Newsweek

Moscow Home Demolition Plans Are Galvanizing Residents

Authorities are facing mass opposition to plans to forcibly remove residents from their homes in favor of new construction that many say will only benefit rich developers and their partners in government.
Anti-demolition activist Kari Guggenberger shows the kitchen of her apartment in a building to be demolished under the city authorities' renovation plan, in Moscow, Russia, on May 7, 2017.
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Until recently, Elmira Shagiakhmetova, a businesswoman in Moscow, had never been to a protest. But on May 14, she and tens of thousands of middle-class Russians took to the streets to defend something very precious to them—their homes.

Moscow authorities plan to demolish at least 5,000 apartment blocks and rehouse around 1 million people in multistory residential towers. It’s one of the largest ever resettlement programs in the world. Under legislation proposed by Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, a member of President Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party, residents of buildings slated for demolition will have no choice when it comes to their new apartments, and if they do not agree to move, they will be taken to court.

Related: Moscow demolition plans: Why thousands rallied

The impending program, critics say, has

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