Russian Villagers Block Roads to Demand Heating
Some 400 residents of a Russian village in the Far East blocked two major roads Friday to protest the lack of heating to tens of thousands of homes since winter began.
Residents of Uglovo, near Vladivostok in the Primorye region, blocked the Vladivostok-Nakhodka and Vladivostok-Khabarovsk roads demanding that their homes receive heating and blaming regional Governor Yevgeny Nazdratenko for the crisis.
Regional authorities said they were unable to prepare for winter, to make the necessary equipment repairs or create a fuel reserve because they have not received their expected financing.
The situation has worsened as the temperature has dropped below minus 20 degrees Celsius (minus four degrees Fahrenheit) in the Primorye region where the town is located.
The local assembly will next week debate a no-confidence motion against the governor and ask Russian President Vladimir Putin to declare a state of emergency in the region, according to Yury Rybalkin, the chairman of the local parliament's economic committee.
Some 50,000 people, including 8,000 children, are living in homes without heat in the region, Rybalkin told Interfax.
Municipal workers have however done repair work on facilities, allowing heating to resume to 14 of the 60 buildings in the city of Artem, near Vladivostok, news agencies reported.
Putin met with Nazdratenko and Konstantin Pulykovsky, the Kremlin's representative from the Far East, in Moscow earlier this week to discuss the crisis -- VLADIVOSTOK (AFP)
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