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Construction of the highway Moscow-Petersburg through the Khimki forest, Russia


This conflict arose from the construction project of the highway from Moscow-Petersburg. According to the project plan, part of the highway (15—58 km) was to run through the Khimki forest and divide its territory in half.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Construction of the highway Moscow-Petersburg through the Khimki forest, Russia
Country:Russian Federation
State or province:Moscow region
Location of conflict:Khimki
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Infrastructure and Built Environment
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Deforestation
Establishment of reserves/national parks
Transport infrastructure networks (roads, railways, hydroways, canals and pipelines)
Urban development conflicts
Specific commodities:Ecosystem Services
Transport services
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Project area:100
Level of Investment:980,000,000.00
Type of populationUrban
Affected Population:220 000
Start of the conflict:01/01/2007
End of the conflict:12/12/2011
Company names or state enterprises:Vinci Group (Vinci) from France
Russian Roads (Avtodor (ГК "Автодор")) from Russian Federation
Relevant government actors:Russian Government Administration of Khimki
International and Finance InstitutionsOOO "Severo-Zapadnaja konzessionnaja kompanija" ООО "Северо-Западная концессионная компания"
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Coalition “Za lesa Podmoskovia” (For the forests near Moscow): Movement for Khimki forest protection WWF Greenpeace Russia Russian Bird Conservation Union Wildlife Conservation center International Socio-Ecological Union Newspaper “Khimkinskaja Pravda" Opposition political parties: “Jabloko”, “Levy Front” Activists from environmental political party: “Zelenye” Activists from environmental organization “Zeleny Patrul’” Musicians
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:International ejos
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Recreational users
journalists, musicians, conservationists
Forms of mobilization:Artistic and creative actions (eg guerilla theatre, murals)
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Land occupation
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Property damage/arson
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Noise pollution, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Health ImpactsPotential: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Other environmental related diseases, Other Health impacts
Other Health impactsHealth problems caused by decrease in air quality
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors
Other socio-economic impactsLoss of the traditional recreation area (no other big recreation areas near)
Project StatusUnder construction
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
Deaths, Assassinations, Murders
Negotiated alternative solution
Technical solutions to improve resource supply/quality/distribution
Violent targeting of activists
Project temporarily suspended
Development of alternatives:Alternative routes were proposed by project developers through Khimki or its surrounding. The alternatives were rejected due to the high costs.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The project was approved despite the huge protest movement. The promised reforestation of 500 ha will not cover the damage for biodiversity of the forest separation.
Sources & Materials
Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

Realty news: information on Supreme Court decision on the construction activities
[click to view]

Map of the highway project
[click to view]

Avtodor: Project performer
[click to view]

[click to view]

Independent environmental assessment (Greenpeace)
[click to view]

Opinion of activists coalition on 3 proposals of the highway
[click to view]

Wikipedia: Conflict on the Khimki forest
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Protest activities in the forest
[click to view]

Roch musician Yury Schevchuk participating in protests
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Natalia Finogenova
Last update25/07/2014
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