The bulldozers have moved in and demolition has begun, but the residents are vowing not to give up without a fight. Scuffles have broken out over plans to relocate some 120 families from council-owned land on the outskirts of Moscow. Security forces have been brought in to clear the site in Butovo, where highrise apartments are planned.
The residents say compensation and relocation offers are not good enough. The Mayor of Moscow, Yury Luzhkov, who has been criticised for inaction, has visited the site.
He said: “We are going to work with each family. We’re going to work in the context of the law, the decisions of the courts. We’re going to see what is fair and what isn’t. But we won’t tolerate troublemakers.”
The residents say they are determined to stay, however, and even children are helping build barricades to try to prevent demolition. While 140 families have already accepted relocation offers and left, those remaining are still hopeful their protest will not be in vain.