- Title: Crimea residents protest against land seizures by authorities
- Date: 1st June 2017
- Summary: BALACLAVA, CRIMEA (RECENT) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF HARBOUR VIEW LAND OWNER, ALEXEI DEMENOK, WALKING FLOWERS POWER CABLE (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) LAND OWNER, ALEXEI DEMENOK, SAYING: "The government of Sevastopol says that Ukraine has given us these lands illegally in accordance with Ukrainian laws in 2010. And now they are suing us to deprive us of these rights which were given by Ukraine. And also according to the new general plan (of city development) this lot is considered to be protected environmental zone with no construction possible." DOCUMENTS (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) LAND OWNER, ALEXEI DEMENOK, SAYING: "Balaclava itself is a picturesque site. And as far as I understand someone simply liked this lot. There is a perfect embankment view. And although there are rocks here we've set up an electricity supply, we have filed papers for a water supply and we are trying to build roads. But now they are trying to seize our land." FLOWERS VARIOUS HARBOUR VIEWS VARIOUS ROAD BLOCK
- Embargoed: 15th June 2017 10:25
- Keywords: Crimea Sevastopol land property rights Ukraine Russia
- Location: BALACLAVA AND SEVASTOPOL, CRIMEA
- City: BALACLAVA AND SEVASTOPOL, CRIMEA
- Country: Ukraine
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace
- Reuters ID: LVA0016JG4JLL
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Hundreds protested in the Crimean city of Sevastopol against a construction plan put forward by the local government that they say violates their property and land rights given by Ukrainian authorities before the peninsula was annexed by Russia in 2014.
The general plan for development in the region is in its draft stage, but has drawn a strong reaction from local residents who rallied on Saturday (May 27), in what was the largest protest since Crimea's annexation.
The draft plan has some residential areas marked up as lots for mass construction, as Russian ministry of defence property and as protected environmental zones; the plan also suggests re-settlements of those who reside on those lands, according to Russian media.
One of those who would lose his property under the proposed plan is Alexei Demenok who owns a strip of land in Balaclava - a small Crimean town which administratively belongs to Sevastopol.
Demenok says his family acquired the land rights in 2010 under a social benefits program in accordance with Ukrainian legislation and later re-registered the rights to comply with Russian law.
"Now they are suing us to deprive us of these rights which were given by Ukraine. And also according to the new general plan (of city development) this lot is considered to be protected environmental zone with no construction possible," Demenok told Reuters.
The government of Sevastopol argues that it is trying to bring to a halt illegal construction that in recent years has led to the destruction of the city's parks and other green areas.
Authorities say those that have secured their land rights legally have nothing to worry about.
"The general plan won't be accepted without all citizens' consent. And I want to stress once again - the land and property rights acquitted legally remain inviolable under any circumstances," the interim Sevastopol governor said in a video statement.
But Demenok and many others now protesting say the Russian courts will not recognise their property ownership documents and they stand to lose everything without an explanation.
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