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Moscow Risks 'Environmental Collapse' Under Demolition Scheme

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Moscow City Hall’s planned demolition of more than 4,500 homes across the capital could spark an “environmental collapse,” activist group Greenpeace has warned.

The group said that Moscow would lose some 2,700 hectares of green space under the renovations, with some neighborhoods losing more than 25 percent of their existing trees.

"[The plans] are unacceptable because it allows companies to disregard construction, fire, and environmental regulations, including legislation which would limit the density and height of buildings," Greenpeace said in a statement on Tuesday. "[Our]experts believe that ignoring these regulations could lead to an ecological collapse in Moscow."

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced the demolition of Moscow's remaining post-war, pre-fabricated apartments — affectionately known as Khrushchevki — in February.

He said that the city needed to remove the "dilapidated" low-rise buildings, despite concerns from residents that developers could crush local infrastructure by building large, high-rise apartment blocks.

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