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  2. The Supreme Court of Karelia recognized the allocation of land in the park for a kindergarten illegal

The Supreme Court of Karelia recognized the allocation of land in the park for a kindergarten illegal

Ivan Zhuravkov
Activists at the Supreme Court of Karelia ("Your city, your park!")
Photos from community "The keepers of Kamenny Bor" on vk.com
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The Supreme Court of Karelia fulfilled the demand of local activists and recognized the allocation of a land plot for the construction of a kindergarten from the recreation zone of the Kamenny Bor (‘Stone Forest’) Park in Petrozavodsk illegal. Mikhail Novozhilov, one of the defenders of Kamenny Bor, reported this to 7x7.

— This trial was a “Rubicon” for us — no one knew what we were facing. We won, but the decision is coming into force in 30 days, and we are expecting an appeal from the authorities then. The builders can resume the works while waiting for the appeal and the court above. They will probably try to complete the earthworks in time to really enter into the rights and to continue building whatever they are planning to build, sorting out legal issues. However, they walk on thin ice in this case. Is it worth spending budgetary funds after the Supreme Court's decision?! The responsibility for not stopping the construction will increase after losing the appeal again.

Novozhilov stressed that activists were going to file a lawsuit to recognize the building permit on site of the park illegal and this would be “the next stage of the confrontation.” The defenders of Kamenny Bor filed a lawsuit challenging the decision to partly allocate the park's land from the recreation zone for development in April 2020. The Petrozavodsk Urban Okrug Administration and the Petrozavodsk City Council, supported by the Ministry of National and Regional Policy, the Ministry of Housing and Building, the LLC Techexpert Construction Company, and the Prosecutor's office, were the defendants in the lawsuit.

The construction of a kindergarten began on site of the Kamenny Bor Park at the request of the Major Construction Work Department in February 2020. A private company planned to build a sports and recreation center on the neighboring land plot, but the public resonance made it refuse the land.

Local people opposed the construction of a kindergarten on site of the park. They disrupted the works and prevented their resumption, installed a memorial sign to a soldier of the Great Patriotic War to replace the one destroyed by the builders, found human remains at the construction site that could belong to the Red Army soldiers. Activists and the correspondent of 7x7 were blocked in a quarry where the soil was allegedly disposed from the park. During the protests, the police drew up reports against the defenders of Kamenny Bor for violating the self-isolation regime, and the court found them guilty.


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