No one knows when it all started. ID and other documents are everything in Russia, from birth to death you are nothing without it. One can not exchange money, buy a train ticket or send a parcel without an ID check.
Man on a picture is a scrutineer, sitting in the middle of an expert commission corridor. The commission allows an artist to bring his painting abroad. There is no way one can freely take a pic to the post or on a plane ignoring the commission. But before you do so be sure this man allows you to get inside the commission building!
He takes your ID, writes down your name, ID number and the exact minute you went in. He sits for days, wearing a dark suit and chevron on a shoulder, demanding documents from artists. Probably he is a retired KGB clerk or a military man. Don't worry, they will ask your papers one more time, during the expertise! Two times in an hour.