Moscow Mayor is Accused of Building “Personal Road” for 40 bln Rubles from Federal Budget

Moscow Mayor is Accused of Building “Personal Road” for 40 bln  Rubles from Federal Budget

Photo: http://vm.ru

This refers to a new road in Moscow City, which should become the service drive of Kutuzovsky Prospekt avenue passing through the park in the district of Kuntsevo. Previously, the construction project of this road was criticized because it envisions the cutting of a large number of green spaces, including a number of age-old oak trees.

Since outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin has become one of the key figures on the Russian media scene. In the light of restrictive measures by Moscow’s authorities and statements made as of the spring of 2020 against the background of the fight against the spread of the disease, Sobyanin has made headlines not merely as the mayor of the largest Russian city but as a heavyweight political figure.

The repeated statements of political scientists give food for thought. According to them, at some point, Sergey Sobyanin became a more significant figure in Russian politics than Vladimir Putin. Moreover, against this background, there were also rumors that Sobyanin is clearly not going to confine himself to the post of Moscow’s mayor, but might well have much grander ambitions. For example, such as the post of the Russian President. Additionally, some experts have described him as the most likely candidate for the role of the so-called successor to Vladimir Putin. In other words, they believe that he might run for the presidency in the long term.

Possibly, these very circumstances, including the regular reassessment of Sobyanin's prospects in the higher echelons of the Russian state power, forced representatives of the so-called non-systemic opposition to look for vulnerabilities of a possible rival on a political scene.

For example, quite recently, the opposition has delivered rather bombastic speeches accusing Sergey Sobyanin of abuse of office and construction of a personal road at the budgetary expenses. Its cost is estimated at 40 bln rubles ($542.6 mln.)

This refers to a new road, which should become the service drive of Kutuzovsky Prospekt avenue passing through the territory of a park in the district of Kuntsevo. Previously, the construction project of this road was criticized because it envisions the cutting of a large number of green spaces, including a number of age-old oak trees. However, as noted by Ilya Yashin, a well-known opposition activist and the head of the Krasnoselsky municipal district, the future road already looks strange as it seems to be a personal highway for Sobyanin.

It is reported that the road will be toll, and the cost of its construction will be about 40 billion rubles. According to a plan, it will stretch from Moscow’s International Business Center located almost in the downtown to the Molodogvardeysky interchange in the western outskirts of the city. At the same time, Yashin calls the project “a highway for the elite” adding that a lot of trees in Kuntsevo Park will be felled in order to build the road. As a matter of fact, the project itself has not yet passed the state expert examination, but its documentation is being drafted according to the plan endorsed by the Moscow City Hall earlier. Moreover, as planned, the new road should be commissioned by the end of the next year.

At the moment, a spearhead group of Moscow’s residents is campaigning against the construction of the road. They call on the authorities of the Russian capital to adjust the project so as to avoid the mass felling of trees. Over 3000 residents of Moscow have already signed a collective complaint against the “road for the elite.” Yashin is mostly concerned not only by the planned shrinkage of green spaces as about the project itself, as, in his opinion, it looks like a personal road for the mayor of Moscow.

“By an interesting coincidence, the new road will be built from Sobyanin's apartment on Rochdelskaya Street directly to his country residence on Rublevo-Uspenskoye highway,” said Yashin. “It turns out that Moscow Mayor is constructing his own personal highway for budgetary funds.”

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