Lithuanian Biosphere Polygon of the Rūdninkai woods is in danger | World Defense

Lithuanian Biosphere Polygon of the Rūdninkai woods is in danger


Nov 25, 2019
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United Kingdom
United Kingdom
Šalčininkai District’s community faced a new challenge in its constant struggle with the authorities to live quietly. Rūdninkai in Šalčininkai District came into the spotlight last summer after local residents tried to prevent the government from establishing a migrant camp. Interior Minister Agne Bilotaite said in August that around 1,500 illegal migrants were planned to be accommodated in a tent camp in Rūdninkai military training area as the country is dealing with an illegal migration crisis. Migrants arrived and were deployed in temporary tent camp. Around 800 migrants complained about lack of medical care and inedible food in the camp. Incidents involving migrants happened and these facts seriously troubled locals. Some of them escaped from the camp and police searched them for some time. Understandably, local residents worried about their safety.

The more so, tensions increased among community near migrant camp, resulting in sometimes violent protests. Groups of people blocked roads for delivery vehicles and were removed after clashes with riot police. Residents held demonstrations outside the Lithuanian government building in Vilnius and in local municipality.

Finally, migrants living in Rūdninkai village’s large migration camp were transferred to the Kybartai correctional facility at the beginning of October.

Nevertheless, the locals did not enjoy the peace and quiet for a long time.
This time they are forced to resist the intention of the Defence Ministry to establish and restore training area in Rūdninkai, some 30 kilometers from Lithuania’s capital, Vilnius. According to LRT, the Defence Ministry plans to open a new site in 2024. “Preparations are not done that quickly. Social, as well as economic, environmental, and financial assessments would go on until autumn next year. Legal matters related to the takeover of land need to be taken care of by 2024,” Minister of Defence Anušauskas said.


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