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Russia’s environmentalist and anticlerical youth revolt echoes Occupy

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Analysis. Hundreds of young people are protesting the construction of a church in a public green space in Yekaterinburg, capital of the Urals. They are worrying Putin and disrupting a lucrative business for a pair of construction magnates.

written by Yurii Colombo

May 21, 2019

Environmentalist, anti-clerical and radical: the first great Russian youth movement of the 21st century has made its grand appearance in Yekaterinburg—the capital of the Urals and the birthplace of Boris Yeltsin—protesting against the construction of an Orthodox cathedral in a downtown square.

The Cathedral of St. Catherine the Great was built in 1723, when the city was founded, and was demolished by the Soviet Union in 1930, during one of the anti-religious campaigns at the time. In 2010, with the support of the Mayor of Yekaterinburg, the Orthodox Church started the project for its rebuilding, to be completed in time for the 300th anniversary of its original construction.

This, however, is only part of the story. The benefactors who are financing this project, which will cost over $70 million, are Igor Altushkin (cotton industry magnate) and Andrey Kozitsyn (the boss of the metallurgical industry........

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