For non-Russian speaking tourists, finding your way around Moscow is challenging at the best of times. If you don't speak English, it can be practically impossible – but that's about to change, says head of Moscow's tourist police Ilya Yegorchenko.
Speaking to local news portal m24.ru on the two-year anniversary of the tourist police's creation, Yegorchenko said his team was working hard on expanding its language proficiency. His team now includes recruits who speak German, Spanish and French as well as English, he said. One police officer also speaks Chinese.
“The main language is still English because it is international, but we're trying to broaden our language circle,” Yegorchenko was cited as telling m24.ru.
The tourist police was set up exactly two years ago to help travelers find their way around the capital. It currently has 169 members who conduct patrols along 11 routes in the capital's center, Yegorchenko said. To be eligible for the job, candidates have to pass a language test and medical as well as psychological examination, he added.
Russian officials are not exactly known for their foreign language proficiency. When the tourist police corps was first set up two years ago, The Moscow Times decided to put the initiative to the test. See what happened here.