On May 3, 2012, another vicious attack upon environmental activist occurred in Russia. However, unlike most previous cases, a woman became the victim. Galina Golubova is a long-time defender of Khimki Forest together with her husband Alexey Rassolov. During last several weeks both Alexey and Galina took active part in the defense of another forest – Tsagovsky pinewood in town Zhukovsky to the south-east of Moscow City.
About 11 p.m. on May 3 Galina was returning home after a visit to her friends. She was going towards Tsaritsino underground station. Suddenly a man with a club rushed to her. His face was covered by a masque. The man tried to strike Galina on her head with all possible might, but Golubova managed to avoid direct blow. Only her shoulder was hit. The attacker tried to repeat the blow, but Galina squatted down, and this time the mobster missed his victim at all.
Golubova got up and ran to a group of passers-by. The attacker followed her, but he didn’t risk to strike again on the eyes of several witnesses. Galina called up one of her friends and told him about her dangerous situation. The friend agreed immediately to meet her at the entrance of Tsaritsino underground station. After their meeting the pursuer disappeared. However, when Galina came out from the underground on Planernaya station (it’s the other end of Moscow City), she observed several men of suspicious appearance paying particular attention to her. But Golubova was already accompanied by several friends, and nothing occurred.
What was the motive for this potentially deadly attack? Apparently, the struggle in defense of Tsagovsky pinewood in town Zhukovsky is the explanation. Forest defenders managed to turn this problem into the national one. They also seriously slowed works on construction of the road across the pinewood. This road is of no need to dwellers of Zhukovsky, it will be needed only for VIPs once in two years to come quickly to the air and space show. As for the main motive of cutting the wood, it’s usually the hope to seize forest lands for commercial construction.
Alexey Rassolov received direct threats from private security guards, which had numerously and severely attacked forest defenders in the wood. However, Alexey changed recently his cellular phone number, and apparently the pursuers ‘lost’ him. But Galina’s phone was certainly tapped, because attack upon her was organized in the place, which she visited very rarely. So the war with environmentalists in Russia grows more sophisticated.
Russian environmentalists are accustomed to such methods. But still they need solidarity.