Tuesday, March 09, 2010
Despite human rights organisations and opposition politicians mounting a wave of protests, Russian officials have confirmed that they will go a-head with plans to demolish the picturesque village of Rechnik just outside central Moscow.
As the demolition began some villagers barricaded themselves inside their homes in an attempt to defy officials, but were later forced out by Police. "I feel numb, I built this house with my own hands. Now everything has been destroyed." said the owner, Nikolai. It has been reported that residents did not receive proper notification from the authorities that their homes were to be demolished.
The land on which the village stands is prime real estate worth billions of roubles (hundreds of millions of pounds). Many villagers believe they are being forced out so a new resort for the business elite can be built. The Moscow authorities insist their only plan is to build a park. Whatever happens now to Rechnik will be the subject of intense scrutiny in a country where violations of property rights are already a matter of real concern.