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  2. Defenders of the Kamenny Bor Park in Petrozavodsk installed a memorial sign to a soldier of the Great Patriotic War to replace the one destroyed by the builders

Defenders of the Kamenny Bor Park in Petrozavodsk installed a memorial sign to a soldier of the Great Patriotic War to replace the one destroyed by the builders

Alya Gratch
Photo by Ilya Timin
Photo by Ilya Timin
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On April 12, opponents of the construction work in the Kamenny Bor (‘Stone Forest’) Park installed a new memorial sign to Yakov Stepanov, a soldier of the destruction battalion. The builders dismantled former monument during the forest clearing on the construction site of a kindergarten. Activists reported this to the correspondent of 7x7.

The activists raised money for a new stele in the community of the Kamenny Bor Park’s defenders on vk.com and installed it on their own right where the destroyed monument was. They attached a sign to the stele informing that Yasha Stepanov, a soldier of the destruction battalion, was killed there when defending Petrozavodsk in October 1941.

According to the activists, the police arrived while they were installing the stele. Police officers drew up administrative reports against some of them for the violation of the self-isolation regime due to the coronavirus pandemic. Nevertheless, the activists finished installing the stele and laid flowers on it.

The developer began to cut down two sections in the Kamenny Bor Park in February 2020. The first land plot is leased by SU-149 LLC. It was initially planned to build a motocross track there, but then the Ministry of Sports of Karelia reported that a sports and recreation center would be built on the land plot. It is planned to build a kindergarten for 280 people on the other land plot under the contract of the Karelian government. The government contract was received by the TechExpert Company, Moscow. The developer dismantled a memorial sign to soldier Yakov Stepanov that had been installed at the supposed place of his death. The town administration reported after this incident that the monument would be restored in the autumn of 2020 as soon as the kindergarten was completed.

The defenders of the Kamenny Bor Park tried to stop the construction on their own, considering the felling of trees unacceptable. They went to the construction site and interrupted the work, recorded video addresses to the authorities and expressed their protest at meetings with officials. The police drew up administrative reports against some activists. Late in March, defenders of the park filed a lawsuit against the administration of Petrozavodsk to recognize the allocation of an area of 280 m² for the construction of a kindergarten illegal, because it contradicts the norms of the Town Planning Code. While the claim is being considered in court, construction in the park continues. This land plot is located in the health care facilities zone where pre-school, primary and secondary general educational institutions can be built.

Defenders applied to the Department of Economic Security and Combating the Corruption of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia for Petrozavodsk and the Prosecutor’s office in March. The prosecutor’s investigation ascertained the takeover of 580 m² in the Kamenny Bor Park by the developer, LLC TechExpert, on March 26. The employees of the Prosecutor’s office considered that the administration had committed several violations when issuing permits for the land clearing, the Prosecutor’s office passed on recommendation to the Mayor’s office. It is being under consideration. Pre-investigation check is being carried out in order to estimate damage caused by cutting down the trees in the Kamenny Bor Park.

The work in the park was temporarily put on hold during the proceedings with law enforcement agencies. But the construction continued as soon as TechExpert LLC obtained a permit from the Ministry for Economic Development and Industry of the Republic of Karelia to work during the period of combating coronavirus.


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