External Affairs

Moscow: Thousands Protest Against Housing Resettlement, but Fewer Attend

The protesters are concerned about the property rights, location and quality of the planned new accommodation and the lack of services and infrastructure.

Moscow: Thousands of Muscovites protested in the south-west of the Russian capital on Sunday against government plans to resettle millions of citizens from shoddy Soviet-era apartment blocks, but numbers had fallen compared to earlier rallies.

A Reuters witness said around 5,000 people attended the latest rally, compared to organisers’ estimates of 60,000 at a protest on May 14. Police put the number at that rally at 8,000, though their estimate covered a smaller area.

The draft law on renovation envisages moving some Muscovites into modern flats but has fuelled concerns about property rights, a year after city authorities provoked an outcry among small businesses by bulldozing many street kiosks.

Moscow residents are also concerned about the location and quality of the planned new accommodation, a lack of services and infrastructure and about threats the redevelopment may pose to the historic face of the Russian capital.

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