Dubbed The ‘Nuclear Titanic,’ Russia’s First Floating Atomic Power Plant Sets Sail Amid Environmental Fears

Montage of Radioactivity Symbol and Russian Map with Russian Flag, adapted from images at .gov sites

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Aug. 23, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/russia-floating-nuclear-plant-lomonosov-sets-sail-arctic/30125553.html) Russia’s first floating nuclear power plant, which Greenpeace has dubbed a “floating Chernobyl,” has set sail on a nearly 5,000-kilometer voyage to its destination in the nation’s northeast. The floating plant, the Akademik Lomonosov, departed the Arctic port […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia Says It Won’t Share Rocket Explosion Data as Suspicions Swirl” – Moscow Times

Montage of Radioactivity Symbol and Russian Map with Russian Flag, adapted from images at .gov sites

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – August 20, 2019) Russia told an international organization set up to verify a ban on nuclear tests that a military testing accident in northern Russia earlier this month was none of its business and that handing it radiation data was entirely voluntary. Russia has acknowledged that five nuclear workers were killed in the explosion on […]

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Trump Calls Putin To Offer Help Battling Siberian Fires

Vladirmir Putin and Donald Trump Sitting in Chairs with Flags Behind, adapted from image at whitehouse.gov

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – August 1, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/russian-army-called-in-to-fight-siberia-forest-fires/30085889.html) U.S. President Donald Trump has offered to help Russia battle widespread forest fires in Siberia as he seeks to repair Washington’s fractious relationship with Moscow. Trump called Russian President Vladimir Putin to make the offer, the Kremlin said […]

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AUDIO JRL NEWSWATCH: “‘The Rot Starts From The Top’: Russians Protest Over Problems Big And Small” – NPR/ Lucian Kim

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

“… [As] Putin approaches his 20th year in power, anger over bread-and-butter issues is sparking protests across the country. Even in sleepy Pereslavl-Zalessky, population 40,000, [perched on a lake, with onion-domed churches, historic and picturesque qualities giving it an untapped tourist potential,] locals no longer hide their frustration with the powers that be. … [A] recent rally in … unkempt […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Putin orders governors to listen to locals on waste dump issue” – Interfax

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Interfax – July 23, 2019) Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the governments of Arkhangelsk Region and Moscow to take into account public opinion when settling the issue of siting rubbish dumps near the town of Shiyes. “The Arkhangelsk Region government and the Moscow government [are ordered] to take into account the opinion of the residents of Arkhangelsk Region when […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russians’ Fear of Chernobyl Repeat Hits Record Low, Poll Says” – Moscow Times

Chernobyl File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 17, 2019) Fewer Russians believe that a Chernobyl-like nuclear disaster could happen now than at any point in the past two decades, according to an independent Levada Center poll published Wednesday. The April 1986 explosion at the Chernobyl power plant in Soviet Ukraine spread radioactive material across much of the Northern Hemisphere, affecting tens […]

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Yet Another Benefit from USSR’s Disintegration – Large Reduction in Release of Greenhouse Gases

Space in Low Earth Orbit with Partial Sun

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, June 25, 2019) The end of the Soviet Union brought many benefits, but one that has not attracted much attention up until now is that its demise has resulted in a significant decline in the release of greenhouse gases as a result of changes in post-Soviet food systems, a new study by […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Siberia Could Be The Tourist Hotspot Of The Future, Literally” – Forbes/ Eric Mack

File Photo of People Working on Car in Siberian Woodlands

“The massive Asian side of Russia is often forgotten, as much of it consists often frigid and uninhabitable Siberian wilderness. … A team of Russian and American researchers looked at a number of computer models … [U]nder the most extreme scenario … [regarding] greenhouse gases … parts of Siberia where average January temperatures dip below minus 30 will be warmer […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Half of Russians Are Worried About the Environment Where They Live – Survey” – Moscow Times

Russian Landfill; adapted from image at epa.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 5, 2019) Almost half of Russians are concerned about the environment in their regions, according to a study by the Moscow-based NAFI Research Center obtained by the state-run TASS news agency. Environmental issues have taken center stage at protest rallies across Russia over the past year, with citizens drawing attention to concerns including landfills, […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH VIDEO: “Drowning in waste, Russians fume over lack of recycling” – AFP

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

“… rubbish towers above the Timokhovo dump outside Moscow, one of the biggest in Europe. Authorities plan to build an incinerator to burn some of the trash, but … activists are fighting for it to be recycled instead. Since 2013, residents have complained of foul sulphurous smells and worry that effluents are polluting ground water. … [A]uthorities acknowledged the smell […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “There Are Still 10 Chernobyl-Style Reactors Operating Across Russia. How Do We Know They’re Safe?” – Live Science/ Stephanie Pappas

Montage of Radioactivity Symbol and Russian Map with Russian Flag, adapted from images at .gov sites

“… Reactor 4 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant … [had an explosion and] spewed radioactive material across northern Europe. That reactor, a design called the RBMK-1000, was discovered to be fundamentally flawed after the Chernobyl accident. And yet there are still 10 of the same type of reactor in operation in Russia. How do we know if they’re safe? […]

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RUSSIALINK: “In Russia’s Arctic, Oil Majors and Reindeer Herders Are Coming Together; Sustainable development and cooperation are replacing encroachment on pastures.” – Moscow Times

Map of Arctic Highlighting Permafrost, adapted from image at nasa.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – NARYAN-MAR, May 15, 2019) Russia’s oil and gas giants are establishing a new model in the country’s Arctic based on sustainable development and cooperation with the region’s native reindeer herders. A decade ago, locals were struggling to sustain their traditional way of life due to the energy firms’ growing encroachment on their pasturelands. And as […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Inside the West’s Plans for Arctic War Against Russia” – DailyBeast/ Nico Hines

Map of Arctic Highlighting Permafrost, adapted from image at nasa.gov

“Moscow is growing belligerent in its quest to pry open the icy route to the Atlantic. The U.S. and Britain are racing to catch up, but is it too late?” “… deep in the Arctic Circle, some of the world’s best-trained commandos … struggl[e] to complete an ambush exercise knee-deep in … snow. Britain’s Royal Marines make painfully slow progress […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH VIDEO: “A Russian ‘spy whale’ is having too much fun to leave Norway” – NBC/ Tony Brown, David K. Li

Map of Norway and Region, with Norway Highlighted, adapted from image at cdc.gov

“‘The whale was really friendly and came up to us and started opening its mouth, and just checking us out,’ a Norwegian official said.” “… A beluga whale – found in Arctic Norway with a camera harness strapped to its head – has been joyously seeking out human contact and is in no hurry to swim back …. The whale […]

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‘The Ice Will Melt and We Will All Die’ – Global Warming Seen Sparking Epidemics in Russia

Ebola Virus, adapted from image at nih.gov with credit NAID

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, April 22, 2019) Most discussions of the impact of global warming on the Russian Federation have focused either on the ways in which the melting of permafrost will damage infrastructure in the northern part of that country, imposing severe economic costs, or extend the growing season in many places, giving Russia some […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia might ratify Paris Agreement by year end – Gordeyev” – Interfax

Space in Low Earth Orbit with Partial Sun

MOSCOW. April 23 (Interfax) – Russia might ratify the Paris Agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) by the year’s end, Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Gordeyev said at his meeting with German Economic Cooperation and Development Minister Gerd Mueller in Moscow. “Russia welcomes the conclusion of the Paris Agreement and views it as the solid international […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Putin reaffirms Russia’s plans to ratify Paris Agreement on climate change” – Interfax

File Photo of Smokestacking Spewing Cloud of Discharge

ST. PETERSBURG. April 9 (Interfax) – Russia is committed to ratifying the Paris Agreement on climate change after comprehensively analyzing it, but Russia’s role in maintaining environmental security in the Arctic should not be overestimated, President Vladimir Putin said. Speaking at the International Arctic Forum in St. Petersburg on Tuesday, Putin corrected the mediator, who said that Russia is the […]

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RUSSIALINK: “94% of Russians Are Concerned About the Environment, Poll Says” – Moscow Times

Russian Landfill; adapted from image at epa.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – March 25, 2019) Most Russians are concerned about environmental pollution, according to a recent survey conducted by Moscow’s Higher School of Economics (HSE). Environmental issues have taken center stage at protest rallies in Russia over the past year, with citizens drawing attention to concerns including landfills, air pollution and a proposed water bottling plant at […]

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As Bad as Russian Roads are for Travel, Russia’s Waterways are Worse, Yemelchenkov Says

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, January 12, 2019) For most of Russia’s histories, rivers and later canals were the primary transportation network over that country’s vast roadless and largely railway-less areas. Its roads have remained notorious for their poor quality, and its railroads are suffering ever more accidents. But the state of its rivers and canals has […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Can Russia Turn a Plastic Corner? As the country grapples with a waste crisis, some supermarkets have begun charging shoppers for plastic bags.” – Moscow Times/ VICTORIA DMITRIEVA

Russian Landfill; adapted from image at epa.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – VICTORIA DMITRIEVA – December 17, 2018) [https://themoscowtimes.com/articles/can-russia-turn-a-plastic-corner-63850] Tatiana Chulyuskina likes to think of herself as an efficient housekeeper. For the past two years, the 32-year old graphic designer has lived by the motto, “There’s nothing that cannot be reused.” She brings her own cup with her to coffeeshops and wraps her food in re-usable packaging. […]

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Russians Will Suffer in Five Serious Ways from Global Warming, Kuvaldin Says

Map of Arctic Highlighting Permafrost, adapted from image at nasa.gov

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, October 12, 2018) Russians are so accustomed to thinking about how cold the climate is in their country that they have assumed that global warming will bring mostly positive changes to their lives, but Stanislav Kuvaldin says that in fact global warning carries with it five serious risks for them, all of […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russian Autumn Fun: The Word’s Worth” – Moscow Times/ Michele A. Berdy

File Photo of Autumn Leaves and Wooded Trail, With Patches of Sunshine or Sky, adapted from image at fws.gov by Steven C. Welsh :: www.stevencwelsh.info :: www.stevencwelsh.com

“Осень: autumn There are, I’ve heard, places on earth where weather is not a topic of conversation. I’ve heard that in some places a few degrees up or a few degrees down is pretty much the entire range of weather events. That is not Moscow. Погода (weather) can run your life, determine when and if you go outside, raise or […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russian Ministry Warns of Coming Environmental Apocolypse Fueled by Climate Change” – Moscow Times

Forest Fire file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 7, 2018) [Kommersant: kommersant.ru/doc/3732772] Russia’s environmental ministry has published a report that paints an apocalyptic future for the country due to climate change, with consequences including epidemics, drought, mass flooding and hunger. While Russia has been slated to reap economic benefits from a modest rise in global temperatures – which are expected to open […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “At Asia’s heart, Lake Baikal stirs Russians to protect nature” – Christian Science Monitor/Fred Weir

Lake Baikal and Environs Satellite Photo

“… [Lake Baikal] is the only natural feature in Russia … [with] its own law … which bans many types of industry, including mining, and chemical-based farming in a buffer zone around the lake that includes most of Buryatia. … that makes Baikal a double-edged sword for the economically stagnant republic. The region’s beauty and largely untapped resources give it […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Misplaced Fears Over Nord Stream 2; Nord Stream 2 provides another reliable route for transporting gas to Europe, nothing more, nothing less.” – The National Interest/Klaus Schäfer, Mario Mehren, Rainer Seele

Gas Flame file photo

“… The European gas market has … modernized and liberalized over the last decade. …. The Third Energy Package put in place a well-developed, intra-European framework of hubs that allows gas to flow freely in multiple directions from a variety of points of origin. … allow[ing] European consumers to buy gas from whomever they wish … [it] simply does not […]

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Moscow’s waste wars; The “rubbish riots” that are taking place in the Moscow area demonstrate Muscovites’ distrust of their regional government.

Moscow Aerial View Satellite Image File Photo, adapted from image at jpl.nasa.gov

(opendemocracy.net – Natalya Paramonova – May 3, 2018) Natalya Paramonova is a journalist. Since graduating from Moscow’s Maxim Gorky Literature Institute, she has worked in the Science, Environment and Technology department of the RIA Novosti news agency, written for the GEO Rossiya and Ecology and Law journals and worked for the Colta.ru, +1 and LookBio internet portals. She is also […]

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Ten Signs Putin and His Russia have Serious Problems

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, April 21, 2018) Vladimir Putin and his country are in far deeper trouble than the Moscow media he controls or than the Western media which all too often relies on what the Putin outlets say and views his standing and that of his country almost exclusively as a derivative of what the […]

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Pride, Loneliness in the Deep North: The Russians Who Refuse to Leave Dying Arctic City

Map of Arctic Highlighting Permafrost, adapted from image at nasa.gov

(Voice of America – voanews.com – Henry Ridgwell, Ricardo Marquina Montañana – March 25, 2018) VORKUTA, RUSSIAN ARCTIC – In Russia’s far north, the city of Vorkuta is slowly being reclaimed by the Arctic tundra. The front lines of this battle between the urban and natural worlds are in the suburbs, where abandoned apartment blocks emerge from the towering snowdrifts. […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Why Is Russian Gas in Boston Harbor? Environmentalists’ war on fossil fuels helps Vladimir Putin” – Wall Street Journal/Drew Johnson

Gas Flame file photo

“Why are some parts of America reliant on Russian natural gas, especially when domestic gas production has surged? … [it’s] political. … Massachusetts and New Hampshire [officials] blocked … the $3 billion Access Northeast Pipeline, which would have … provided fuel to three New England states. … [the] Massachusetts Attorney General … claimed the state could ‘maintain electric reliability’ without […]

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Global Warming Destroying Coastline, Critical Infrastructure in Russian North

Map of Arctic Highlighting Permafrost, adapted from image at nasa.gov

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, March 11, 2018) Global warming is leading to the erosion of shorelines in the Russian north by as much as four meters a year and to approximately one accident there every three days involving power stations, roads, gas and oil pipelines, and other infrastructure, according to analysts at the emergency services ministry. […]

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Arctic Winter ‘Warmest On Record’

Arctic Map

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – March 7, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/arctic-winter-warmest-on-record-us-russian-scientists-report/29084098.html) The winter of 2017-18 was the warmest on record for the Arctic, U.S. and Russian scientists have reported in separate studies. The U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center reported on March 6 that the Arctic winter during December, January, and February […]

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NEWSLINK: “The name of the game is cruelty. Why Russia’s State Duma wants to ban a ‘baiting stations’ in the training of hunting dogs, and why the Senate is opposed.” – Meduza

Russian State Duma Building file photo

“In mid-January, the State Duma created a mediation committee to review draft legislation that would ban ‘baiting stations,’ where hunting dogs are trained to attack leashed wild animals. Co-sponsored by Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, the bill passed the lower house of Russia’s parliament in December 2017, before running into rare opposition from the Federation Council, which soon voted down the […]

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2017 Hottest Year on Record in Russia

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – December 28, 2017) The passing year was Russia’s hottest in recorded history on the back of increasingly warm winters. “The average temperature [in 2017] was the warmest of all these years,” the state-run RIA Novosti news agency cited Roman Vilfand, the head of Russia’s meteorological center, as saying on Thursday. He forecast above-average temperatures in […]

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Russia to increase salmon aquaculture

Spawning Salmon File Image, adapted from image at fws.gov

(The Fish Site – thefishsite.com – Jaroslaw Adamowski – October 30, 2017) Russia’s largest farmed fish producer, Russian Aquaculture, is developing its farm network across the country at a time when the country’s authorities are making increased efforts to develop the sector and reduce their dependency on fish imports. Russian Aquaculture currently owns cultivation rights for 30 salmon and trout sites […]

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Global Warming Threatens Moscow’s Arctic Development Plans and the Lives of People There

Map of Arctic Highlighting Permafrost, adapted from image at nasa.gov

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, October 17, 2017) Some Russian officials, including Vladimir Putin, apparently believe that global warming will work to Russia’s ultimate benefit by allowing for crops over a larger portion of its territory; but in the shorter term, global warming is undermining Moscow’s plans to develop the Far North and even threatening the lives […]

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More Than 16 Million Russians Are Breathing Polluted Air

File Photo of Smokestacking Spewing Cloud of Discharge

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 21, 2017) More than 16 million residents of Russia’s largest cities are breathing polluted air, an annual Natural Resources and Environment Ministry report cited by the Kommersant daily on Thursday suggests. Russia’s fledgling post-Soviet environmental protection movement has been hampered in recent years by corruption, lax enforcement of laws and a crackdown on advocacy […]

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NEWSLINK: “Cold weather hits Russian economy in May but recovery still on track” – bne Intellinews

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“Russia’s statistics agency released a slew of numbers for June and revised the May numbers. The bottom line is while the economy took a hit from the bad weather in May, the recovery is broadly on track and life is starting to look better for the man in the street after two years of grinding pain. Real disposable incomes and […]

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Bad Weather Blamed for Moscow’s Summer Sadness

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 6, 2017) An unusually cold summer is partially responsible for a spike in Muscovites calling in for psychological help, RT reported, citing the director of the Moscow Psychological Aid Service Nina Petrochenko. The service received a total of 3,870 queries in June 2017, a 14 percent increase compared to the same month in 2016. […]

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Article by Vladimir Putin published in the German business newspaper Handelsblatt (re G20)

Map of Germany

(Kremlin.ru – July 6, 2017) Ahead of my trip to Germany to take part in the Summit of the Group of Twenty, I would like to share some thoughts about cooperation within the G20 framework with the readers of Handelsblatt, one of the most popular and reputable German newspapers. Over the years of its existence, the Group of Twenty has […]

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Rosatom: Climate’s new best friend; As Russia’s economic crisis continues to hit budgets, the country’s state nuclear corporation is going green to raise funds on the international level.

Russian Nuclear Power Plant file photo

(opendemocracy.net – Vladimir Slivyak – June 21, 2017) Vladimir Slivyak is the co-chair of the Russian environmental NGO Ecodefense and has been taking part in UN climate change talks since 1995. The recent St Petersburg International Economic Forum was widely covered by the Russian media, partly because of the eye-catching debates in which president Vladimir Putin himself took part. In […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia Says Still Likely to Back Paris Climate Deal Despite U.S. Withdrawal” – Reuters

Arkady Dvorkovich file photo

“… #Russia has signed the Paris climate pact but is the biggest emitter of global greenhouse gases not to have yet ratified it. Russian officials have said they need more time to assess its potential impact on their economy and have spoken of drafting a strategy for low-carbon development, fuelling fears among green campaigners Moscow may not ratify the agreement. […]

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Putin warns against rushing to condemn Trump for U.S. withdrawal from climate deal

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

ST. PETERSBURG. June 2 (Interfax) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said it is too soon to condemn United States President Donald Trump for the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement. “I would not judge President Trump now because it was President Obama who made the relevant decisions [to join the agreement]. Perhaps, the incumbent president believes they are not […]

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Russia’s eco-activists: not out of the woods yet; It’s Russia’s Year of Ecology. But as these activists tell us, campaigning on environmental and urban issues is far from a walk in the park.

Gorky Park file photo

(opendemocracy.net – EDITORS OF OPENDEMOCRACY – May 4, 2017) Across Russia, from Kaliningrad to Makhachkala, people have been taking to the streets to save parks, historic buildings and reservoirs. Residents of high-rise developments take the initiative to clean up their buildings. Mothers plant flowers in children’s playgrounds and fight for the right to bring their children’s pushchairs into cafes. The […]

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Most densely populated part of Russia environmentally unfavorable – document

Moscow Roads

MOSCOW. April 20 (Interfax) – Environmental conditions in the most densely populated part of #Russia remain unfavorable, according to the Russian environmental security strategy for the period through 2025. The strategy was endorsed with an executive order of the president on April 19. “Environmental conditions in cities and surrounding territories populated by 74% of the country’s residents are experiencing a […]

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NEWSWATCH: “In Russia, The World’s Largest Lake Takes On The World Bank and Mongolian Power Build-Up” – Forbes/ Kenneth Rapoza

Lake Baikal and Environs Satellite Photo

“The biggest fresh water lake in the world is under attack … again … this time from Mongolian power companies with help from the World Bank looking to build two hydroelectric dams that draw from an important Russian river. … the World Bank held public hearings in Russia to discuss environmental impact studies around Lake Baikal in Russia, moving two mid-sized […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Working meeting with Natural Resources and Environment Minister Sergei Donskoy

Russia Map

(Kremlin.ru – March 20, 2017) Mr Donskoy briefed the President on measures to enhance the efficiency of subsoil resource use, develop a system of protected natural zones, and support eco-tourism. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Donskoy, we discussed with you on many occasions the question of effective subsoil use. I know the Ministry has prepared a roilange of instruments, […]

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RUSSIALINK RBTH: “Melting glaciers threaten to inundate Russia’s Far North and Siberia”

Map of Arctic Highlighting Permafrost, adapted from image at nasa.gov

Scientists say that the melting permafrost and the cryosphere’s destruction might lead to massive flooding in the Arctic and Siberian regions of Russia in the next 20 years, as well as foster the resuscitation of dormant pathogens and the destruction of vital infrastructure. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – OLGA DOBROVIDOVA, SPECIAL TO RBTH – March 14, 2017) Maria […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Khloponin

Siberian River, Forest, Mountain

(Kremlin.ru – March 3, 2017) Vladimir Putin met with Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Khloponin to discuss the Year of the Environment in Russia, including ways to reduce emissions and the adverse impact on the environment, to introduce best available technologies, and to protect rare animals. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Khloponin, the Year of the Environment is underway in […]

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