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  2. Chistaya Urdoma’s activists announced the end of the protest against the construction of the landfill at Shies

Chistaya Urdoma’s activists announced the end of the protest against the construction of the landfill at Shies

Elena Zholobova
Photo by Kirill Shane

The Chistaya Urdoma (‘Clean Urdoma’) Initiative Group declared the "Shies protest" and the eco-watch, organized at the site of an unbuilt landfill for Moscow garbage, stopped. Members of the group also publicly "dissociated themselves" from the activists who continue insisting on keeping the tent camp at station Shies until the reclamation of the site is finished. The statement of Chistaya Urdoma appeared on the group’s public page on January 9.

It is reported that the members of Chistaya Urdoma have solidly decided to declare the project of the Shies Ecotechnopark closed and the demolition of the landfill — irreversible.

“Let’s consider the Shies protest – the protest of the people against the construction of a landfill at Shies — completed. Let’s stop the civil watch, combating the construction of the landfill, at Shies. Let’s not interfere with the reclamation (reduction of things to order) on the territory of Shies,” the statement on behalf of the Chairman of Chistaya Urdoma Svetlana Babenko says.

The activists also reported that their former colleagues, who remained in the camp, withdrew from the Stop-Shies Interregional Coalition, so their activities would be considered "irrelevant to the fight against the construction of the landfill at Shies” from that point. They also urged colleagues not to interfere with reclamation and "take care of people's property in the camp."

The participants of Chistaya Urdoma also stated that they intended to continue monitoring the reclamation of the territory at station Shies as part of the monitoring group under the administration of the village of Urdoma. They appealed to the contractors, carrying out the reclamation of the site, to save the tree seedlings, planted by activists, who came to Shies, near the tent camp in 2019.

On January 8, the police arrived at station Shies, where the reclamation of the construction site for the landfill is being carried out, and demanded that activists raise their tent camp within three days. Activist Anna Shekalova, who is on duty at the camp at Shies, stated in response that the activists would raise the camp only after Technopark had removed all its property from Shies and had carried out reclamation in accordance with the plan.

The Technopark Company suggested back in December that activists move their tents outside the site, so that it could start work on cleaning the territory, but the camp’s residents refused, having called the reclamation “barbaric”.

The construction of a 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 Commercial Court delivered a judgement 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 was only pretending to carry out reclamation and violated all the established deadlines.


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