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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

02/13/1997

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Homeless Girls' Shelter Sparks New Controversy

A group of homeless girls is once again at the center of a dispute between a Moscow shelter operator and city authorities. Among the issues is whether Alexander Ogorodnikov, the former dissident who established the shelter and runs a well known Moscow soup kitchen, has a lease on a building on Popov Proyezd called the Island of Hope shelter. The city also suggests a prostitution racket has been run out of the building. After a police search of the premises, Ogorodnikov was detained Feb. 3 for illegally occupying the building. He said he was released Tuesday after spending 16 hours in custody. The girls in the shelter were transferred Monday to a state institution, but Ogorodnikov and police reports differ on how many girls were removed. Ogorodnikov said 13 girls of various ages had been living at the shelter, while Sokolniki district police investigator Alexander Pastukhov, who led Monday's search, said ""six or seven"" girls were removed.

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