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Police make arrests in Khimki forest protest

© RIA NovostiKhimki forest
Khimki forest - Sputnik International
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Police on Tuesday arrested 26 people at a rally in protest at the planned construction of a highway through woodland near Moscow.

Police on Tuesday arrested 26 people at a rally in protest at the planned construction of a highway through woodland near Moscow.

Police said Yevgeniya Chirikova - one of the figureheads of the campaign to save the more than 500-year-old forest - was among those arrested for staging an unauthorized rally in Khimki, a town just outside of the Russian capital.

The highway project was given the go-ahead in December, just three months after President Dmitry Medvedev put it on hold.

Several journalists who reported on the Khimki forest campaign have been attacked and badly hurt. In 2008, Mikhail Beketov, the former editor of a local weekly, was left brain-damaged and unable to speak. In 2010, ecologist Konstantin Fetisov was badly beaten.

MOSCOW, April 19 (RIA Novosti)

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