Architectural preservationists attacked in Russia
A prominent advocate for historic buildings was pushed off the stage at a public hearing for a new development
By Sophia Kishkovsky. Web only
Published online: 22 October 2013
Elena Tkach, a Moscow architectural preservationist who also serves in local government, was attacked and allegedly suffered a concussion on 16 October at public hearings over a development project that she opposes. Tkach was there to complain that the developer, a company called InvestStroiKom, had falsified reports.
“The babushki they invited immediately started shouting at me,” she told the local newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets. “But angriest of all was the developer’s representative (passing himself off as a local resident), who came up from behind me and threw me off the stage.”
A video of the event shows an assailant push Tkach, whose head hits a row of seats, and then fight with her husband. Tkach was knocked unconscious and taken to hospital.
On Sunday 20 October, local residents and activists held a demonstration near the proposed development site in the posh Patriarch’s Ponds neighbourhood, demanding the attacker’s arrest and that a new hearing be held. Some liberal activists, however, have criticised Tkach for her connections to a Russian nationalist organisation that conducts vigilante sweeps against migrant workers and her claims against opposition leaders, who she says are connected to the developer.
Tkach posted to Facebook and her blog yesterday from her hospital bed, to continue the battle to save two historic buildings from being torn down to make way for a sleek new apartment building.
This was the second physical attack on an architectural preservationist in Russia this month. Spasgrad, a heritage group in the city of Nizhny Novgorod on the Volga River, reported that Mikhail Karyakin, a cameraman who documented and supported the organisation’s activities, was beaten on 6 October and hospitalised with head injuries and a broken jaw.
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