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An Ordinary Russian Story: a Group of Small Investors on Another Hunger Strike in Saint Petersburg

This time they are threatened with eviction from the place of their protest action in the Ohkta Modern Center Estate. A group of the so called small investors who are holding a hunger strike action in Saint Petersburg (Russia) in Ohkta Modern, one of the local housing estates, are facing the threat of forced eviction from the apartments they are occupying now protesting their stalemate. This was reported on March, 25, by Denis Naumchuk, one of the protest action participants, to the IA REGNUM (ИА REGNUM ) news agency.

According to the activist, the six participants of the hunger strike, who had placed themselves on the concrete floor in one of the houses owned by the Ohkta Modern estate, were approached by the estate manager and asked for their documents. Then the manager tried to evict the people from the space occupied by them.

The six people have been holding a hunger strike since March, the 24, and their demands have been handed over to Saint Petersburg City Committee for Construction and to Mr. Marat Oganesyan, a City Vice Mayor (Марату   Оганесяну ). The protest action participants demand that the official permit issued to the Ohkta Modern by the City Government for construction of four houses be cancelled. Besides, they insist that the incomplete construction of the houses be stopped and the houses be handed over to an honest developer for complete construction.

Of the four houses planned for construction, only two has been completed by now on Bolsheohktinsky prospect in Saint Petersburg. One of them has been occupied by the hunger strikers. The construction began in 2003 by the "IVI -93" company. Then the investors, those citizens who had invested their personal money into the project, saw various developers come and go. The construction time was extended several times by virtue of injunctions issued by the City Government. In 2009, the first developer went bankrupt, and all the legal rights for construction were transferred to another company – the Baltzhilinvest LLC (ООО  " Балтжилинвест ") .

The hunger stikers insist that their action of despair is likely to cause a broad public outcry and attract again public opinion towards the situation on the housing market in Saint Petersburg.

At present, about 300 individuals who have bought apartments in the ‘’Ohta Center’’, are still unable to receive legal accommodation in the houses.

The ongoing hunger strike action is the third one in this series, the previous hunger strikes of ‘’small investors’’ ended in a kind of a ‘’win- lose’’ compromise.

The problem of the so called ‘’small investors’’ has turned into an all Russian challenge, with the state authorities trying desperately but unsuccessfully to resolve it.

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