Masked Men Attack Moscow Preservationists

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MOSCOW, Aug. 9 (UPI) — Fifteen preservationists trying to stop the demolition of a 19th century building in Moscow were beaten by a group of some 50 masked men, activists said.

They said the attackers also slashed the tires of residents’ cars and refused to allow paramedics access to people injured in the incident, The Moscow Times reported.

A video of the attack uploaded on YouTube shows several police officers failing to intervene in the scuffle.

The newspaper said the incident was the culmination of a monthlong standoff that has pitted activists and local residents against a developer who wants to replace the old building with a seven-story house complete with underground parking lot.

City authorities ruled earlier that the building is not a historical landmark and can be demolished.

Preservationists are demanding that police open a criminal investigation of the beatings.

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