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The Russian government has decided to continue the construction of a highway from Moscow to St. Petersburg. The highway will run through Khimki forest. But the forest's protectors are not backing off. Environmentalists want to meet with President Dmitry Medvedev to discuss alternative solutions.
A poem (Russian)
Environmentalists and activists of the movement "For the Defense of Khimki Forest" continue to oppose the felling of trees.
They even decorated a Christmas tree in Khimki.
On the 24th of December, President Dmitry Medvedev supported the government's decision to resume the construction of a highway from Moscow to St Petersburg.
This highway would run through Khimki forest.
People were promised compensation with five times more trees, but in another place.
Meanwhile, a coalition of environmental organizations, called "For the forest near Moscow," did an independent examination of the highway construction."
The examination confirmed that about 100 hectares of forest, the pipeline and residential buildings will be damaged in district Khimki as a result of this construction.
[Jaroslav Nikitenko, Activist, "In Defense of Khimki Forest"]:
"It is being built in the middle of Khimki forest which will cause the maximum damage. There is evidence of an independent examination. Here is the schedule, which is provided to us by the independent examination. The third accepted version will cause maximum damage to nature."
Now environmentalists are pressing for a personal meeting with President Medvedev to discuss alternative road construction options.
[Eugenija Chirikova, leader of "In Defense of Khimki Forest"]:
"The public environmental review is now being finalized. There are some very interesting conclusions. In addition to the route options that are cheaper, legal and does not require the destruction of forests,there is a whole list of recommendations to improve the general traffic situation in city."