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Moscow Demolitions Herald Storm To Come

  • Amos Chapple
As opposition has swelled to a new plan to raze thousands of Soviet-era "Khrushchyovki" apartment blocks in the Russian capital, recent photographs show work related to an earlier demolition program was rumbling on.

A digger scoops up what remains of a Soviet-era apartment block on May 16.
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A digger scoops up what remains of a Soviet-era apartment block on May 16.

The interior of an apartment photographed in the midst of demolition on May 16. The newer plans to raze around 4,500 crumbling Soviet-era apartment blocks were reportedly well received by most Muscovites, but uncertainty over the relocation of residents has fueled resistance to the recent scheme.
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The interior of an apartment photographed in the midst of demolition on May 16. The newer plans to raze around 4,500 crumbling Soviet-era apartment blocks were reportedly well received by most Muscovites, but uncertainty over the relocation of residents has fueled resistance to the recent scheme.

A demonstrator marches in Moscow on May 14 against the latest plan to demolish "Khrushchovki."
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A demonstrator marches in Moscow on May 14 against the latest plan to demolish "Khrushchovki."

Blocks of the prefabricated homes in western Moscow that have recently been scheduled for demolition. The distinctive five-story apartment blocks are named after former Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, who oversaw the construction of thousands of the "temporary" housing blocks throughout the U.S.S.R. 
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Blocks of the prefabricated homes in western Moscow that have recently been scheduled for demolition. The distinctive five-story apartment blocks are named after former Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, who oversaw the construction of thousands of the "temporary" housing blocks throughout the U.S.S.R. 

A message of resistance inside an apartment block undergoing demolition on May 16. The current demolitions in Moscow are related to a smaller-scale plan made by a former Moscow mayor to demolish some Soviet-era apartments.
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A message of resistance inside an apartment block undergoing demolition on May 16. The current demolitions in Moscow are related to a smaller-scale plan made by a former Moscow mayor to demolish some Soviet-era apartments.

Anti-demolition activist Kari Guggenberger inside her newly renovated apartment, which has been scheduled for demolition. The 35-year-old began a highly active Facebook page opposing the latest demolition plans that now has more than 23,000 followers.
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Anti-demolition activist Kari Guggenberger inside her newly renovated apartment, which has been scheduled for demolition. The 35-year-old began a highly active Facebook page opposing the latest demolition plans that now has more than 23,000 followers.

A recent (state-run) poll claims 80 percent of Muscovites support the removal of the decaying apartment blocks. According to Reuters photographer Sergei Karpukhin, these residents of an apartment block scheduled for demolition are supportive of the plan.
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A recent (state-run) poll claims 80 percent of Muscovites support the removal of the decaying apartment blocks. According to Reuters photographer Sergei Karpukhin, these residents of an apartment block scheduled for demolition are supportive of the plan.

An emptied apartment block scheduled for demolition photographed on May 16. Looters are reportedly picking through some of the vacated apartments currently being knocked down.
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An emptied apartment block scheduled for demolition photographed on May 16. Looters are reportedly picking through some of the vacated apartments currently being knocked down.

Buildings in Naberezhnaya Novikova-Priboya Street in Moscow that have been scheduled for demolition. Officially, residents of apartments that have been targeted have the chance to vote against their homes being demolished, but many are suspicious that the vote is only for show and Moscow's powerful construction lobby will push ahead with the plan regardless of how many vote against the demolitions.
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Buildings in Naberezhnaya Novikova-Priboya Street in Moscow that have been scheduled for demolition. Officially, residents of apartments that have been targeted have the chance to vote against their homes being demolished, but many are suspicious that the vote is only for show and Moscow's powerful construction lobby will push ahead with the plan regardless of how many vote against the demolitions.

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