MOSCOW – Returning home after an absence can mean unpleasant surprises — a leaky roof, a pet's mess, even a break-in. But a Russian woman got a nastier surprise when she returned from her country house: her home was gone, torn down mistakenly by construction workers clearing a site, according to a report Thursday on NTV television.
"There was nothing left, not even a log," Lyudmila Martemyanova said, bundled against the cold and standing on a snow-covered lot in the center of the Volga River city of Nizhny Novgorod.
A local prosecutor, Nikolai Govorkov, said a construction company tore down the wrong building — Martemyanova's, instead of one nearby that was marked for demolition.
Many Russians have faced what they say are unfair and inadequately compensated evictions from older housing being torn down amid the country's oil-revenue-fueled construction boom.
Martemyanova's case is extreme, however, and she has taken it to court. She refused the builder's offer of money, saying it wasn't enough even to get a room on the outskirts of the city, and has sued.
Court hearings started Thursday. Meanwhile, she's shuttling back and forth between her daughter's and her sister's, she told NTV.