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Muscovites to Have Their Say on Controversial Demolition Scheme


Residents in Moscow's iconic "Khrushchevka" apartment blocks are to have their say on whether the buildings should be demolished under a new renovation program, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has announced. 

Moscow authorities will canvass residents living in the five-story 1960s-era buildings until May 1.

“We are preparing a preliminary list of buildings to include in the renovation program. In order to do that properly, we are going to carry out a mass survey among residents who live in the five-story buildings. Only buildings where the majority of residents want the demolition will make the list,” Sobyanin wrote on Russian social network Vkontakte Wednesday.

An official vote will take place after the shortlist has been released, Sobyanin said. The mayor didn't specify how the vote would take place, but said that it would be scheduled for “May-June.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the complete demolition of Moscow’s post-war “Khrushchevkas" — the Soviet housing blocks which once offered hope to millions of families in the aftermath of World War II — in late February.

The buildings, affectionately named in honor of Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev,  were assembled en masse across the Soviet Union throughout the 1950s and 1960s in a bid to tackle the country’s post-war housing crisis. 

Following the announcement, Sobyanin said that 1.6 million Muscovites were still living in the buildings, many of which were not designed to last more than a few decades. He described the buildings as “uncomfortable, largely dilapidated housing,” and promised that demolition work would be complete by the end of 2018.

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