Again, activists got the info that large-scale cutting down of trees in the forest resumed - despite statements of Russian company Avtodor that all the works are confined to taking away the trees that was fallen this summer. Activists of Save Khimki Forest Movement arrived at site and found clearing in process guarded by police and security forces.
The perpetrators of cutting down of trees failed to provide any permissions for this work. Nevertheless, police threatened to arrest activists in case they didn't leave the scene. Police refused to check permissions for cutting down of trees and literally joined security thugs from "Vityaz" agency. Activists were accused in an "unauthorized gathering" - a sheer nonsence, since no permission needed for gathering according to Russian law.
Police attacked activists, some of them were beaten and handcuffed. 10 persons were arrested, including Evgenia Chirikova and Yaroslav Nikitenko.
The arrested persons were imprisoned in Khimki Police Station (Khimki, Kudriavtseva str., 4). They were threatened in a very brutal way all day long, even denied to sit down or drinking. Evgenia Chirikova was undressed and searched by police, her mobile phone was taken away. Mobile phone of Yaroslav Nikitenko was also taken away, later police failed to give it back.
In the evening, all the detained persons were brought to Khimki Court. Only Nikitenko's case was heared, he was found not guilty in disobeying police. All the activists were freed, but the next day, police brought Evgenia Chirikova to the court again - but failed to formulate any meaningful accuisitions against her.
Despite Avtodor's statements that no cutting down of trees was planned, there appeared reports about fresh clearings in the Khimki Forest. People came to stop cutting of woods, and securities attacked them. Activist Semen Kolobaev was hit in head and fell down. Mikhail Matveev had his nose and lips damaged and bleeding, blood on face and hands, a bruise on a leg. Some activists had dress torn. No permission for any works was provided. Police arrived and refused to check permissions. Later, activists managed to find and fotograph a fresh clearing in the forest. Securities tried to catch them and prevent from photographing.
Today, Russian state company "Avtodor" tried to demonstrate its ability to re-start works in the Khimki Forest despite civic protests in Russia and abroad. Tens of jornalists were gathered by Avtodor to show them the start of the works.
All the works had been already stopped when activists reached the place. There were a few trucks loaded with tree trunks on the clearing. Few tree trunks were even unloaded back. The trunks were left from the summer, no new clearing were carried out. Nevertheless, activists demanded to demonstrate any permissions for works or for taking away the wood. It was done because we consider the falling of trees this summer as a criminal case, and any attempts to hide the evidence must be stopped, even outside the Khimki Forest. The workers failed to provide the permissions though the permissions must be available at the site of works according to the legislation. Meantime, it was found out that Teplotekhnik, the very company which hired the Neo-Nazis is still working on the project. Then activists addressed police asking them to interfere and find out who those workers were and ask their permissions. Police refused to interfere. Activists submitted an official complain about police inaction. Fortunately, no direct violence occured this time.