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.

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

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Newsweek

Newsweek4 min read
‘Beautiful Boy’ Captures the Stark Reality of Addiction
Nic Sheff nearly succumbed to meth addiction. He’s now being played by Timothée Chalamet, the Oscar-nominated star of “Call Me by Your Name.”
Newsweek3 min read
NASA Satellite to Show How Much, How Fast Seas Rise
Loss of ice at the North Pole could shut down the Gulf Stream, plunging Northern Europe and Scandinavia into a deep freeze.
Newsweek2 min read
How Superheroes Cope With Saving The World
“You can’t live a life of violence and not feel the violence deep in your heart and your soul.”