Rolled up

The fight over the Khimki forest has been escalating ever since 2004, when a document outlining the planned route of a new (and badly needed) highway connecting Moscow and St. Petersburg was published. The planned route, according the document, had the road taking a sharp turn toward the northeast as soon as it left Moscow, which would have it cutting right through the federally protected Khimki forest, one of the few pristine areas around the polluted capital.

Activists against this iteration of the highway project protested that the plan was drawn up in secret, that all decisions were made before pro forma public hearings were held, and that the highway would open up the forest for more development on both sides of the highway, effectively destroying a pristine nature preserve. (Last November, Putin changed the zoning for part of the forest from preserve to industry and transport.)

Things exploded this summer when the wood chopping started, and then, in short order, the protests started, too.

Yevgenia Chirikova, a 33 year-old former businesswoman, has become the de facto leader of the public resistance to the project. In recent days, she and her husband have noticed she was being followed.

Then, yesterday, as Chirikova came out of the Independent Press Center in the center of Moscow, with a bevy of journalists in tow, the group encountered 30 cops in black berets. They blocked the exit from the courtyard and, in front of rolling cameras, “rolled up” Chirikova, to use the Russian parlance.

Here’s what that looked like.

Грани-ТВ: Похищение Евгении Чириковой

The police later explained that they wanted to question Chirikova about last week’s smoke grenade and graffiti attack on the administrative headquarters of the Khimki township.

via GraniTV

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6 Responses to Rolled up

  1. Has she since been released? Very frightening the way they gave her no warning, and just waited for her to walk into their trap.

    Also, is it just me, or does her entourage include a startling number of attractive-attractive young persons?

    • Igor, AU says:

      The “attractive young persons” are just Russian 🙂
      My understanding is that Chrikova is not under arrest (and has never been) but ..

      You guys may want to visit here & vote in the bottom LHS

      • Igor, thanks for clearing that up. Yes, Moscow girls make me sing and shout, but personally I prefer the ladies from Kiev. They really knock me out.

        This still seems like a bizarre way to detain someone. I suppose it’s one of the various policing methods to knab someone from a crowd, but it’s still rather unsettling to watch happen. Couldn’t they have just walked up to her and served her papers asking her to headquarters, or something? Why must the militsiia reinforce their already Storm-Troops-like appearance?

    • larussophobe says:

      How odd that “A Good Treaty” can recognize the “very frightening” horror of Russian actions, which are utterly common (and indeed this is far from being the worst example), yet he would ask us to trust the Russians and make a treaty with them. Talk about bad advice!

  2. Igor, AU says:

    @A Good Treaty “..Couldn’t they have just walked up to her and served her papers ..? Why must the militsiia reinforce their already Storm-Troops-like appearance?..”

    Good questions.. The only answer I have so far, relates to the IQ of their bosses.. And especially – to that of the bosses of their bosses.

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