New tree-felling in Kharkiv’s Gorky Park



Last year, as the result of absolutely illegal tree-felling ordered by the Kharkiv City authorities with total disregard for the Ministry for the Environment, the law and the views of the public, two thousand trees were destroyed to make way for a road. As reported then, the treatment by the authorities and police of protesters led to scandal and statements of concern not only from within Ukraine.

The Deutsche Welle Ukrainian Service reports that new felling has commenced. It reports the Coordinator of Green Front, Olena Holovko as saying that in the space of three hours between one and two hundred trees were cut down near the central alleys of the park. She says that the authorities have chosen a medieval approach for dealing with green zones and notes that the workers did not want to show their documents.

Oleg Viatkin from the environmental group “Pechenihy” believes that the felling is linked with plans to erect a fence around the construction area of new fun fair.

Disneyland instead of a green park?

The mayor’s office wants to build their modest equivalent of Disneyland, with a budget of 20 million Euro, as part of Euro 2012.  The first part of the money, allocated from the city and regional budgets, has been allocated for buying equipment from Italy. Kharkiv’s Mayor, Hennady Kernes has promised that if there is a need to destroy trees during the construction of the fun fair, “everything will be according to the law”. Public hearings were held which environmental groups (and civic organizations) denounced as a set-up and unlawful even just because it was not clear then what was in the plan for the park’s reconstruction.

Environmentalists fear that there will be no trees left in Gorky Park.

From a report at:, , 14950219, 00.html

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