MOSCOW -- Moscow police have arrested five activists protesting the construction of a new seven-story hotel in the Patriarch's Ponds district, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.
One of the protest organizers, Sergei Udaltsov from the Left Front movement, told RFE/RL that officers took the detained activists to a police station and informed them they were under arrest for having illegally trespassed on the building site.
The standoff between construction workers and activists began last week. On October 25, the protesters started round-the-clock monitoring of the construction work.
Also on October 25, Yelena Tkach, coordinator of an informal group that seeks to preserve Moscow's historic districts, told RFE/RL that permission for the construction of the hotel and an underground parking lot was granted on the basis of falsified documentation.
Several 19th-century buildings have been demolished to clear the way for the construction.
The Patriarch's Ponds district of Moscow features prominently in Mikhail Bulgakov's novel "The Master and Margarita."