Enjoying ad-free content?
Since July 1, 2024, we have disabled all ads to improve your reading experience.
This commitment costs us $10,000 a month. Your support can help us fill the gap.
Support us
Our journalism is banned in Russia. We need your help to keep providing you with the truth.

Russia Creates New Police Unit to Protect Fans at 2018 FIFA World Cup

Sergei Kiselyov / Moskva News Agency

Russian police officers armed with foreign language proficiency and a tourist-friendly demeanor will patrol the streets of cities that will host the 2018 FIFA World Cup this summer. 

Eleven far-flung cities are gearing up for a tourist influx during the football championship, including Moscow, which hosts the tournament’s opening game on June 14 and the finals on July 15. The Russian capital has had a force of around 100 tourist police officers, speaking English, French, Spanish and Chinese,  patrolling famous tourist sites since 2014, the ministry said.

Russian Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev has ordered St. Petersburg, Kazan and Sochi to create new tourist police units from a pool of currently employed officers by May 5, the ministry spokeswoman announced Monday. 

Seven other World Cup host cities will be required to dedicate “specialized groups” of police officers with foreign language proficiency “to provide round-the-clock response to incidents involving foreign citizens from May 25 to July 25,“ Interior Ministry spokeswoman Irina Volk said.

"The main function of the tourist police will be to patrol sites with large concentrations of foreign fans during the World Cup, assisting them in solving questions, and accepting reports in the case of offenses committed against them," she added.

“The personnel will undergo additional training if necessary,” she said, adding that they will wear easily distinguishable armbands.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more