Support The Moscow Times!

Moscow Tourist Police Dabbles in Spanish, Chinese (Video)

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 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

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.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

As we approach the holiday season, please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world’s largest country.