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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Traffickers Target St. Petersburg

About 200,000 people in St. Petersburg are drug addicts, and the figure could double by the end of the century, Interfax reported, quoting the head of the city's narcotics police.

Boris Utsekhovsky said the St. Petersburg region had "become Russia's toughest area for drug trafficking."

He said the city, which is home to 4.8 million people, had become a "staging point" for traffickers after "changes in the traditional routes for drugs coming from the southern parts of the former Soviet Union to Western Europe."

Utsekhovsky said he expected the number of drug addicts in the area to have doubled by the year 2000.

Police figures cited Friday by Interfax showed that young people were particularly prone, with one out of six secondary schoolchildren in St. Petersburg having already experimented with drugs.