Moscow residents outraged as Russia starts cutting down trees to deploy air defense systems in the city

The Moscow authorities began to actively cut down trees in order to prepare sites for air defense systems, reports the news outlet the Insider.

According to journalists, after the New Year holidays, tree removal began in several districts of Moscow. Anti-aircraft missile systems S-400, radars 92N6E, as well as combat control points, presumably, 50K6A, have already been deployed in the Elk Island National Park and on the experimental fields of the Timiryazev Agricultural Academy. In the Pechatniki district, about 100 hectares of forest were cut down in the Kolomenskoye Museum-Reserve also for the needs of the Russian Defense Ministry.

"There was no continuous forest on the site of the experimental fields, so the soil was simply leveled and covered with asphalt. The site with the equipment is surrounded by two fences. There are four observation posts along the perimeter. Although the police forbid to take pictures, they do not make a secret of what is happening: "If they put it, then it is necessary. In the current situation, let it stand! Is it real? Well, I think, if necessary, they will use it, " Insider quotes the police and notes that the experimental fields of the Timiryazev Academy are surrounded by residential buildings. There is only about 200 meters to the nearest house.

According to journalists, the installation of the S-400 caused outrage among environmentalists and local residents, because the above-mentioned areas belong to a specially protected natural park. Environmental legislation allows deforestation only in a limited number of cases, in particular, for the needs of the protected areas themselves.

"I always dreamed that a potential target for the enemy would be installed near my house!" one of the locals said.

At the same time, government bodies and departments remain silent. Moscow residents have sent hundreds of letters asking the authorities to provide a reason for cutting down such a huge forest but did not receive a single official answer on the merits.

"Requests are sent 'into orbit' – this is how residents call the process when ministries redirect letters to each other, not wanting to answer questions. Svetlana T. Managed to get at least some comment, she sent a letter to the mayor's office describing the violations and asking for to clarify the reason for these activities. The answer came from the administration of Moscow’s South-Eastern Administrative District: "Currently, planned activities are being carried out, construction equipment is working. Removal of felled trees is carried out according to the schedule." Trying to find out the reason for the destruction of the forest, Muscovites appealed to the State Duma deputy Svetlana Razvorotneva on her Vkontakte page. However, she chastised the residents and claimed that there was no relict forest there. Razvorotneva also made it clear that she is aware of the construction site, but she cannot talk about its purpose because of the "special time," Insider writes.

Reports about air defense systems being deployed in Moscow began to appear in early 2023. Photos of air defense systems on the Russian Defense Ministry and on the roof of the office building in Teterinsky Lane were published on social networks.

Earlier, it was reported that the Russian authorities are strengthening the "air shield" around Moscow. The reasons for this were the latest drones attacks and strikes on strategic Russian facilities, which are taking place closer to the capital of the Russian Federation.

  War in Ukraine, Russia, Moscow