The arrest of two men in Russia following their participation in a campaign to halt construction of a Moscow to St Petersburg highway through the historic Khimki Forest, casts a dark shadow over Moscow as it seeks to come out of the shadows of its communist past.

If convicted of the fabricated charges being levied against them, Alexei Gaskarov and Maxim Solopov face prison sentences of several years. Other activists have suffered harrasment and physical attacks carried out by state hired thugs.

International Days of Action are being held across Europe demanding the release of both men, with their pre-trial hearing scheduled to take place next week.

You can find out more about the battle to save the Khimki Forest at this website