Impression of a foreign forest expert
Yesterday, I went back to the the Khimki forest (near Klyzma river near SNT Druzhb), together with deputy of the Duma, Mr Gudkov and a group of around 30 people. We arrived at a spot close to Sheremetovy airport where felling without cutting permits, effectuated by the company ..... takes place. Freshly cut trees and a harvester on the spot proved evidence of felling. Once again as a vouple of times before, the purpose of the visit was to ask the company representatives to show the non-existent cutting permissions and to demand the police to execute their duty by stopping the felling. The presence of the Duma deputy did have a clear impact on the behaviour of police. The police chief in charge was cleary in need of explanation, as copies of cutting permission documents should be on the spot according to Russian law. He told the crowd that he called for the documents and couldn't declare the activities to be illegal before the arrival of the permission documents (which isn't possible unless they manage to arrange document falsification). Quite an absurd and weird situation! And all the time 2 FSB (Russian Federal Security Service) guys and other security staff recording faces with their cameras, laughing and joking in the background.
See fotos here
While I had to leave early, a group of activists visited the next spot where illegal felling - among other of old oaks takes place. In this second place, private security forces started to attack activists which resulted among other in a broken nose. Police didn't stop the illegal felling nor did they follow up on the criminal assault on activists.
A group of core activists, including Evgenyevva Chirikova and Yaroslav Nikitenko decided to stay in the forest overnight and build up a camp like last summer. They tried to stop the harvesters which started to take up the illegal work again in the middle of the night. Once again, private security forces started to attack activists which had to step back in the end because of the very dangerous situation. The danger in the camp is extremly high at the moment as gangsters backed up by private security forces and police might turn up any moment.
The people out there right now are self-sacrificing their health and lives in order to safe the forest. Please support them by sending a letter to Vinci, the responsible international construction company or by
sending a letter to your Russiaan embassy to ask fort he protection of the forest defenders.
Sign the petition for Vinci here: http://www.change.org/petitions/save-khimki-forest-stand-with-russias-hu...