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Environmental protection activists detained for extortion attempt

November 29, 2013, 12:01 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Suspects demanded money from representatives of the metallurgical UGMK Holding in exchange for stopping their protest actions
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© ITAR-TASS/Ma

MOSCOW, November 29. /ITAR-TASS/. Police in the Russian city of Voronezh have detained organizers of actions "in Defence of Khopyor" and "Stop Nickel" for an attempt to extort 24 million roubles in exchange for stopping their protests, the Russian Interior Ministry's press centre told Itar-Tass on Friday.

Participants in the organized group, who are activists of opposition public organizations, including "In defense of Khopyor" (a river in Russia's European part) and "Stop Nickel" demanded money from representatives of the metallurgical UGMK Holding in exchange for stopping their protest actions on copper and nickel fields of federal importance in the Voronezh Region. They also threatened to intentionally do damage to the company's property, police said.

According to the Interior Ministry, activists for several months staged unsanctioned meetings, disorders and arson. Their actions caused damage estimated at more than 60 million rubles to the holding.

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