Two significant events linked to the defence of the Khimki Forest took place this week:
First, the Russian Presidential Council on Human Rights and Development of Civil Society Institutions had to consider the Khimki Forest issue due to the huge amount of human and civil rights abuses against the forest defenders. See "Chronicle of Events" for more details on the absues. The council organized a gathering with all concerned stakeholders, including high level police officials, representatives of the involved companies as well as environmentalist, human rights activists, Khimki forest movement representatives and victims of the harsh police and security forces treatment. The chair of the council pointed out in the beginning, that the re-routing of the road construction through the forest would be out of question at this gathering, which didn't help to rise confidence in the outcome. Another example: one of the severely beaten activists seeking for justice and investigation on his case was advised by the chair of the council to get in contact with the head of the private security force to discuss this matter, which understandably was not what he was looking for. More on the gathering on a English translated Russian news site.
Second, representaives of the Movement to Defend the Khimki Forest attended an EU Human Rights Counsellors meeting on the 25th of May, in order to inform the councellors about the situation around the Khimki Forest. See also the the urgent appeal of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), requesting urgent intervention in the Khimki situation.
Facing joint efforts of both the Russian repression machine and French group Vinci trying to promote the controversial Moscow-St.Petersburg toll motorway project despite civil protests, the Khimki Forest movement hopes and trusts in the help from European human rights and environmentalist communities.