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Russian Artists Start Hunger Strike In Chelyabinsk

CHELYABINSK, Russia -- Fourteen artists in the southwestern Russian city of Chelyabinsk have begun a hunger strike to protest the confiscation of their studios and the revision of new regulations on renting the studios, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

The hunger strikers, who are to be evicted, demand that lease agreements for the studios be signed directly with the local branch of Russia's Union of Artists and not through the Center of Arts, a new organization that is to oversee the renting of the studios.

The hunger strikers are all elderly people and therefore there are physicians and ambulances stationed by the Union of Artists studios where the hunger strike is being held.