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  2. Activists of Shies reconstructed a post, destroyed by unknown people, at 38 degrees below zero

Activists of Shies reconstructed a post, destroyed by unknown people, at 38 degrees below zero

Ivan Zhuravkov
'Hands off Shies!'
Photo from the ObyedinivSHIESya Community on vk.com

Dozens of Russians have reconstructed the Kostyor (‘Bonfire’) post, closed at the end of 2020, at a temperature of −38°С at the Shies station in Arkhangelsk Oblast. On February 18, unknown people destroyed it and two other posts of activists, including the one from where they monitored the reclamation of the landfill. Information about the reconstruction of Kostyor was published in the ObyedinivSHIESya (‘United’) Community on vk.com.

Police blocked all entry roads to Shies in the morning of February 18 and detained six activists on duty at the station. In the evening, other activists came to Shies and saw that unknown people had destroyed the Banya (‘sauna’), Kostyor, and Krepost’ (‘fortress’) posts.

The Pomorye is Not a Dump Activists’ Community suggested that the buildings could have been destroyed by employees of contractors while there had been no activists at the station. According to the administrators of the community, they pushed the buildings of the Banya post into a pile with a digger and set it on fire. Everything was destroyed at the Krepost’ post, and supports of the building at the Kostyor post were sawn and the stove was pulled out.

“It is obvious that the authorities took advantage of the disagreement among protesters and relaxing the attention to Shies — and crossed the last line, completely destroying all the agreements and promises made by governor [Alexander] Tsybulsky and regional officials. <…> The observation posts at Shies will be reconstructed in the very near future! We will not leave!” the community reported on February 19.

As a result, activists reconstructed the Kostyor post at a temperature of −38°С on February 22.


Protests against the construction of a landfill for the import of waste from Moscow at the Shies station (the border of Arkhangelsk Oblast and the Komi Republic) took more than a year and a half. As a result, the Moscow City Hall has not included Shies in its territorial waste management scheme for the next 10 years. The Government of Arkhangelsk Oblast has excluded the project from the priority projects’ register, and the Technopark Company has promised to reclaim the territory by the summer of 2021.

After that, in January 2021, the opponents of the landfill construction at Shies developed opposing opinions. Activists of the Chistaya Urdoma (‘Clean Urdoma’) Initiative Group declared the protest stopped and decided that there were no more reasons to be on duty there. Other activists insisted on keeping the tent camp at Shies station until the reclamation of the site was finished.

In early February, the contractor demolished the Leningrad activists' tent camp, which was on the territory intended for the reclamation. Before that, the police visited activists who remained in the camp, demanding that the camp be raised. The contractor suggested that they move the buildings to the forest or to the Banya and Krepost’ posts and monitor the progress of reclamation through webcams.

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