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Protesters stage unplanned march through downtown Moscow in opposition to city's renovation plans

Source: TV Rain

Opponents of a controversial renovation project in Moscow staged an unplanned march through the center of the city on Tuesday.

According to the independent television network Dozhd, protesters gathered outside the State Duma building on June 6, where lawmakers were discussing legislation to regulate Moscow’s planned demolition and renovation of thousands of Soviet-era apartments. 

Not allowed inside the building, demonstrators remained outside the State Duma for roughly two hours, before deciding to march to the presidential administration building on Ilyinka Street (about a half mile away).

Judging by Dozhd’s coverage and photos shared online, several dozen people appear to have taken part in the demonstration. A Dozhd correspondent claimed to have counted at least 150 protesters.

Keri Guggenberger, one of the people who organized the mass protest on May 14 against Moscow’s demolition plans, told Dozhd that the activists plan to write an open letter to Vladimir Putin, complaining that they weren’t allowed into the State Duma’s hearings on the matter.

Beginning in mid-May, residents of apartment buildings slated for demolition have been able to vote for or against the city’s renovation plans. Voting is expected to continue until mid-June. Mayor Sergey Sobyanin says the city will only renovate the buildings where more than two thirds of the residents voted in favor of the plan. 

Simultaneously, Russia’s federal parliament, the State Duma, is currently amending draft legislation that would regulate Moscow’s planned renovations.