Sheremetyevo scandal: airport to kick villagers out without compensation?

The construction of the new Sheremetyevo Airport runway is set to displace hundreds of people from nearby villages.

Alarmed residents are demanding adequate compensation for their land and property, but doubt they will receive any. Despite promises to tackle the issue and the rumors that over four billion rubles are allocated for resettling locals, the airport has not yet contacted any of them.

“I want all my property to be valued – all the money paid for the land, for the house, for building the road nearby, all gas and water facilities,” Olga Bogdanova, a resident of Dubrovki village, told RT. “And I need adequate compensation from Moscow Region government for all the things I am about to lose – that’s all.”

Media reports that local residents are promising to stage a large-scale protest against the airport’s actions, by blocking roads and boycotting the forthcoming elections.

“They say the works are about to start soon,” Vladimir Zgus, another Dubrovki resident, told RT. “But if they are launching the construction nearby, they have to take the people out of here first. They have to resolve this problem. We want to be in a safe place – that’s our constitutional right.”

As the surrounding forests will also be cut down, environmentalists have responded by creating a movement to defend the Sheremetyevo woodlands. They say developers have already begun logging in the forest, without obtaining permission.

The airport’s press service, meanwhile, insists there is nothing to worry about.

“Construction work won’t begin until after next month,” Roman Genis from Sheremetyevo Airport press service told RT. “First, we need to choose the contractor. Then we will evaluate how much compensation to pay out. Now, some building work may begin before that. But full-scale construction will begin only after we’ve resolved all questions with the local residents.”

The director-general of the airport says that all the rumors and publications on the problem are nothing more an attempt to make use of the situation to draw some profit from it.

“Many pieces of land were bought there when the construction had already been announced,” Mikhail Vasilenko wrote in his blog. “They bought the land on purpose, hoping that the state will generously compensate for it. PR agencies, meanwhile, are campaigning against the minister of transport and presenting the whole issue in darker shades than it actually is.”

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