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  2. The Technopark Company asked to remove a tent camp from Shies. Activists replied they would stay until the end of the reclamation

The Technopark Company asked to remove a tent camp from Shies. Activists replied they would stay until the end of the reclamation

Elena Zholobova
Photo by Kirill Shane
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The Technopark Company, carrying out the reclamation of the construction site for a landfill at station Shies, suggested that the activists move the tents outside the site. The developer said on its website that it planned to start work on cleaning the territory of 15 hectares from soil piles on December 19–20, and the tent camp was preventing this.

"Further reclamation work is impossible without moving tents and other structures from the site, since unauthorized access to the territory of the work is prohibited by current legislation due to the risks of harm to health," the company said in a statement.

Technopark also referred to an agreement reached by representatives of the company, the government of Arkhangelsk Oblast, and the administration of the village of Urdoma at a meeting on October 12 - that in December, "in accordance with the progress of reclamation work", the activists would move their tents somewhere else.

Activist Anna Shekalova, who is on duty in the camp at Shies, told 7x7 that she was not aware of this agreement. According to her, governor Alexander Tsybulsky, who had been to Shies, personally promised that the camp would remain in place until the reclamation was completed.

“Unfortunately, the opinions of the defenders of Shies are divided,” says Anna. “Some believe that the camp is out on the way and therefore it should be raised. And we, who are on duty here every day, are sure that the camp does not disturb the reclamation. Topsoil has not been removed from here. In addition, last year, people who came to Shies planted thousands of trees seedlings at the camp - cedars, oaklings — and they took root perfectly. They do not need to be transplanted or reclaimed. This is the property of Shies.”

Лагерь активистов на Шиесе, ноябрь 2019

Activists’ camp at Shies, November 2019. Photo by Dmitry Stepanovsky

Activists have many questions about the ongoing reclamation. They call it barbaric and do not understand why the contractor, instead of taking out the previously imported tons of sand, is simply pulling it all over the site. And it is purposefully doing this in the direction of the camp, skipping entire "football fields" around it.

“Reclamation means returning the site to its original state. If you brought sand, take it out. If you removed the topsoil, restore it. Take out your dorm, hangar. The plates were supposed to be taken out in November. Only the sheets were removed from the fence at half the perimeter, and the poles remained. And they are just covering the dornit [geofabric used to protect the base of SDW landfills] with sand and smearing it all over the territory. But the sand is not topsoil,” insists Anna Shekalova. “In my opinion, this is how they are laundering money, that is why it is not profitable for them to have people, monitoring the quality of their reclamation, in the camp.”

According to Shekalova, the activists will raise the camp only when they are sure that all the Technopark’s property has been removed from Shies and the reclamation has been carried out in full accordance with the plan. She advises the developer not to touch the camp, otherwise it will spark a backlash from the society.

“People have already started to gather, 25 activists are on duty in the camp now instead of six people, as usual. And they keep arriving. People are angry,” she concludes.

The construction of the landfill for the import of waste from Moscow began at station Shies on the border of Arkhangelsk Oblast and the Komi Republic in the summer of 2018 without permits. Residents of the region and the neighboring Komi Republic regularly held protest actions, and activists set up a tent camp near the construction site of the landfill and organized a 24-hour duty there. In December 2019, it became known that Moscow had not included Shies in its territorial waste management scheme for the next 10 years.

In January 2020, the Arkhangelsk Arbitration Court decided to demolish illegal buildings at the station. The project's investor, the Technopark Company, tried to challenge this decision, but to no avail. In October 2020, Technopark announced the termination of the landfill construction at Shies and promised to reclaim the territory by the summer of 2021. At the end of October, a representative of the Urdoma Administration said in court over illegal buildings that Technopark only pretended to carry out reclamation and was missing all the established deadlines.


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