Resort Planned in Russian Nature Preserve

Environmentalists in Russia are fuming over plans to construct a resort in the middle of a nature preserve near the 2014 Winter Olympics host city of Sochi.
February 8, 2010, 7am PST | Nate Berg
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"But environmental organizations claim that the Kremlin is sending in middlemen to Russia's warm shore to build a holiday resort with a view of the sea and an idyllic bay -- right in the center of the protected Bolshoi Utrish nature reserve, established in 2001 under then-President Vladimir Putin.

...Environmentalists charge forces in Moscow are meddling in the project -- not least among them Russia's Environment Ministry. The ministry has tried to re-draw the boundaries of the nature reserve and move the construction site out of protected territory, said Igor Chestin, head of the Russian branch of natural conservation group WWF. The Kremlin body, he said, has expressed a "clear interest" in the project."

Environmentalists there are fighting the development, and judges have already stopped construction on a road being built through the middle of the preserve.

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Published on Friday, February 5, 2010 in Der Spiegel
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