En­vi­ron­men­tal­ist flees Rus­sia, says she fears for her chil­dren, fam­ily

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

A prom­i­nent en­vi­ron­men­tal­ist says she has fled Rus­sia, mov­ing with her fam­ily to Es­to­nia out of fear that gov­ern­ment ha­rass­ment could take her chil­dren away from her.

Yev­geniya Chirikova is best known for a 2010 cam­paign op­pos­ing the con­struc­tion of a high­way out­side Moscow. Her ac­tivism cost some of Rus­sia’s most pow­er­ful men bil­lions of U.S. dol­lars in con­tracts.

The mother of two told The As­so­ci­ated Press on Mon­day that she left mostly be­cause of threats by so­cial ser­vices to take her chil­dren away from her.

Chirikova, who won the pres­ti­gious Gold­man Award in 2012, also said she does not want to pay for Rus­sia’s “mil­i­tary ag­gres­sion against Ukraine” with her taxes.

Chirikova’s de­par­ture fol­lows the em­i­gra­tion of sev­eral prom­i­nent gov­ern­ment crit­ics in re­cent years.

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