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Hunger Strike Starts In Samara Over Housing

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SAMARA, Russia -- Six people have begun a hunger strike in the southeastern Russian city of Samara to protest authorities' refusal to allocate them new homes, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

The protesters are calling on Samara's city government to fulfill a pledge it made to relocate several families from their delapidated apartments on Sovetsky Street to new flats.

The demonstrators have written to Saratov Mayor Viktor Tarkhov demanding a public discussion of the problem. They say they will continue the hunger strike, which they started on July 26, until they receive a response from his office.

The hunger strikers say that because of bureaucracy and corruption within the local government many families have either not been relocated or have been given small, one-room apartments outside the city center.

Protester Alena Molodtsova told RFE/RL that some families have been given apartments in Tolevy, in the southern part of the city, which is located at the confluence of the Volga and Samara rivers.