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Muscovites Say Developer Profits and Money Laundering Is Behind Home Demolition Scheme


Muscovites have said money-laundering and profiteering are the driving forces behind the government's city-wide demolition scheme, a report released by state-run pollster VTsIOM has revealed.

Some 37 percent of Muscovites — as well as 25 percent of tenants affected by the scheme — said that the scheme's key aim was to drive profit for large construction companies.

Thirty-three percent said the scheme aimed to “improve living conditions for ordinary people,” with that figure falling to 30 percent among Muscovites living in buildings set to be demolished.

Construction companies were also named as the program's main benefactor by both city residents affected by the scheme and across the city as a whole, with building firms singled out by 50 percent and 64 percent of Muscovites respectively.

Only 39 percent of those surveyed across the city said that ordinary residents would benefit most from the plans, with that figure rising to 41 percent among those living in potential “renovation areas.”

The majority of Muscovites still support the scheme, with 75 percent of the tenants living in potential “renovation areas” and 67 percent of city residents in favor of the plans.

As many as 1.6 million people could be affected by the demolition scheme, which will see 45,000 four and five-story apartment blocks destroyed across the city. City Hall has said that a building will be demolished only if more than two-thirds of residents agree with the scheme. 

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