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Activists Protest Destruction of 500-Year-Old Forest by Road

Source:  Copyright 2011, Inter Press Service
Date:  May 19, 2011
Byline:  Kester Kenn Klomegah
Original URL: Status ONLINE

Environmentalists and rights campaigners have mounted pressure on the Russian government to rescind the decision to demolish more than 500-year-old woodlands to make way for the construction of a new super-highway linking Moscow with the country's northern capital, St. Petersburg.

Despite the divided public reaction, the multi-lane motorway project was given the go-ahead in late December, just three months after President Dmitry Medvedev suspended it. Ecologists have argued the new highway could easily be rerouted without destroying the vast woodland and that the project is already fraught with corruption.

Alexey Yaroshenko, a project director at Greenpeace Russia, explained to IPS that "environmentalists are against the development of this project primarily because the government made the wrong choice: from at least 12 different possibilities of construction of this road, they selected one that leads to the most damage to the environment. Nor is this one ...

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