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Russia’s Federation Council Approves Plan To Raze Soviet-Era Apartment Blocks


Interior Ministry officers detain a man during a protest against the razing of the Soviet-era apartment blocks outside the State Duma in Moscow on June 14.

Russia's Federation Council has approved controversial legislation to demolish thousands of Soviet-era apartment buildings in Moscow.

The bill was supported on June 28 by 147 lawmakers in the upper house of parliament, with four abstentions and no votes against, state media reported.

READ MORE: Moscow's Plan To Raze 'Khrushchyovki' Sparks Anger, Confusion Ahead Of Elections

The latest in a series of protests against the plan was held outside the parliament building, during which the chief of the opposition Yabloko party's Moscow branch, Sergei Mitrokhin, was detained.

The bill passed the lower house of parliament, the state Duma, earlier this month.

Despite opposition from many Muscovites who say the state is infringing on property rights and individual freedoms, the bill is expected to be signed by President Vladimir Putin.

The bill calls for some 4,500 buildings erected in the 1950s and '60s -- many of them five-story blocks known as Khrushchyovki after Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev -- to be demolished and replaced with high-rises.

Moscow authorities say the buildings are dilapidated and outdated, but many residents and activists see the plans as an excuse for the lucrative construction of high rises in an already congested city whose green spaces are shrinking.

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