Construction of the highway Moscow-Petersburg through the Khimki forest, Russia


This conflict arose from the construction project of the highway from Moscow-Petersburg. According to the project plan, part of the highway (15—58 km) was to run through the Khimki forest and divide its territory in half.

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Basic Data
NameConstruction of the highway Moscow-Petersburg through the Khimki forest, Russia
CountryRussian Federation
ProvinceMoscow region
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Infrastructure and Built Environment
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Establishment of reserves/national parks
Urban development conflicts
Transport infrastructure networks (roads, railways, hydroways, canals and pipelines)
Specific CommoditiesTransport services
Ecosystem Services
Project Details and Actors
Project Area (in hectares)100
Level of Investment (in USD)980,000,000.00
Type of PopulationUrban
Potential Affected Population220 000
Start Date01/01/2007
End Date12/12/2011
Company Names or State EnterprisesVinci Group (Vinci) from France
Russian Roads (Avtodor (ГК "Автодор")) from Russian Federation
Relevant government actorsRussian Government Administration of Khimki
International and Financial InstitutionsOOO "Severo-Zapadnaja konzessionnaja kompanija" ООО "Северо-Западная концессионная компания"
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersCoalition “Za lesa Podmoskovia” (For the forests near Moscow): Movement for Khimki forest protection WWF Greenpeace Russia Russian Bird Conservation Union Wildlife Conservation center International Socio-Ecological Union Newspaper “Khimkinskaja Pravda" Opposition political parties: “Jabloko”, “Levy Front” Activists from environmental political party: “Zelenye” Activists from environmental organization “Zeleny Patrul’” Musicians
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingInternational ejos
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Recreational users
journalists, musicians, conservationists
Forms of MobilizationDevelopment of a network/collective action
Property damage/arson
Public campaigns
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Land occupation
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Street protest/marches
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Development of alternative proposals
Official complaint letters and petitions
Artistic and creative actions (eg guerilla theatre, murals)
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Noise pollution, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Health ImpactsPotential: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Other environmental related diseases, Other Health impacts
OtherHealth problems caused by decrease in air quality
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors
OtherLoss of the traditional recreation area (no other big recreation areas near)
Project StatusUnder construction
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCompensation
Negotiated alternative solution
Technical solutions to improve resource supply/quality/distribution
Violent targeting of activists
Project temporarily suspended
Development of AlternativesAlternative routes were proposed by project developers through Khimki or its surrounding. The alternatives were rejected due to the high costs.
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.The project was approved despite the huge protest movement. The promised reforestation of 500 ha will not cover the damage for biodiversity of the forest separation.
Sources and Materials

Wikipedia: Conflict on the Khimki forest
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Realty news: information on Supreme Court decision on the construction activities
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Avtodor: Project performer
[click to view]

Map of the highway project
[click to view]

[click to view]

Independent environmental assessment (Greenpeace)
[click to view]

Opinion of activists coalition on 3 proposals of the highway
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Media Links

Roch musician Yury Schevchuk participating in protests
[click to view]

Protest activities in the forest
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorNatalia Finogenova
Last update25/07/2014