There are record holders among the world's writers: Lope de Vega (1,800 plays in verse – more than 21 million lines); Alexandre Dumas père (The Three Musketeers and more than 650 works); Isaac Asimov (about 500 works); Georges Simenon (more 400 novels); and Darya Dontsova (by 2009, when she entered the Guinness Book of Records, she had written 100 novels in the previous 10 years).

K. is a student in the academic programme ‘Software and Administration of Information Systems’ at St Petersburg University. He is also a record holder and a ‘writer’. During the period from 2017 to 9 September 2020, the University received 215 applications from him: 70 appeals as a citizen; 112 appeals to the University Virtual Reception; 2 appeals to the University’s Ethics Committee; and 31 appeals as a student at St Petersburg University. During the same period, K. applied to officials 11 times during their office hours: 3 appeals to the Rector; 2 appeals to the Deputy Rector for Legal Affairs; and 6 appeals to the Dean of the

Mathematics and Mechanics Faculty. Also, during the same period, St Petersburg University received 18 letters on K.’s appeals from higher and supervisory authorities: 7 letters from the Government Office of the Russian Federation; and 11 letters from supervisory authorities and internal affairs bodies.

Click here to read some of student K.'s appeals to the Virtual Reception: Blackmailing an employee of St Petersburg University.

In accordance with Federal Law No FZ-59 ‘On the Procedure for

Consideration of Appeals by Citizens of the Russian Federation’, University officials have a legal requirement to respond to each of such appeals (about 250 during three years!) within 30 days. Before replying, they have to study the subject of the appeal and take appropriate measures... If we imagine that a University official is only concerned with replies to letters from this student (while ignoring the performance of their other direct duties), then this employee should spend more than three months of their working time on them. In other words, the University spent almost 200,000 roubles on responding to this student.

A year ago, on 22 October 2019, student K. once again came to Yury Penov, Deputy Rector for Legal Affairs. Mr Penov managed to hear the details of such phenomenal fertility of our ‘writer’ right from the horse’s mouth.

During their meeting, the student talked about various issues that, according to him, exist at the University: about the disciplinary sanction imposed on him several years ago; about his appeal to the Ethics Committee; about bureaucracy at the Mathematics and Mechanics Faculty; about a lecturer who was not on the timetables, but who taught classes in an academic discipline; about the need to check corporate mail by law enforcement agencies...

Among other things, student K. reported that he had concrete facts: the corporate mail of St Petersburg University is used by malefactors or foreign intelligence services...in some indirect way. For example, in his opinion, it is possible to use it as a brand to send cyphered messages. As an example, the visitor said that he uses numerous appeals to the Virtual Reception of St Petersburg University in order to...transmit encrypted messages to officials of the federal authorities.

Yury Penov clarified: ‘Do you mean that you are writing to me in order to transmit encryption to someone?’ The visitor agreed that it was ‘government encrypted communication with the presidential office’ and that ‘it is too high to use a direct line’. Yury Penov asked: ‘Do you plan to continue using my email as a communication with someone else?’ – ‘Well, yes, it's convenient for me. And this is not prohibited by law, is it not?’ (Minutes of the Meeting with Visitors dated 22 October 2019)

Yury Penov failed to persuade the visitor to stop sending such ‘messages’ to officials of St Petersburg University. Like real writers, he apparently writes when he cannot but write...

But what should be done by those dozens of administrative officers of the University who have not only to read these numerous opuses but also to respond to them?