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Siberian Mayor Rejects Church Plans as Anti-Cathedral Protests Rock Yekaterinburg

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The mayor of the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk has canceled plans to build a pre-revolutionary cathedral in place of a public park as protests against similar plans rocked Russia’s fourth-largest city of Yekaterinburg.

Clashes erupted in Yekaterinburg this week as residents tore down fencing enclosing its riverside park ahead of church construction. Dozens of arrests have been reported over three days of protests as residents try to defend the recreational space from the authorities.

With tensions boiling over 2,500 kilometers to the west, Krasnoyarsk Mayor Sergei Yeryomin announced that he had signed a decree banning construction of the cathedral in the park.

The decision is primarily motivated by “the need to demolish green spaces to build the cathedral,” Yeryomin’s office said in a statement Tuesday.

He signed separate decrees moving the construction site from the park to a residential area 9 kilometers further east.

The relocated project restores a pre-Bolshevik revolution cathedral that was demolished in 1936.

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