The company organizing the cutting down of the Khimki Forest PO Teplotekhnik submitted claims for 9,000,000 rubles to Savelovsky court in Moscow. The suit was filed against Khimki forest defenders and journalists. The company accused them of preventing the competion of the felling of Khimki forest, which meant a partial loss of profit for Teplotekhnik. Despite the legal claim's inconsistency, judge Mrs. Yurova accepted the claim for examination.

Representatives of  Teplotekhnik used this claim as a way of putting pressure upon activists, declaring readiness to withdraw the suit in exchange for a promise not to interfere with further cutting. Meanwhile, an audit of the Moscow city court revealed a set of infringements in the activity of Savelovsky court and, in particular, of judge Yurova. It has been widely suggested in the media that the infringements may have included 'sponsored' sentences.

The court hearings revealed some shocking details. It was found out that PO Teplotekhnik had an annex to the contract with its state customer (Federal State Office “Roads of Russia” – FGU Dorogi Rossii) which effectively put it outside of the law. For example, Teplotekhnik was obliged to proceed with the works ignoring not only civil protests of any kind, but also lawful (sic!) orders of governmental bodies if those orders were aimed at stopping the clearing of the forest.

Finally, the lawsuit was withdrawn by Teplotekhnik itself  – perhaps due to its obvious deficiencies.

Activist Yaroslav Nikitenko was arrested in Khimki during an officially sanctioned meeting. His only “crime” was unfurling a banner with the motto “We’re all living in Khimki Forest”. Despite his right to do so, policemen (instructed on site by Khimki Deputy Mayor Mr. Piterimov) forbade him to unfurl the banner. After he obeyed and stopped unfurling the banner – he was arrested for “Disobeying police”. Despite the charges being sheer nonsense, Yaroslav spent two days in jail, and was then fined.

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Video of the arrest

Immediately after Medvedev’s  announcement, the website of the forest defenders was subjected to a severe DDoS attack (in fact, there have been tens of attacks during the last few years). At the same time, workers of state-owned businesses in Khimki were forced to sign petitions for the resuming of building of the motorway through the forest. Later, public opinion polls showed that more than 2/3 of people in Khimki, Moscow, and the whole of Russia are against the chosen option of the motorway. It has not prevented authorities from scaling down and then stopping all the “public and expert consultations”. The “Final Decision” to proceed with the initial project was taken on December 14 completely behind closed doors. Despite the temporary halt of the works, further repression has been carried out.

A rally to protect Khimki Forest took place in Moscow despite multiple attempts of police and unknown bandits to interfere. Youry Shevchuk and other celebrities took part in the rally. The Moscow police  threatened the organizers and participants during the few days before the rally. When the rally started, they forbade  the organizers to bring in  music and sound equipment – though it was not forbidden by law. Moreover, unknown motor bikers attacked  a van with the sound equipment  and punctured its tyres. Nevertheless, thousands attended the rally. It was, perhaps, a direct consequence of the rally that President Medvedev announced the interruption of the works on the project, and called for additional “expert and public discussion” on August 26.
August 22, 2010, Yri Shevchuk, Khimki Forest Video

Meanwhile, more and more people in Russia and abroad joined protests against destruction of Khimki Forest.

During July - August 2010 a number of  illegal arrests of participants in the anti-fascist movement were made, among them:

On July 31 in Kupavna  near Moscow 50 persons were detained without any charges. They were subjected to fingerprinting and photographing.

On August 21 70 participants of a charitable concert were detained in Zhukovsky town and at least 10 of them were beaten.

Also on August 21 in Kostroma, police and state security detained and subjected to fingerprinting  more than 200 persons in search of the organizers of the action at the Khimki administration.

Simultaneously pressure upon journalists  mounted. In particular, Oleg Kashin from 'Kommersant' newspaper was pressed by policemen with requirements to give out the sources of his information about the July 28 action at the Khimki administration. Oleg refused, and was later (on November 6, 2010) cruelly beaten - see below.

At least two detained anti-fascists (Emilju Baluev and Alexander Pahotin) were subjected to torture with the intention of forcing them to give the names of the participants in the action against the Khimki administration.

Not only antifascist activists were subjected to pressure. The family business of Evgenia Chirikova and Mikhail Matveev (a small engineering company) became an object of ruthless harrassment by police.
In August 2010 police sent a notice to their bank that the company was “suspected of financing of extremism”. The frightened bank provided police with all the info about their clients. Then such notices were sent to the majority of the company's clients. It inflicted huge damage to goodwill and reputation, and some clients were lost.

When the Head of the Security Committee of the State Duma Mr. Gudkov later sent an official request to police about all this activity, they answered (in February, 2011) that all the actions were taken in connection with the “attack” by antifascists. It was officially  announced in this letter, that the company was cleared of suspicion.  Nevertheless, pressure was resumed in 2011 – with the clear intention to frighten clients as well as to fabricate a criminal case (see below).

Video from Antifascist and Anarchist action in Khimki
Tortures - read more
Read more about repressions against antifascists

After the action of anti-fascists and anarchists near the Khimki administration building on July 28th, a serious crackdown began on participants of the anti-fascist movement. 

Two anti-fascists – Alexey Gaskarov and Maxim Solopov - were arrested and spent three months in jail, without even judicial consideration of their case in essence.

The participation of Gaskarov and Solopov in the action is unproven. Nevertheless, they are officially accused of the crime of hooliganism., which can mean up to 7 years imprisonment. 

Evgenia Chirikova was arrested again, and then brought to Khimki Court. This time she was fined. The case was based only on false testimonies of policemen. The judge, Mr. Khalatov, deliberately discarded multiple testimonies of other witnesses as “not trusted”.

Evgenia Chirikova was literally kidnapped  in the centre of Moscow by riot police immediately after she left a press-conference. She was brought by force to the police department for an interrogation.


Riot police broke up a peaceful rally for Khimki Forest near Starbeevo village. 10 persons were unlawfully arrested, including Leader of the Yabloko Party Sergey Mitrokhin, as well as leaders of the Left Front Sergey Udaltsov and Konstantin Kosiakin.


Activist Gennadi Rodin was arrested in Khimki just for wearing a T-shirt with the slogan “Russia supports  Khimki Forest!”

One of the forest defenders, Mikhail Matveyev, went to the inner part of the wood not far from the clearing to contact a group of activists. Two masked men attacked him. They knocked him to the ground and beat him, injuring several ribs, and took away the flash card and batteries from his camera. When the men left him , Mikhail went to the policemen at the post near the local road. The policemen refused to inspect the woods in search of the attackers or even to take a written complaint from Mikhail. Later they arrested him for alleged ‘disobedience to policemen’. The same day, another environmental activist Alexandr Glibin once again saw a group of men in masks who were accompanied by policemen and uniformed security guards, hired by PO Teplotekhnik.

The same evening riot police once again attacked the tent camp of forest defenders (now situated in another place). Fifteen persons were arrested. Six of them – 5 journalists and an MP's aide – were soon freed. The other 9 forest defenders had to spend the following night and morning in stuffy cells. Before pushing them into the cells, the policemen searched environmentalists as if they were dangerous criminals. Evgenia Chirikova and Yelena Maximova were undressed during the search. Personal items belonging to the arrested people, including cellular phones, were taken away. Evgenia Chirikova requested them to let her to go home, because her two young children (her daughters aged 9 and 4 years) were in her flat alone, but the policemen, led by Major Shkuratov, refused to let her leave. Later Khimki policemen gave false testimonies in the court, trying to secure the conviction of environmental activists. Nevertheless, almost all the activists (including Evgenia) were not found guilty.

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