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Moscow Protesters, Police Clash Over ‘Radioactive Highway’ Construction

Activists fear the road will release buried radioactive dust into the nearby Moscow River and into the air. Telegram

Moscow police clashed with dozens of activists protesting the construction of a new highway on top of a former nuclear waste dump, the Mediazona news website reported Thursday.

The planned eight-lane highway, whose route passes the Moscow Polymetals Plant’s former waste dump in southern Moscow, has riled locals and activists alike since it was announced in 2018. They fear it will release buried radioactive dust into the nearby Moscow River and into the air.

Some 61 people were reportedly detained following the clashes, which saw officers in riot gear use tear gas against protesters.

Dmitry Sarayev, a Moscow City Duma deputy from the Communist Party, said the clashes broke out when police used force to break up the protesters’ campsite.

Last fall, Greenpeace Russia said it found five locations on the highway route where topsoil emitted up to eight times the normal level of radiation.

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin in January admitted the existence of “radioactive spots” along the Moscow River and promised to move some of the contaminated soil outside city limits. Greenpeace Russia accused Sobyanin of not doing enough to prevent what they see as a radioactive incident waiting to happen.

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