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Russian Activists Protest Khimki Deforestation


Yevgenia Chirikova

Yevgenia Chirikova

KHIMKI, Russia -- Dozens of activists from Moscow Oblast converged on the town of Khimki on October 23 to protest deforestation during construction works there, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Yevgenia Chirikova, who heads the Defenders of the Khimki Forest movement, told RFE/RL that the local authorities granted permission for the gathering.

She said the protesters' primary demand was "to stop the destruction of local parks and forests by construction firms that plan new highways, parking lots, trade centers, and apartment blocks."

Participants in earlier such protests have frequently been beaten, detained, and brought to trial.

Chirikova's movement was established in 2009 when Khimki residents first began challenging the local authorities' plan to construct a new Moscow-St. Petersburg highway that cuts through a nearby forest.

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