A former marine's claim that drinking goat’s milk has helped him overcome injuries suffered in the navy has not passed muster with the authorities. They say his urban farm does not belong on the state-protected land.
The man – Sergey Alekseychik – has now found himself involved in a criminal case after building a goat farm in one of Moscow's districts.
Some people may think he has lost his mind; others call him a progressive thinker. Authorities, however, say his activities are illegal, while he himself claims to have cheated death.
Ten years ago, doctors said Sergey had just over a month left to live. Back then he served as a marine in the Russian Navy and had just survived an accident when his unit was defusing a warhead.
He says several of his friends were killed in the explosion and he was left in a coma. Against all odds, Sergey did not only manage to get back on his feet, but also he now says he has never felt better in his whole life.
It may be hard to believe, but Sergey says the only thing he did to get better was drink lots of goat’s milk.
“Doctors said I had carbonic acid in my lungs and was nearly shining because of the radiation I'd received. I had nothing to lose, signed some documents and left. I wasn't supposed to survive but I did! And I owe it all to these animals!” Segey says.
Soon he decided to help others and built a goat farm, selling the milk to local residents. Ten years have passed and he has now made a deal with local schools and hospitals to exchange the milk for slops, and has even opened a goat’s milk fan club.
Sergey now has 32 goats on his farm and he says locals form queues every morning to get their milk. The problem is – this is not the countryside, but is one of the districts of Moscow and local authorities are not happy.
Sergey's farm is located on the territory of one of Moscow's nature preserves – making it illegal.
According to officials, the goats live in poor conditions, often harm rare trees planted there and they say the quality of their milk raises serious concern as well.
The prosecutor's office got involved and a criminal case was taken to court.
“Sergey Alekseychik does not have any rights to use this property which belongs to the state. We have a court order obliging him to take down everything he has built, leave the land and take the goats with him,” the nature reserve's head Aleksey Biryukov says.
Sergey says he is not going anywhere and claims he has many supporters. One of them is Mikhail, who crashed his motorcycle and badly damaged his knee.
Doctors recommended goat’s milk as part of his treatment. He says his knee is getting better every day and rejects all claims that the milk is unhealthy.
“Have you ever been to a farm? I think that's just the way it works! My grandmother had a farm and there was a lot of manure there as well – they are animals aren't they? I think instead of evicting him the authorities should help him in what he started here,” Mikhail says.
Sergey claims he has all the documents proving his goats are healthy and plans to continue his urban farming, despite the protests from local authorities.