his closest allies confused.

“You know,” Mr. Trump said to the crowd, “if you go out and you want to buy groceries, you need a picture on a card. You need ID.”

Since then, the internet began buzzing with memes and jokes, attacking the president for suggesting that there is such a thing as a grocery ID card.  While much of America is laughing this off as just another false statement by a president who is known quite well for stating falsehoods, one woman by the name of Irina Anderson took his remark quite seriously.

Anderson is from Saint Petersburg, Russia, but currently lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  She tells Hill Reporter that in the early 1990s after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russian government required residents to carry grocery ID cards when purchasing certain merchandise.

Irina Anderson’s Grocery ID card from Russia in the early 1990s

Anderson tells Hill Reporter that products were so scarce that “necessities… soap, groceries, [and] toilet paper” required a grocery ID card.  “Cash was useless [by itself], but cash plus a shopper ID [would] get you stuff,” she tells us.

“By presenting it I was given [a] monthly allotment of grains, sugar, flour, vodka etc. No ID = no groceries. Now you know where Trump gets his ideas…”

Anderson claims that in order to purchase certain items, vouchers were also required.  Citizens were given one voucher per month for certain items and one voucher every other month for other items such as soap.

Irina Anderson’s grocery vouchers from the ealry 1990s in Russia

Anderson moved to the United States in February of 1992.  The official dissolution of the Soviet Union occurred on December 26, 1991, but unofficially the real fall of the Soviet Union began in the late 1980s when all Warsaw Pact members started to come out of communism and revolutions began.

Whether or not Trump got his ideas from Russia’s past, is debatable, but the mere thought of being required to show an ID card when purchasing groceries certainly doesn’t sound like something that would make much sense in 21st century America.