February 10, 2016 by AK
Then the BBC’s latest from Moscow:
Authorities in Moscow have begun a big campaign to demolish street kiosks and convenience stores, sparking an outraged reaction among some residents.
Some 100 stores were to be torn down, reports said, amid claims operators had no legal title to the land.
But critics counter that the demolition, which began on Monday night and targeted dozens of stores, is itself on shaky legal ground…
The premises targeted, say observers, are often to be found outside metro stations and range from small kiosks to shopping centres with up to three floors.
Some of the property owners have valid building permits issued by the Moscow city government in the 1990s. Some have won court rulings confirming their right to use the land on which their stores were built. The mayor’s office merely changed the rules in December 2015, and the buildings were doomed.
It’s not Putin or the Kremlin or FSB at work. (Admittedly, one can never be sure.) The current mayor of Moscow, Sergei Sobyanin, was appointed by Medvedev and confirmed as mayor in an election that was much less unfair than the typical federal election in present-day Russia. But even the man in the Kremlin pays more attention to legal niceties, even if they are an empty shell of due process.