OPPONENTS OF CHURCH CONSTRUCTION IN CENTER OF EKATERINBURG CONDUCT PROTEST FOR THIRD EVENING IN A ROW
Interfax-Religiia, 15 May 2019
Another unsanctioned demonstration of protest against the construction of a church in the center of Ekaterinburg is being conducted on Wednesday evening, a correspondent of the Interfax-Ural news agency reports from the scene of the action.
A permanent fence is being erected on the site of the future construction of the church, in place of a metal fence that protesters in the demonstrations on Monday and Tuesday threw to the ground, and several fragments were hurled into a pond.
Demonstration participants are behaving calmly. On the site police are patrolling and there are vehicles of the patrol service and OMON [riot police].
Several demonstration participants are trying to conduct a dialogue with police personnel and others are singing songs, dancing, and drinking tea. Somebody is walking dogs.
Meanwhile the sidewalk slabs have begun to be removed and a "passport of the object" has appeared where the period of construction of the church is indicated: from May of this year to June of 2023.
As reported, the decision to build a cathedral of Saint Catherine on October Square of Ekaterinburg, where there now is a square, was made in September 2018. Some residents of the city spoke out against this. An action group submitted to the electoral commission an application for conducting a referendum regarding construction of the church, but it was refused.
On 13 May, a fence appeared in the square, enclosing the site of future construction. On the same day, residents of Ekaterinburg gathered for the first demonstration of protest, which began in the evening and lasted until morning.
On 14 May, a second unsanctioned demonstration against construction of the church was held on October Square. The site was patrolled by personnel of the police, the Russian Guard, and OMON. Twenty-six persons were arrested and three injured persons were hospitalized. (tr. by PDS, posted 15 May 2019)
KREMLIN DISAPPROVES VIOLATION OF LAW IN SITUATION AROUND CONSTRUCTION OF CHURCH IN EKATERINBURG
Interfax-Religiia, 15 May 2019
The Kremlin declared impermissible violation of the law in the course of protest demonstrations in connection with the construction of a church in the center of Ekaterinburg.
"Unsanctioned gatherings, let alone demonstrations, which go contrary to existing laws cannot be approved," said the press secretary of the Russian president, Dmitry Peskov, on Wednesday in reply to a request of journalists to comment on the situation around the construction of a church in the center of Ekaterinburg.
"Of course, this is what makes certain actions of law enforcement agencies necessary," the president's press secretary added.
To the question whether the Kremlin intends to intervene in this conflict between residents and the church builders, the press secretary of the head of state answered: "On the whole, such situations are the prerogative of local authorities, and we see that they are working."
As Peskov noted, "local authorities are quite correctly conducting a conversation with the population and with the builders." He said, "local authorities offered alternative sites for building parks and organizing recreation and services for citizens and residents of this district."
"That is, we consider that local authorities are trying to work things out. On the other hand, it seems that this work must continue," the representative of the Kremlin emphasized.
In September 2018, members of the architectural city planning council of Ekaterinburg voted to build a cathedral of the Great Martyr Saint Catherine on October Square, where there now is a park. Some residents of the city spoke out against this. An action group submitted an application to the election commission for conducting a referendum on construction of the church, but it was refused.
After this, when a fence enclosing the site of the future construction of the church appeared in the park, residents of Ekaterinburg conducted the first unsanctioned protest demonstration, which began on Monday evening and lasted to Tuesday morning. On Tuesday, a second unsanctioned demonstration against construction of the church was held in the park. As a result, 26 persons were arrested. (tr. by PDS, posted 15 May 2019)
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