Communal Living in Russia: Documents
From Police Archives: An order to investigate and take action
  An order from the head of the district administration to the head of the district police to respond to a feud in a communal apartment.
  Basic Facts and Background
  This letter from the head of the local administration, together with the police response and a similar document, constitute the official response to a complaint. The present letter is a response to the petitioner's request to provide her with housing in a different place because of her inability to live with her neighbors. This request and the reasons for it were laid out during a personal visit of A.A.A— with the head of the regional administration. The head of the administration instructs the head of the district police to take measures after investigating the sad circumstances about which the police were undoubtedly well aware: A..A.. had already described the hostile behavior of her neighbors in numerous written petitions and complaints, examples of which include a complaint about robbery, a complaint about harassment, a demand that a search be carried out in the neighbors' room, a complaint about assault on the part of the neighbors and another, similar document).

On the one hand, harassment, robbery, and assault all occur in communal apartments. On the other hand, precinct police, local representatives who meet with individuals, and psychiatrists are all aware that the conditions of communal life exacerbate suspiciousness in older people, in some instances leading to delusions of persecution.

  Translation of the Russian Transcript
  Territorial Directorate St. Petersburg Central Administrative District

To the Head of the St. Petersburg Division of Internal Affairs

Measures Undertaken

A— A.A., a resident of communal apartment 4, building 70a, Ì— St., came to see me during my personal office hours with the request that she be given new housing as it is impossible for her to continue living with neighbors who systematically humiliate and disrespect her, do bodily harm to her, and steal her things and money.

As there is no possibility or basis for giving A— A.A. new housing out of turn, I ask you to investigate the facts laid out in her petition and, if they are accurate, to take appropriate legal measures to stop these unlawful activities directed at A— A.A. by the neighbors of her communal apartment.

I ask you to inform the petitioner and the Territorial Directorate about the results of the investigation and measures undertaken regarding # —.

ADDENDUM: copy of the petition, one page; sent to one office.

Head of the Territorial Directorate V— S.A. (signature)

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