TV Network дождь (“Rain“) is reporting that environment protesters and security troops have clashed outside a nickel mining operation in the Voronezh region. Cell phone video show that local police assisted with the beatings as protesters stood at the entrance to a mining operation and attempted to take photos of the gated area guarded by private security.
Video and photos revealed that protesters had been beaten with police batons, electric stun guns and bricks. The video above also shows that as the fighting continued, protesters tried to enter the mining area by scaling fences and rushing security guards.
Eyewitnesses reported that several activists suffered from fractured skulls and at least ten other people were taken to local hospitals with serious injuries. Environmentalists claim that the mining operations will damage the local environment, in particular harming wildlife and polluting the water supply.
Environmental activists have protested against the start of production of nickel deposit mining in Elan Novokhopersk area by camping at the entrance. The Ural Mining and Metallurgical Company, developer of the field, says that nickel can be mined without threat to the environment and will lead to economic growth in the region.
Local leaders of the Novokhopersk district say that the mining operation will create jobs and help with the development of agriculture and tourism.