Residents of Domodedovo, a city south of Moscow near the country's biggest international airport, have announced the establishment of a Russian Democratic Republic and asked the EU for official recognition, the Russian Lawyers Association for Human Rights said on Monday.
In their letter to the EU, the Russian Democratic Republic action group claims the Russian authorities have grossly violated the principles of democratic society by ignoring the results of a 2007 referendum when almost 100 percent of Domodedovo residents voted against the building of a toll motorway within city limits.
The group says the Russian Democratic Republic should be integrated into the EU and recognized by other countries with a special status as part of the Russian Federation and the right to self-determination.
The republic’s emblem is a nosediving one-headed eagle.
Lawyer Yevgeny Arkhipov said the move was necessitated by the fact that the city residents have overnight found themselves “guests” on their own land where crime, oligarchs, and corrupt officials have established their own criminal ways, forcing the residents to pay a tribute for passage, water use, gathering of mushrooms and berries in nearby forests, and seizing any property they like from their lawful owners.
Activist Marina Zlotnikova said she has witnessed representatives of an Azerbaijani “criminal community” pressuring local residents, threatening them over their opposition to the expansion of the toll motorway parallel to the Kashira Highway.
A group of people close to the family of incumbent Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev is a key developer in the Domodedovo area, Zlotnikova claimed.
The establishment of a "democratic republic" is the only way the local residents can protect themselves and their interests, she said.