In the MSU park, more known as the “big lawn of MSU” (Большой газон МГУ), a massive logging (tree cutdowns) has just started as a preparation for the World Cup. Today’s “Big lawn” is a mess of the earth, leftovers from tractors, and chopped branches and bushes. It is clear that this work was done on an urgent basis, and the workers did not bother to minimize the damage to the nature of the park. As reported by workers, bushes and trees are cut down for the “protection against maniacs” that can harm the guests of the fan zone of the World Cup, and this is a personal order of the prefect of Western Administrative District Alexey Alexandrov. Meanwhile, there are endangered species of birds having nests in these areas. The cutting of the bushes is to lead to the destruction of the nests and the death of the young birds.

Formally, this park does no longer belong to the territory of MSU: in 2013, Rector Victor Sadovnichy transferred the territory to the Gorky Park (‘Парк Горького’) [1]. Let us remind you, previous Head of World Cup Organisation Committee Alexey Sorokin and Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich solemnly swore that the MSU will not be damaged by the fan zone. Same promises were made by all local authorities involved in the organisation of the event.

This is not the only damage that the MSU has already received within the preparation stage for the championship. On 22 April, the deputy director of the Botanical Gargen of MSU, Alexander Rappoport, spoke about an attempt by state services (ГБУ «Автомобильные дороги ЗАО») to knock down trees located in the Botanical Garden of the MSU. Vice-Mayor Petr Biryukov has issued an urgent order to repair the old fence of the University, despite the fact that the Botanic Garden is the object of cultural heritage, and any unauthorized logging is not only prohibited but also is a criminal offence. MSU employees have managed to stop illegal logging, but nobody knows for how long[2].

The situation once again confirms: one cannot believe the empty assurances of officials even if they hold positions in government or committee. The stories of ” University advertising “, ” lack of noise “, ” Soundproofing ” and ” minimizing inconvenience ” actually turn into new rounds of destruction. The Fan Zone should be moved as far away from the University as possible.

We appeal to the Municipal Deputy Council of the Gagarinsky district and the district of Ramenki asking to draw the attention of the police, prosecutors and the government of Moscow to the disastrous logging in the park

[1] (
[2] Echo of Moscow radio, Alexander Rappoport (


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