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Russian Activists Say Highway Work Continues In Khimki Forest

Yevgenia Chirikova (left, in green jacket) and fellow activist Ilona Zhuravleva show an aerial photo of the felling of Khimki Forest trees in late August.
MOSCOW -- The leader of an environmental group trying to block construction of a Moscow-Petersburg highway through the Khimki Forest near Moscow says work is continuing despite a stop order from President Dmitry Medvedev, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Yevgenia Chirikova told RFE/RL on October 10 that the Save Khimki Forest movement plans to continue protests against the highway construction work and to disrupt the felling of trees.

Chirikova added that Sergei Ageyev, a Save Khimki Forest activist, was arrested late on October 10 in connection with the group's protests in the forest.

Human rights activists have also joined in the protests against the work of the highway construction company.

In August, Medvedev ordered construction on the highway to be halted after large-scale protests in Moscow and a report on the project by Transparency International.

Medvedev said plans for the highway, along with possible alternative routes, should be studied.