“Their grandmother’s curse”: why have started to protest the Gypsies near Tula

“Their grandmother’s curse”: why have started to protest the Gypsies near Tula

Five hundred houses

In the village of Plekhanovo, in the North from Tula, is by an unpaved bumpy road with deep puddles. On both sides — a two-story house of brick, block and wood. From almost every window behind the curtains look out women and children. On the porch of one of houses — a group of men and women. “We cut the gas and light, go here, look at the houses too cold, the children are freezing, and one had a temperature of 39,” says a strong man in a leather jacket who introduced himself as Glory. Inside is a spacious cosy lounge, a well furnished room, but only slightly warmer than outside.

According to Fame, in this position since March 16, was all the Roma settlement, in which about five hundred houses and two thousand inhabitants.

This sedentary Gypsies, but the place called Tabor. This camp is in the village of Plekhanovo, where according to the census in 2010 lived 9 thousand people. The camp exists since the 60-ies of the last century, local residents say. Says Slava, Gypsies are mostly in the summer — the men engaged in construction, women on the farm.

The camp has its own four-year school, where study more than a hundred children, says the Glory. “We want that our children were fed, clean, and did not go dirty and not begging, as I with my mom went,” says an elderly Gypsy woman, Tamara Vasilievna, which is in the village respectfully call her grandmother. According to her, residents of Tabor collect the potatoes, beets and apples.

The authorities have prepared a plan for the reconstruction of the village, but it involves the demolition of at least 100 homes

Photo: Alain Kondyurin for

“Yeah, the apples they earn, how such houses were built, the cars we go, here we entire the vegetable gardens planted, and nothing else,” wonder woman from another part of the village, where live Russian.

Gas riots

“Yesterday they cut off our gas, women took to the streets, children. But then we were allowed to turn it on, promised that till may, while the heat will not, it never hurt me again, and again, this morning everything was off,” says Glory.

Tabor is officially not gasified, but all life, heating and life will be on gas. For a long time Gypsies used the gas entering the village of Plekhanovo, just crashing into the pipeline. Similarly, they “failed” in the village of electricity, reaching out to his wire.

Law enforcement officers in the village of Plekhanovo in Tula region

Photo: Alain Kondyurin for

March 16, several hundred homes Plekhanovo unexpectedly remained without gas. According to the official version of the authorities, the gas was turned off because of the accident, which occurred after the illegal frame, made by Roma. The head of the main Department of the Tula territorial administration on Zarechensky district (which includes the village) Maxim Shcherbakov said that the gas company found two illegal tie-in, but decided to disable all the dangerous area. As a result on the day were left without gas and residents of neighbouring houses Tabor, where Russians, already outraged by the actions of Gypsies.

The Roma themselves believe that the authorities have thought up the accident to permanently leave the camp without gas.

When on the scene of the accident on Thursday profit of the gas stations, the Gypsies tried to prevent them from eliminate incision. For the protection of the gas the police arrived, the Gypsies were met with sticks. On Thursday morning in the village introduced the riot police. “They came here 400 people, no, 800 people,” corrects himself Glory. It shows footage morning a video in which a group of men pounced on an elderly man and knocks him to the ground. “They him and his son were detained, and then received three days of arrest for disobedience to the authorities,” he says.

By evening, the Riot police peacefully protect the pipe where it was discovered an illegal tie-in. Run past the Gypsy children. No aggression from their side is not in sight. The police smiled at reporters, but comments refused to give, was sent to speak with Scherbakov. At six o’clock all the police left the village, the Gypsies had gone home.

What will happen next

Now the Gypsies are afraid that they will not return gas and light, but also will break their houses, and the authorities, in turn, fear that illegal tie-in may lead to gas explosion and accident, indicates Shcherbakov.

Glory explains that they are willing to pay for gas officially, but the authorities do not want to arrange gas supply to the village. “We are ready to pay. Please, make us the documents — he says his version. We even SHRP [Cabinet distribution point] bought.”

The problem with the design of the gas is that many houses are illegal buildings, and there is impossible legitimately to connect the gas, says Scherbakov. “We need to first take the house, and then to lay a gas,” he says.

The authorities have prepared a plan for the reconstruction of the village, but it involves the demolition of at least 100 homes, to pave roads, to build streets and to lay the gas pipeline, explains Shcherbakov. “Now it’s only a project, it must undergo a public hearing, but members of the Roma community have already given consent to the demolition of their homes,” says Scherbakov. From the window looking gloomily at him “grandma” Tamara Vasilievna. She claims that will stand behind their home to the death. “What nonsense we are told at first break, then arrange and build!” — outraged grandmother.

Tamara Vasilievna, grandmother, shows documents: technical findings and decisions on the recognition of unauthorized construction of the house. But it is the squatter in your house does not consider: the house was built by her grandfather.

Photo: Alain Kondyurin for

Some houses are subject to demolition by the decisions of the courts, confirms the Fame, but even in the courts of appeals on these decisions. But the other part, including his house, officially registered.

According to Gypsies, the gas scandal in their village is connected with the arrival of the new Governor in the region. “Here [Vladimir] Gruzdev we were respected, and the new Governor doesn’t like us,” says Glory. Governor Alexey Dyumin called the conflict in the village of lawlessness.

Shcherbakov promises to help the Roma to execute the documents on gas, but only after they receive all documents in their homes. “Because of the cold season we offer to all residents who have turned off the gas to temporarily move to the gym of our cultural centre,” says Scherbakov. However, there were no volunteers, he admits.

The Roma themselves say that remain in their homes. “Let’s stay together with his wife bonfires”, — cheerfully said Thank. All children will gather at the home of his brother, where there are oil heaters, he says.

“If our home break, our grandmothers of their curse, they have the gift,” nod daughter Tamara.