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60 Russian cities celebrating "The Big Lie Day" a year after Medvedev's decision to halt clearing of the Khimki Forest for Vinci's controversial motorway project

Today "The Big Lie Day" campaign to defend  the Khimki forest has started in Moscow, Pushkin square. Exactly one year ago a 5 thousand people strong demonstration lead to the decision of Mr. Medvedev, the President of Russia, to stop the destruction of the forest and announce  further public and expert discussions on the routing of the motorway. However, the  decision has turned out to be nothing more than an attempt to relieve temporarily the public tension without any real change. The "public and expert" consultation process was scaled down quickly with final decision being taken completely behind the closed doors. Independent environmental assessment prepared by leading environmental experts was completely ignored without any discussion. The main motivation for the "final decision" was merely a compensation costing billions rubles which could be demanded by  the project concessionaire NWCC LLC (owned by Vinci group and various unknown companies from offshore jurisdictions) in case of changing of the routing.

The All-Russia campaign will start on Friday, the 26.  At 15 pm in the center of Moscow a big flashmob will open the campaign. The artists performance will accompany the presentation of the blacklist of Russian and foreign officials, policemen, and businessmen involved into destroying the nature, stealing  public money from Russian citizens through corrupt offshore schemes, and contributing to human rights abuses and corruption in Russia. We are sure that corruption, human rights abuses and destruction of the environment are not nameless. The first step to fight them is to reveal their names.

Starting from August, 26 there will be actions in more than 60 Russian cities showing solidarity with the Khimki forest defenders and their  fight against corruption and destruction of environment in Russia.  Of course, one of the actions  will take place in Khimki itself.

The actions in different cities will focus on local environmental and corruption problems as well - since Medvedev's incapability to solve the Khimki Forest problem has given the corrupted officials all over Russia a clear signal that corruption and destruction of environment could be tolerated even in such resonant cases. Indeed, Medvedev has even admitted that the project "serves private interests rather than public ones" - but has still done nothing to change the situation. Therefore, more and more "khimki forests" have appeared throughout Russia during last months.

Information about actions in various regions of Russia will be available at www.khimkiforest.org

The Movement to Defend Khimki Forest has been trying to save the old and valuable Khimki forest since 2007. The toll road Moscow-St.Petersburg should go through the forest, fully destroying its ecosystem, though there are alternative routes, proposed by the Russian scientists in cooperation with Greenpeace and the WWF. Independent environmental assessment found the current routing "the worst one among 11 alternative options". The whole project is clearly in favor of the corruption interests of the top Russian officials and French multinational Vinci SA, as shown by Transparency International (R) and the Bankwatch CEE.

22 августа 2011

Movement to Defend the Khimki Forest

ecmoru@gmail.com,
www.khimkiforest.org,
www.ecmo.ru
+7 (962) 920-84-13






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