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Protests Rock Russian Town After Over 50 Children Poisoned by Landfill Gas

Mikhail Pochuev / TASS

A grassroots protest has erupted in a Russian town outside Moscow where scores of schoolchildren have been reportedly poisoned by toxic gases from a nearby landfill.   

Fifty-seven children sought medical attention in the town of Volokolamsk after complaints of nausea and dizziness linked to landfill gases on Wednesday, the district’s head, Yevgeny Gavrilov, revealed. Thousands of residents have been protesting against foul smells from the nearby Yadrovo garbage dump since early March, some of whom have been arrested for violating public order.

“I’ll shove your glasses up your a--,” one resident yelled at district head Gavrilov at the spontaneous rally outside the Volokolamsk hospital on Wednesday, as heard in footage published by the RTVI news channel. 

Grainy footage showed another resident punching Gavrilov as his security detail escorted the local politician away from the crowd. 

Interfax quoted Gavrilov's office as confirming on Thursday that the foul smell emanated from the Yadrovo landfill, adding that the source of the discharge had been covered with soil overnight. 

Meanwhile, a 10-year-old girl has gone viral for making a throat-cutting gesture while pointing at Moscow region governor Andrei Vorobyov during his televised address at the site of the protest.

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