Forest defender assaulted
In the evening of Monday 12 March Volodymyr Kramarenko, one of the defenders of forest area planted in the 1950s, was attacked. According to Oleh Perehon from the environmental group Pechenegi, Volodymyr Kramarenko was badly beaten and needed hospitalization. He has multiple nose fractures and the doctors suspect a brain and skull injury.
According to Perehon, Kramarenko was attacked by two men as he returned home at dark from work. He says that they are convinced that the assault was linked with Kramarenko’s environmental protection work since he is not a young man and not prone to conflict. He adds that they have asked the police to guide Kramarenko and his family.
Oleh Perehon told journalists that on 29 December 2011 somebody shot at the windows of Kramarenko’s home. The police refused to initiate a criminal investigator.
The trees in dispute are on roughly 15 hectares of land. Local residents believe that since it was their ancestors who planted the trees, the land should become public property. More than four years ago 5 hectares were passed to a private structure for agricultural purposes. This private structure is trying to gain control over the entirely forest area, prohibiting local residents from even walking in the forest.
The police say that they are investigating.