Police have searched the house of the mayor of a town near Moscow where a garbage dump has sparked protests by residents angered by the toxic fumes emitted from the site.
Pyotr Lazarev, mayor of Volokolamsk, linked the April 13 overnight search of his home to the town's decision to allow a mass protest against the dump on April 14.
His son, Pavel, told the Lamagrad online news site that police had searched the family's residence for several hours without explaining what they were looking for or why.
On April 12, police searched the offices of Volokolamskaya Nedelya, a local paper that has been covering the ongoing protests against the landfill.
The offices of several local businessmen who have taken part in the protests were also searched by police on April 12.
And the home of a protest organizer, Artyom Lyubimov, was also searched. He is now serving a 15-day jail term for failing to obey police orders during one of the protest rallies.
Residents have been demonstrating against the dump since January, with the protests intensifying after dozens of children were rushed to hospitals with symptoms of gas poisoning on March 21.
The Yadrovo landfill was opened in 2008, taking in refuse from Moscow and nearby regions.
Volokolamsk is a town of around 20,000 people about 120 kilometers west of Moscow.