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Moscow Activists Detained Protesting Hotel Construction

The construction site in Maly Kozikhinsky Street in the Patriarch's Ponds district in Moscow
MOSCOW -- Several activists have been detained in an elite Moscow district while protesting the construction of a new hotel, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

About a dozen activists blocked the construction work of the seven-story building along Maly Kozikhinsky Street in the Patriarch's Ponds district.

Police removed three or four activists while several others remained at the site.

The protesters are trying to preserve the buildings and architectural style of Moscow's historic districts. Several 19th-century buildings were demolished to make space for the hotel.

Last month, the activists forced construction of the hotel to stop.

The hotel is being built for prominent film director Nikita Mikhalkov.

Sergei Baidakov, the mayor of the central Moscow district where the site is located, had earlier pledged to suspend construction. But it continued after a short stoppage.

The Patriarch's Ponds district features prominently in Mikhail Bulgakov's novel "The Master and Margarita."

Read more in Russian here