MOSCOW, November 20. /TASS/. About 15,000 Russians have joined volunteer groups searching for missing persons, including children, that were set up in 76 Russian regions, the deputy chief of the Russian Interior Ministry’s criminal investigation department, Andrei Schurov said.
"By now, volunteer search-and-rescue teams have been set up in 76 regions of the Russian Federation. They include about 15,000 citizens of different age and social groups," he said in an interview with the Rossiyskaya Newspaper published on Wednesday. "A wide range of specialists, namely canine handlers, professional tourists, hunters and divers alongside people without any special search-and-rescue skills, but who are ready to provide assistance on a voluntary basis, take part in the teams’ activities."
According to Schurov, volunteers interact closely with the police.
"Cooperation with public organizations and responsible citizens is one of the resources to enhance the efficiency of searches for missing persons," he said.
Persons of all age groups are daily reported missing across the country. According to Schurov, the Russian volunteering movement that helps in searches for missing persons, including children, is relatively young.
"It is believed that it can trace its origin to around 2010. It was then that the news agency of the Association of Volunteers ‘Search for Missing Children’ and the international center of the Association of Volunteers ‘Search for Missing Children’ began work and the volunteer search-and-rescue group Lisa Alert was established," he explained.
In addition, the volunteer groups Polar Star and National Monitoring Center for Missing and Affected Children have joined the searches.
Schurov pointed out that more and more missing persons can be found year by year with the help of volunteers.