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Activists Protest Redevelopment Of Old Moscow Area

А protester blocks the gate to the construction site in Kadashi.
А protester blocks the gate to the construction site in Kadashi.
MOSCOW -- Some 50 opponents of a controversial development plan in a historic part of Moscow blocked the road leading to the construction site today, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Members of parties and movements such as A Just Russia, Yabloko, and the Left Front were among the protesters in the Kadashi area of the Zamoskvorechye district.

Activists say new entertainment and business centers in Moscow are changing the city's "historic image and character."

Moscow officials are currently constructing a large housing and commercial complex called "Five Capitals" next to the 17th-century Church of the Resurrection in the Kadashi district. Demonstrators say the complex could damage the church and completely change the look of the historic area.

The protest was originally scheduled for May 27 but activists moved it up after builders began demolishing old buildings in Kadashi on May 22.

The Zamoskvorechye district is one of Moscow's oldest and was spared by Napoleon during the French occupation and by Josef Stalin's plans to reconstruct large parts of Moscow during his rule. The district is home to the renowned Tretyakov Art Gallery.