Something mysterious is going on in the woods of Leningrad region: showy private mansions appear miraculously on territories owned by the state. Even the wrath of Sergei Stepashin, the head of the Russian Audit Chamber, doesn’t frighten landlords who likely took possession of their properties by dubious means.
The township of Roschino in Leningrad region is one of the spectacular examples of preserved lake shores and state-protected forests passing into the hands of regional government officials and their rich friends. The locals are convinced that “public servants” developed a range of shadowy schemes allowing private persons to become landowners through simplified procedures. Activists fighting against unlawful seizure of lands suffer from constant pressure of local authorities.
Denis Terentyev investigated the story, which was published on November 11, 2012 on the website of the NGO Bellona and in the magazine “Ekologia I Pravo” (Ecology and Law)
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