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Domodedovo is a town of almost 100,000, located south of the Russian capital and the site of what is to be the largest international airport in the country. Its residents "have decided to secede from the Russian Federation and to become part of Europe by asking Russian President Vladimir Putin to recognise the newly-created Democratic Republic of Rus (RDR)," writes Dengi, the weekly supplement of Russian economic daily Kommersant.

"Will the village in the Moscow Region be able to join the EU?" wonders Dengi, adding that the Association of Russian Lawyers for Human Rights, the group at the origin of the initiative, asked the EU in early October to recognise the RDR.

The dispute began with the refusal of Russian authorities to take into account the results of the 2007 referendum in which 98% of Domodedovo's residents rejected the construction of a toll road in the town. Work on the motorway, designed to link Moscow to the Black Sea resort of Sochi which is scheduled to host the 2014 Winter Olympics, began in 2009. This inspired a Dengi headline "Motorway Separatism".

"The residents of Domodedovo have become strangers on their own land," claims the Association of Russian Lawyers for Human Rights. The group is particularly vocal against the "Azeri Mafia". "One of the main active promoters in Domodedovo is a family tied to the family of the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev," explains Dengi. The project's opponents also accuse "the oligarchs and corrupt authorities" of "taxing the residents to use the roads and water, for the picking of berries and mushrooms in the woods and of buying up all the land in Domodedovo."