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Russian Court Rules to Demolish Controversial Landfill

A protest against the landfill in Arkhangelsk on April 7, 2019. pnparh / Vkontakte

A Russian court has ruled to demolish the landfill at the heart of a year-long battle over Moscow’s waste, marking a major victory for regional activists who actively opposed its construction, news outlets reported Thursday.

Local authorities in northern Russia’s Arkhangelsk region sued the company constructing the landfill at the Shiyes train station in February 2019 following months of sustained protests. The local issue has rapidly expanded into a nationwide movement against Moscow’s plans to export its garbage to less populated areas.

pnparh / Vkontakte

The Arkhangelsk region’s arbitration court ruled that the construction at Shiyes is illegal and ordered its constructor to tear it down within one month, the Novaya Gazeta newspaper reported.

“This is a happy day in Urdoma,” lawyer Alexander Kozenkov told the Ekho Moskvy radio station, referring to his client, the nearby town whose administration won the lawsuit.

In comments to the RBC news website, Kozenkov cautioned that the judgment has not yet taken effect.

The company building the landfill, Technopark, plans to appeal the court decision, its spokesman Alexander Gryzunov told the 29.ru news website. 

The appeals process could last into 2021, said Yevgeny Abakumov, who heads the “Stop Shiyes” interregional environmental group’s legal department.

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