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  2. Karelian activists got court’s invalidation of the tree felling in the Kamenny Bor Park

Karelian activists got court’s invalidation of the tree felling in the Kamenny Bor Park

Ivan Zhuravkov
Lawyers Valery Alekseev and Olga Tuzhikova, activist Mikhail Novozhilov
Photo provided by activists
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Defenders of the Kamenny Bor (‘Stone Forest’) Park won a lawsuit against the Petrozavodsk City District Courthouse on the invalidation of the tree felling in the park where a private investor planned to build a motocross track and officials continue building a kindergarten. The defenders of the park reported this to 7x7.

In February, workers began cutting down the trees for the construction of a motocross track and kindergarten in the Kamenny Bor Park in Petrozavodsk. Local residents, who created a community of the Park’s defenders, opposed the construction and tree felling. They noted that the project land was not suitable for construction: there was a busy Klyuchevskoe highway along the cutting line, and there was a stone cliff into a quarry on the other side. The activists demanded declaring the construction and cutting down the trees illegal.

Каменный бор

Kamenny Bor

Olga Tuzhikova, the lawyer who represented the Kamenny Bor's defenders before the court, suggested in a conversation with 7x7 that the officials realized that they had made a mistake:

— It turned out that administrative provision had been violated when issuing permits for the tree felling and on the site of the planned motocross track and kindergarten. I think that the officials realize that some of their decisions were rash, and they will not file an appeal. What is more, the tenant of the land for the motocross track, having cut down the trees in February, abandoned the site almost immediately after all. The damage to the ecology of the city from the tree felling in the park is at least 39 million rubles. In May, we were promised that some trees would be planted on the site for the motocross track, but no work has been carried out there so far. I hope this decision will encourage the administration authorities to make more balanced decisions. I believe that people can learn from their mistakes.

Earlier, in June, the Supreme Court of Karelia settled the activists’ claim and declared the allocation of a recreation area of the Kamenny Bor Park in Petrozavodsk for the construction of a kindergarten illegal. A month later, they held one-person pickets, because the developer continued to carry sand for the construction of a kindergarten to the park.

Land preparation for the construction of a kindergarten began in the Kamenny Bor Park at the request of the Major Construction Work Department in February 2020. Local people opposed the forest clearing and construction works. They disrupted the works, prevented their resumption, installed a memorial sign to a soldier of the Great Patriotic War to replace the one destroyed by the builders. They found human remains at the construction site that could belong to the Red Army soldiers.

Kirill Prokhorov, the author of public page "Gorozhanin" (‘City Dweller’) about Petrozavodsk on vk.com, said that Gennady Bodnarchuk, the deputy of the district where the park is located, kept out of the issue all this time. Bodnarchuk was arrested on July 17 on suspicion of taking a grand bribe.


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