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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016


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Parking fees fuel a foreign protest

Many foreigners living in UPDK apartment buildings are balking at a new parking policy that apparently will be implemented at all the state-run complexes for foreigners in Moscow. According to the manager of one of the parking lots, the charges, which range from $300 to $900 a year, are necessary to protect foreigner's cars from thieves and vandals. But some foreign residents beg to differ. The additional charges, as one tenant put it, ""are just another UPDK rip-off"" which should be covered by the $25, 000-$30, 000 that residents of the stare-run apartments pay annually in rent. The changed parking policy apparently began late last winter at two buildings - Krutinsky Val and Rublyovskoye Shosse - where residents who parked their cars in secured areas received notices from UPDK, the administration for the diplomatic corps, a spokesman from the Danish Embassy said. The cost was $900 per year per vehicle.

A protest, quietly, to Vietnam

In the shade of one of Moscow's largest parks, a young Vietnamese student, his voice barely above a whisper and his eyes surveying every passerby, ponders what he should and should not say about his dissident political activities. ""I don't know how much I should tell you"", he says after a long pause. He explains that he is afraid that divulging any specific information about himself might provide clues to his identity. Such caution is typical of dissident Vietnamese students in Moscow. They witnessed the birth of democracy in the former Soviet Union but they are afraid to openly voice opinions about their own country. While Russians have been discussing their democratic structures candidly over the last year, Vietnamese dissidents have been working covertly. To protect their identity - which they consider crucial - they have created several small groups, mostly at the institutes they attend, which operate independently. On Wednesday the dissident movement united and broadened its activities.
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