Over 100,000 people go missing in Russia every year

More than 100,000 missing citizens are on the search list in Russia every year, said on Tuesday Colonel of the Militia Viktor Prokopov, deputy head of the Russian Interior Ministry's Main Criminal Investigations Department.

Viktor Prokopov said that in the course of the last 5 years there has been the tendency of an increase of the number of people on the search lists. He noted that the maximum growth of missing people was registered between 1974 and 1988, when their number went up from 23,200 to 87,000 people.

During the first six months of 2002 the interior affairs bodies established the destinies of over 72,000 citizens on the missing list. Prokopov stressed that more than half of these people return home by themselves.

Prokopov said that, along with servicemen and members of law-enforcement bodies, minors also belong to the so-called "risk category" among the missing people. In the past three years the number of children who are searched for, increased 1.3 times, totalling about 20,000 people annually. The militia establishes the destinies of more than 80% of the missing teen-agers and children, he added.

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