Moscow Metros Unveiled

S. Coudenhove

After three years of construction, a hunger strike and several demonstrations, the Moscow Metro opened three new stations, with Mayor Yury Luzhkov among its first passengers.

"The energy that has gone into this project is tremendous and that makes this a wonderful day," said Boris Yatskov, chief engineer of Mosmetrostroi, the state construction company which is responsible for the project.

"Moscow has the most beautiful Metro in the world and these new stations will be unique in their own way but just as beautiful as the other ones," he added. Opened May 1935, the Moscow Metro serves approximately 9 million people, more than any other subway.

The new Metro stations - Maryno, Bratislavskaya and Lyublino - will serve as extensions to the Chkalovskaya-Krasnodonskaya Metro line, which runs from Kursk railway station to the southeastern end of the capital.

Workers were spraying down the marble floors at the newly completed stations whose extensions will bring an additional 6.3 kilometers of tracks to the line. Begun in 1993, the project has met with continuous financial crises, causing unrest among irregularly paid workers.

This autumn, nine workers spent four weeks on a hunger strike protesting unpaid wages. They finally received 10 million to 12 million rubles ($1,800 to $2,000) in back pay and wages from their employer.

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