At the end of a newspaper interview with the militia captain in charge of Moscow’s detention centre for people without fixed abode (the article was entitled ‘The doctors of human destinies’ – the journalist’s characterisation of the militia staff of the centre), the correspondent asked the officer for advice for the newspaper’s readers:

The militia officer answers:

Should not the residents rather be advised to direct homeless people to a shelter, or to call the social services or charities? Yet the sort of answer that a western reader might perhaps expect from a public official would be hard to imagine in the Russian context. Residents are not supposed to assist homeless people. They have no obligations towards these people, apart from the obligation to call the police to remove them.