Greenpeace to ask Medvedev to clarify the situation concerning "Tkachev's dacha"

Source: HRO.org (info), 15/03/12

· Public protests  · Krasnodar region  · Samara region

According to a report on its website, Greenpeace is collecting signatures in support of environmental activists Evgeny Vitishko and Suren Gazaryan, who have demanded investigations into violations committed during the construction of a residence that has become known as "Tkachev's dacha."

A criminal case has been brought against Vitishko and Gazarya "for damaging another person's property" and they may face up to 5 years’ imprisonment.

In November last year a group of activists carried out an inspection of a plot of forest land adjoining the so-called "Tkachev dacha", which environmentalists believe belongs to Aleksandr Tkachev, governor of Krasnodar Krai.

The inspection confirmed that dozens of trees had been cut down for the building work, including a Pitsunda Pine, which is included in the Red Book of rare species. Polit.ru also reports that it emerged the builders had shut off a section of the coastline of the Black Sea with a large concrete wall, which under the law should be open to everyone.

The felling of trees that are included in the Red Book is deemed a criminal offense. In addition, Greenpeace noted that the construction of the governor's residence was accompanied by gross violations of the Forest and Water Codes.

Environmentalists consequently applied to the police and prosecutor's office with a demand that an investigation be made. However, instead the police started proceedings against the activists, accusing Vitishko and Gazaryan of taking down a section of fencing during their inspection. In addition, according to the investigators' version of events, the environmentalists wrote offensive messages on the fence. As a result, a criminal case was brought against them "for damage to another person's property". The region's press office had earlier denied reports that the dacha and plot of land belong to the governor.

On Thursday 15 March, the director of Greenpeace is to hand a petition in support of the environmentalists to Dmitry Medvedev at a meeting of the Human Rights Council in Samara.