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Authorities to Stop Construction of $162mn Arkhangelsk Landfill After Protests

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Russian authorities have decided to suspend construction of a controversial $162 million landfill in northern Russia after months of protests against plans to ship waste in from Moscow, Vedomosti reports.

Moscow vows that activities at the disputed construction site in Shiyes will cease starting June 15, the business newspaper reported, citing a City Hall statement drafted ahead of discussions with the Kremlin on Tuesday.

Residents of Arkhangelsk region have actively opposed the construction of the landfill in the former village of Shiyes designed to take in up to 500 metric tons of the Russian capital’s waste every year. Residents staged continuous protests against Moscow’s efforts to redirect the 6.6 million tons of waste it produces annually.

About 7,000 people took part in the February rally in Arkhangelsk, 9,000 in Severodvinsk and 2,000 in Kotlas, the local press reported. In April, more than 3,000 people went to the center of Arkhangelsk, while activists from the Urdoma village blocked the road to Shies station.

Apart from an investment agreement with local authorities, the landfill project lacks documentation, as there are neither technical, nor construction permits, an official from the administration of the Arkhangelsk region told Vedomosti. The investor began construction at his own risk and faced not only the protests of the local population, but also claims from local officials and supervisory services.

The project will not get off the ground until the contractor obtains the necessary approvals and public hearings are held on the landfill’s future, it was reported.

A Kremlin official confirmed the authenticity of Moscow City Hall’s statement to Vedomosti and a staffer said the discussions were held with Chief of Staff Anton Vaino.

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Moscow Refutes Claims That Russian Ground Troops Present in Syria’s Idlib

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The Russian Defence Ministry refuted on Thursday a recent report by Reuters information agency that claimed that Russia had recently sent its ground troops and special forces to the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib for fighting alongside the Syrian Army against the opposition.

“Claims that Russian ‘ground troops’ and ‘special forces’ are allegedly participating in military operations in the province of Idlib (Syria), spread by UK information agency Reuters, are another fake. There are no Russian ‘ground troops’ in Syria, and there have never been any”, the Russian Defence Ministry said in a statement.

Тhe news comes several days after jihadists attacked Harab al-Hizato settlement in Latakia province 

Russian military previosuly launched several airstikes on terrorist positions in Idlib after the militants had attacked Turkish military post and Russian Hmeymim airbase.

The northwestern Idlib province is home to scores of various groups, including the Jabhat al-Nusra terror group. Around 30,000 militants, including foreign mercenaries, are reportedly operating in the region.

Russia, Turkey and Iran are the ceasefire guarantors in the country. Russia carries out humanitarian operations across the country on a regular basis and helps Damascus in providing safe passage for the return of Syrian refugees.

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Putin, Zelensky’s Personal Meeting Not on the Table Yet — Kremlin

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A possibility of holding a personal meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Vladimir Zelensky is not being discussed now, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

“No, we are not discussing it yet. For now, it is important to wait until the Ukrainian elections [to the Verkhovna Rada] are completed. Then, we will be able to seriously resolve serious problems without the fuss surrounding the election campaign,” he said in response to a question whether the personal meeting of the two leaders is possible in the near future.

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At Least 90 People Killed in Floods in Nepal

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At least 90 people were killed in the floods caused by heavy rains in various regions of Nepal, NNI News reported on Thursday citing Nepal’s Ministry of Home Affairs.

According to the ministry, at least 29 citizens are missing. The Nepalese authorities managed to evacuate more than 3,000 people affected by the disaster from the flooded areas. A search and rescue operation continues in the disaster area.

According to earlier reports, 64 people were killed and 31 people were missing.

In late June a monsoon, the strongest in the last 10 years, hit South Asia. Heavy rains caused problems with transport communication, demolition of buildings and numerous accidents.

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