Only few days after Russian Presidential Concil on Human Rights which announced that the violence in the Khimki Forest is stopped - police resumed their brutal and unlawful attacks against activists.

Eight people were unlawfully detained for their interest in the lack of the documents in site of controversial works in the Khimki Forest as a result of two repeated police attacks.

See shocking video of one of the detentions:

Witnesses remember that activists were forced to lay down on the ground, and policemen (one of them is known, his name is Vinovich) pressed activists' heads with boots.

We have also just received the information that OMON is going to destroy the environmentalists' camp in the forest and to arrest all its participants.

On a meeting of Russian Presidential Council on Development of Civil Society Institutions, all the Council members signed Ludmila Alekseeva’s open letter to Medvedev. They demanded Russian president to stop all the works,  investigate  all the violations of law related to the project, and switch to an alternative option for the motorway bypassing the Khimki Forest. 

A few days before, similar statements were made by Amnesty International and European Parliament delegation to the EU-Russia Parliamentary Cooperation Committee. 

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A group of environmental activists and representatives of Left Front tried to carry out an unauthorized rally for the Khimki Forest in front of the Kremlin. The activists were brutally detained by police and unknown men in civil clothes. They were left in a police station tonight, and released only next day.

Another action was calmer. A group of artists performed in the Khimki Forest to protest against the clearing. 

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At night (about 3-00 AM) one of the participants of the environmentalists’ camp Yury Petin was assaulted apparently for no reason at all.
He was staying on the roadside of Vashutino road trying to pick a car. It was near a shop, about 1 km from the clearing. He was approached by a black Hundai sedan car with registration tag  х531см or  х513см (he didn’t remember exactly). Four men came out and grabbed Yury saying “You’re caught, finally!”  Then they started to beat him. Yury was thrown to the ground, the men forbade to look at them threatening to beat him more.

Then the attackers were approached by a man in the Vityaz’ uniform, the attacker commanded him as though he was their subordinate.

Yury told: “It was like they instructed the PSC guy. They wanted him to say police that Yury  exploded petards in the forest. Then police arrived. Police started to talk with the attackers and the security guard. Then I was brought to 2nd Police Department of Khimki, address: Khimki, Kudryavtseva str., 4”

It was about 5-30 in the morning when Yury was driven to the police station, to a duty investigator. The investigator refused to accept Yury’s statement about the attack against him. Instead, he started to accuse Yury in “exploding petards in the forest”. Then the investigator prepared a protocol by himself, asking Yury and the security guard about what had happened. Police tried to photograph Yury and take his fingerprints threatening to put him in jail otherwise. Yury refused, and spent in police few hours (till 12-00 AM). In the midday, Yury went home with a policeman to take his passport. At 1-00 PM he was back in the police station again.  Then Yury was met by a second investigator who prepared a protocol that Youry was detained for violating “fire safety rules”. The investigator said that the protocol is to be passed to the fire service. He refused to hand a copy of the protocol to Yury.

“The investigator said he can do whatever he wants to me, to plant drugs or arms and put me to a prison” – Yury explained. 

Yury Petin wrote a statement to the Prosecutor Office demanding to detain the attackers, and punish them as well as the policemen who refused to receive Yury’s statement about the attack against him. He also asked to find the security guard who gave the wrong testimony to the policemen.

An emergency gas service arrived to the clearing (from “Gazpromregiongaz”, a structure of Gazprom). They confirmed that there was a high-pressure (1,2 MPa) gas pipeline underground just in the center of the clearing. Any damage to the pipeline could result in a powerful explosion. Like  the activists before, the emergency service failed to find any permissions for the work, including required special authorization for working in the dangerous zone near the pipeline. Basic safety rules were neglected, heavy crawler machines literally tore the ground over the pipeline. Moreover, access for emergency crews to the pipeline was blocked by fallen trees scattered chaotically on the clearing. The emergency crew issued a written order forbidding use of crawler machines or put logs near the pipeline.  

It must be noticed that a tender for moving the pipeline away from the construction ground was carried out in the end of 2010. No winner was found. According to the tender, 20,000 more trees are to be cut down, including those in the oak grove. There must be no construction works before the pipeline remains in its current position.
After the emergency service left, the works were resumed. Activists tried to stop it, but police of Khimki blocked their attempts. Thus, police protected dangerous works that were directly forbidden, including continued use of the crawling machines.

A student of the Moscow State University, Ms. Anastasia Suslina asked police major Mr Shkuratov to introduce himself. He pushed her into the face instead, said she was drunken and, if she was not  taken away by her parents, he would arrest her. He further commented that he had not violated any law and needed no excuse for his behavior.

After police left the scene, two groups of activists went to stop works. It was successful, the workers fled. Meanwhile, activists Aleksey Rassolov and Pavel Shekhtman (who were taken to the hospital) revealed that one PSC guard was also put to the hospital. He was looking quite healthy but affirmed that he was beaten by the environmentalists. Next day he was released quickly  from the hospital.

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In the morning, the cutting down of century-old oaks started near the spring of St. George, despite the fact that the State Company Avtodor (the customer of the project) had assured that the cutting down of the oak grove would not begin. The activists tried to interfere with the cutting. An  excavator and a bulldozer were used to uproot the oaks near the spring of St George.

The activists tried to stop the felling down of the trees. PSC guards again bate the people. A kneecap of one of the activists, Dmitriy Monakhov, was damaged intentionally by a well-trained strike. They also tried to steal a camera from journalist Semyon Kolobaev. People laid down before the bulldozer, trying to prevent uprooting of the trees. According to activists, people from the internal security service of the contractor  began to steer the bulldozer instead of its driver without  knowing properly how to do this. A fallen tree hooked and threw the people down. A tree trunk damaged a leg of Evgenia Chirikova. One of the security guards was caught and squeezed between the falling trees, only due to extreme luck he survived. A doctor in a hospital  said that Chirikova now cannot walk for at least 2 days. He was indignant at the cutting down of the forest.

At the same a team of Khimki Landscaping municipal enterprise  arrived to the forest with chainsaws, but the activists managed to stop them. A bulldozer continued to work under protection of policemen armed with Kalashnikovs. Major Shkuratov from the 2nd Police Department of Khimki told Suren Gazaryan, who had been beaten in the police station a day before that he would be killed if detained again: they would put the private guards to his jail.

Greenpeace RussiaA commission of Greenpeace Russia arrived at a place of cutting intending to calculate the amount  of losses inflicted to the forest areas and to learn the scope of the illegal clearing. The policeman Sheruimov refused to introduce himself to Sergey Tsyplenkov, director of Greenpeace Russia. The police refused to stop the works. Greenpeace was unable to do anything.
The environmentalists promised to send to Dmitry Medvedev their assessment of damage, which  was made to the Khimki forest by felling of trees for the highway Moscow-St. Petersburg. According to Greenpeace, some trees were cut even out of the strip of land reserved for the motorway.

About 3 p.m. two women who tried to photograph the tags on  the cars near Vashutino were attacked. They  were beaten with their heads against the door of a car, a gray-haired man ordered to erase their photos. Most likely, the attackers  were employees of "PO Teplotekhnik" (now renamed "DorInzhStroyProekt). Garegin Alexandrovich from "Teplotekhnik" is suspected in the beating of activists.

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Near Svistukha village, a team of workers with chainsaws was noticed. The same time another group of workers started to cut down trees just near environmentalists’ camp. Activists tried to protect the trees literally with their bodies. Police interfered and detained Evgenia Chirikova and 9 other activists (7 to 15 according to different information). The command to detain the activists was given by Khimki  police colonel Tsurif. According to Evgenia Chirikova: "We made a cleaning day in the forest, picked up trash, when a"Volvo" with OBOP (a special section of criminal police) appeared, accompanied by seven SUVs with unknown persons, workers with chainsaws, and PSC guards. The workers were given a command to go deeper into the forest, we ran behind them to prevent the destruction of trees. We called the police, hugged the trees covering them with our bodies. OMON (Russian riot police) arrived, we were roughly torn off from the trees - for example, I was held by five policemen. At first 15 people were seized - we were put to  the workers’ bus and taken to the police station. Then two more persons were detained. My phone was taken away and I was put behind the bars as a dangerous criminal. Previously, this had not happened. Apparently, we have become incredibly annoying – since now we managed to protect the forest better."

OMON took part in the arrest despite no permissions for the clearing were still produced. Eugenia Chirikova, Yaroslav Nikitenko, Sergey Ageev, Sergey Udaltsov, Anna Goncharova, Oleg Melnikov, and several other people were among the detained. The detainees were sent in the 2 nd Department of Police, Khimki. Other activists remained  in the woods and still tried to cover the trees with their bodies. As a result, they were attacked by bandits. Later, OMON made a second attack on the defenders of the forest, and two more people were detained. These were Dmitri Smirnov and Suren Gazaryan. The detainees were placed into the trunk of a police UAZ car. On the way to the police station the driver of the UAZ stopped, then increased the speed so that the detained were hit against the sides of the car. The detained environmentalists protested, and when they were brought into the police station, police lieutenant Mr. Nozhenko hit Gazaryan with his fist into the face. Ghazarian bent out of pain, then Nozhenko delivered another blow - with a knee into his face. The environmentalists were charged under Article 19.1 of the Administrative Code "uzupation of power", which, as is written in the protocol, was expressed in the fact that Ghazarian "broke fences, signs, obstructed the work of clearing the highway. "The activists spent more than three hours in the department. After his release, he was able to talk to the head of the second Police department. The Head of the Deparment  calmly acknowledged the practice of the department. "I can see how impertinent you are, you had to receive another blow in the face" - Gazaryan quotes the policeman.

Alexey RossolovCutting down continued under the direct protection of OMON. All these events took  place near the ruins of a summer camp, located near the plant "Fakel." After most of the activists were taken away, the remaining were attacked. One of the victims, Daniel Beilinson, reported that shortly after the departure of OMON two girls-activists rushed to the camp, shouting for help: they were attacked in the forest. The three defenders of the forest remaining in the camp rushed to the aid of the fourth, whose phone was taken away in the forest. Daniel Beilinson: "We saw an already familiar man wearing a hood and another man, bald, dressed in black, having Caucasian appearance. We demanded that they return the phone to Alexey. Then they started to beat us - beat on the head, kicked me into the face, knocked to the ground." Then the two assailants were joined by three private guards in the uniform armed with freshly sawn clubs. Thus, four Pavel Shehtmandefenders of the Khimki forest were severely beaten while trying to stop illegal cutting down in the area of the plant "Fakel". These were Daniel Beilinson, Paul Shekhtman, Alexey Rassolov and Vladimir Morozov. The PSC Vityaz’ securities as well as unidentified bandits took part in the beating up of the environmentalists. An ambulance was called for the activists, which took them to the Khimki city hospital. Doctors diagnosed Alexey Rassolov and Pavel Shekhtman with a brain concussion. Shekhtman also has his nose broken with displacement. He also suffered a temporary amnesia. They were hospitalized in the Khimki city hospital.

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At 9 a.m. cutting down of the trees near Vashutino was reported. Workers, private guards and bandits were collected together. The activists met 3 workers with chainsaws and stopped the works. The workers who did not have any documents  went to a bus, a  PSC guard  tried to return them and make them work. The PSC boss Nikolay arrived in a black SUV with registration tag т500мк197.

BeatingLater, the cutting down of trees continued but the activists managed to stop it again. Some activists were injured due to the attacks by guards from "Vityaz". A member of the Ecological Watch of the North Caucasus Suren Gazaryan and some other people were beaten. The police was called to the scene. The PSC guard itself made a false report to the police that Gazaryan himself had attacked them. The lawyer Artur Grokhovsky arrived to help Gazaryan. Suren was released within 2 hours.

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The camp in the Khimki forest continued its work. The V-Day holiday was rather calm. It became a day of cleaning the Khimki forest from the garbage. Patrolling of the Khimki forest also continued: the cutting down of the trees or construction equipment were not reported.

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A gathering of about 200 persons took place in Khimki. There were activists of Greenpeace, WWF, political parties and other organizations who came to protest against destruction of the forest. People acted accordingly to the  law: they stood on the edge of the road, leaving a passageway, and used neither banners nor megaphones. The gathering lasted 15 – 20 minutes. The result of this open meeting was the decision of all participants to join the tent camp in the area of the ongoing felling of Khimki Forest. The people left the place of meeting and began to move toward the Khimki Forest.

Cathing activists, KhimkiSuddenly the riot police began to catch the activists in a very brutal manner causing injuries and pushing them into police bus. It must be stressed out that police had not warned the people about any illegal activity from their side or about their  intention to use force. It was looking like rather another bandit attack than a police action. Oleg Prudnikov was hit into his face. Gleb Sitnikov’s knee and elbow were scratched to blood. Ildar Isayev’s elbow was hurt to blood. Many other people during this arrest suffered from hurt knees or elbows and received bruises. Evgenia Chirikova was hit  in her cheek, and her neck was injured. At a whole, about 20 persons were detained, Cathing activists in Khimki, 8 mayincluding activists Evgenia Chirikova, Yaroslav Nikitenko, Sergey Ageev, ‘Yabloko’ party chairman Sergey Mitrokhin, Moscow Soviet chairman and ‘Left Front’ leader Sergey Udaltsov as well as a group of environmental activists from Klin town. The riot police went on beating people inside the bus, without any confusion, in the presence of more than a hundred eyewitnesses. Vassily Maliy was beaten by the riot police in the police van. Udaltsov received a rib damage and numerous hematomas. Mitrokhin’s arm was displaced. The detained people were conveyed to the 2nd Police Department of Khimki.

Khimki policemen Shakhov, Sheruimov, Tsurif, Romadin and many others participated in the arrest. Mr. Goldobin was its organizer. Head of information and PR department of the Chief Office of Moscow Region Police Evgeny Gildeyev told the press that the arrested ones broke law and resisted police – though no court decision was made about it.

Police beating activists, 8 mayPolice protocols were written against the detained people. The persons were charged of resistance to policemen and organization of a non-sanctioned rally (articles 19.3 and 20.2 of the Administrative Infringements Code). Police repeatedly forbade lawyers to meet with the detained activists, the policemen behavior was very rude toward the arrested persons. Since the detention they had not received medical treatment and didn’t even get water to drink. One of the activists was called out of the jail and beaten in sight  of the other detained persons, afterwards he was pushed to another jail.

A group of citizens came to support the detained defenders of Khimki Forest. They started picketing the house of Khimki Police Department requesting  to free the arrested activists.

Several hours later the detained activists were brought to the court. Khimki policeman Sheruimov was exposed by the activists trying to forge the protocol of detainment directly in the hall of the court.

The judge of Khimki court returned the protocols back to the police department due to multiple inconsistencies. About 17.00 the detained were freed in the court hall and went to the tent camp.

Meanwhile, another group of activists (including Greenpeace and WWF representatives) managed to escape police. They stopped an illegal clearing and set up another camp in the forest near Khimki, not far from Fakel plant. The camp became the main environmentalists’ stronghold in the Khimki Forest.

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