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Moscow Kiosk Owners to be Compensated for Voluntary Demolition

Municipal workers stand at debris of a flattened kiosks scatters at the Pushkin Square in Moscow, Russia. Alexander Zemlianichenko Jr / AP

Moscow authorities have promised to pay compensation to business owners who voluntarily dismantle their street kiosks, the Dozhd TV channel reported Wednesday.

The announcement comes after a further 107 structures were earmarked for demolition across the city. Over 100 trade pavilions were bulldozed overnight in Moscow in February after City Hall claimed that the “squatter structures” were illegal, dangerous and obstructed utility lines.

Many business owners hit back at the demolitions, showing documents demonstrating their legitimate ownership of the land and its registration in the official public registry. Many have seen the mass bulldozing as an aesthetic mission of Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin to rid Moscow of the supposedly unsightly kiosks, which sprung up during the 90s.

The First Deputy of Moscow’s Department for Economic Policy and Development, Dmitry Presnov, said Wednesday that owners would be compensated for both “the loss of the structure as well as its demolition.”

No compensation has so far been paid to any of the owners of the kiosks demolished in February. City Hall maintains that owners are only entitled to cash if they voluntarily forwent their property rights, but some retailers have since launched legal cases against Moscow's authorities.

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