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Moscow Police Block Property Owners' Protest

Demolition in Rechnik

Demolition in Rechnik

MOSCOW -- Police in Moscow stopped a group of homeowners from the suburban community of Rechnik and their supporters from reaching the Moscow mayor's office today, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Dozens of Rechnik protesters drove their cars to block traffic near the busy Tverskaya Street where the mayor's office is located. Police and special OMON units eventually forced the cars to turn back and leave the street.

Sergei Udaltsov, the coordinator of the Left Front movement, told RFE/RL that the protest was supported by his organization as well as the nongovernmental organization Moscow Council, the opposition Yabloko political party, and others.

Moscow authorities have been demolishing houses in Moscow's Rechnik settlement for the past several days. The homes are along the Moscow River in an area considered by developers to be prime property upon which it is believed they want to build high-priced villas.

Police say they are implementing a court decision, but residents call the demolition "lawlessness" and say they were not informed about the court process to seize their homes.