Today at 12 am, around 200 people gathered in Khimki for a peaceful demonstration against the destruction of the Khimki forest and further areas of high ecological value for the construction of the toll motorway between Moscow and St. Petersburg
After the peaceful protest, Khimkinskaya police and riot police suddenly started to detain activists . About 30 people got crammed into buses, among other including Evgenyeva Chrikova and Yaroslav Nikitenko (leaders of the Khikmi forest movement), Sergei Mitrokhin (a leader of the Yabloko Party)", Sergei Udaltsov (coordinator of the Leva Front) and a representative of WWF Russia. Police behaviour was very brutal, some persons were beaten and got body injures. The detainees were denied to get in touch with their lawyers, which is a harsh violation of Russian law.
According to police, the demonstration was an unauthorized rally. After having seen how FSB (Russians Federal Security Service) is recording faces at any gathering and trying to figure out who needs to be detained to weaken the Khimki forest protection movement, the demonstration was a nice opportunity to yet again undermine civil rights with the help of police forces.
See fotos here
Today's brutal police action can be seen as a clear reaction of Russian authorities to the last demands of NWCC LLC (the project concessionair) that Russian Govenment must pay about 4 billion of rubles fine for the delay with the construction. Now Russian government appears to eliminate the source of the "delay" - using brutal force as its more reliable instrument. NWCC LLC and its owners must be blamed for all the violence and repressions of the last couple of days in Khimki.
NWCC LLC is 100% owned by a french company Vinci Concessions Russie. Vinci Concession Russie is usually considered as a part of the French Vinci Group. Nevertheless, investigations showed that the main shareholder of Vinci Concession Russie is a complicated structure of offshore
companies - see a recent Bankwatch study for more details.
The Khimki forest protection movement is determined to set up a permanent camp in the forest to stop illegal logging activities which are going along with the road construction project.
Watch this space for more to come.