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Russian Police Violently Disperse Landfill Protest Near Moscow

Protesters rally against the Yadrovo dump in the Moscow region on March 8.
Protesters rally against the Yadrovo dump in the Moscow region on March 8.

Russian riot police have violently dispersed dozens of protesters in the town of Volokolamsk, where they had gathered to demonstrate against a landfill site local authorities say has contaminated the air in the area.

The protesters on March 8 blocked a road leading to the landfill in the village of Yadrovo, located near Moscow, preventing garbage trucks from entering the site.

The protesters said riot police forcibly dispersed them, beating some of the demonstrators with truncheons and taking many away in police buses.

Volokolamsk police said nine protesters were briefly detained and released without charges.

On March 7, Volokolamsk officials announced a state of emergency after the level of hydrogen sulphide in the air was recorded as 2 1/2 times higher and the level of nitric oxide was double usual levels.

Authorities said the situation was caused by a gas leakage at the landfill.

But the region's environment minister, Aleksandr Kogan, said the air contamination was not harming residents' health.

On March 3, some 5,000 protesters rallied in Volokolamsk and demanded the landfill's closure, with many complaining of a bad odor in the air.

Local authorities promised "to modernize" the landfill but refused to discuss the site's closure.

The Yadrovo landfill was opened in 2008 and is a dumping site for garbage from Moscow and nearby regions.

With reporting by Govorit Moskva and Vedomosti

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