The Newsletter of
A Center for Coordination
Moscow, Russia -- Issue 7-8(06),
IN THIS ISSUE:
FAR EAST SEAS IN COURT
SAVE SAMARSKAYA LUKA CAMPAIGN
KASIMOV CASE STILL OPEN
MOX PROTEST CAMP NEAR VORONEZH
NUCLEAR WASTE TRANSIT STOPPED BY JOINT EFFORTS
ANTINUCLEAR LEADER HARASSED
NEWS IN BRIEF
BLACK SEA NEEDS YOUR HELP NOW!!!!
FAR EAST SEAS IN COURT
The Russian Far East seas may become victims of oil
multinationals. Instead of law enforcement, country and people
interest protection, Russian Government made another áoncession to the
multinationals. On July 15 Government illegally adopted ruling "On
temporary order of the test drillings of the marine oil, gas and
concentrated gas deposits within the Russian Far East region". This
ruling, adopted without mandatory environmental review and public
participation, allows discharge of the wastewaters and drilling
solvents into all Far East seas without screening.
On August 16 the first legal action was taken to protect the Far
East Seas. "Ecojuris" Institute (lawyers for environment) and 30
regional, national and international NGOs filed an appeal to the
Supreme Court demanding to abolish the ruling.
The Far East shelf with its oil deposits has been a desire object
for oil companies. At the same time, the Far East has the richest
fisheries of the country - around 90% of seafood supply come from
these seas. These seas are also the main sustenance source for
different indigenous groups. According to the RF Constitution, the Far
East marine aquatory should be protected as the living source of the
whole region. It has also been proven that oil drilling in the
fish-rich seas is not profitable for the country that owns the
territory - as it looses it's renewable resources (fish and other
marine animals and plants). Oil drilling in the sea is profitable only
for the multinationals, which, in their pursue for profits, use every
chance to lower their costs - on expense of nature and local people.
Russian Government has already allowed oil drilling at the
Sakhalin shelf. The "Sakhalin Energy" - the drilling company - made a
gorgeous celebration of the "first oil" in spring... Few months later,
on September 28, first serious oil spill was discovered. More
disasters are on their way, if not stopped by joint public attempts.
Later we received news about the first success - on September 28 The Supreme court found illegal and thus not applicable the ruling "On temporary order of the test drillings of the marine oil, gas and concentrated gas deposits within the Russian Far East region".
SAVE SAMARSKAYA LUKA CAMPAIGN
(by radical environmental and cultural center Duplo)
National park "Samarskaya Luka" is a unique natural complex,
which is situated on the territory of Samara region. It is a habitat
of rare animal and plant species. Nowadays those who are responsible
for taking care of and preserving this unique place are destroying it
for their own personal needs. Illegal hunting and fishing has been
going on here for decades covered by the park rangers and park
administration who actually live off this trade.
Since 1997 a group of activists has been struggling to stop
poaching in the area. After appeals to the local and area authorities
to punish the poachers ecologists decided to act on their own. Several
of them were threatened and assaulted by the local gangs controlled by
the park authorities. Three ecologists got arrested at an attempt to
blow up one of the dams.
This summer radical environmental movement "Rainbow Keepers" and
cultural center "Duplo" opened the protest camp on the territory of
the park to take actions against poachers and to draw public attention
to the problem.
Through July and August number of actions on dam destruction were taken by the campers. The actions several times resulted into clashes with national park employees - owners of the poaching devices. The protesters actions were legal, according to the Russian legislation. It says that "any action might be taken to restore the law as soon as it does not cause physical harm to other people". However, local militia preferred to side with the poachers.
On July 22, 1999 at 3 p.m. four activists of the protest camp at
Samarskaya Luka were illegally arrested and brought to Rozhdestveno
police department. One of them, A. A. Dorovskikh, was kept there for 6
hours and beaten by the police officer. This way the
officer was trying to get information about participants of taking off
the lock on Orekhovskaya dam. On the next day Dorovskikh had to turn
to one of the city hospitals for medical help. He was hospitalized
with the broken tympanic membrane of the left ear.
On August 23 activists picketed Samara regional environmental
prosecutors office. The first attempt to pass appeal on situation in
Samarskaya Luka to prosecutor was not successful - activists were told
that prosecutor was not at his work place. After 2 hours of picketing
it suddenly turned out that the prosecutor is in the building and was
ready to meet the activists on the condition that no journalists would
be witnessing the meeting. He took the appeal promising to resolve the
KASIMOV CASE STILL OPEN
The SEU Times has reported about the successful case against
non-ferrous metal waste recycling facility near Kasimov. Despite the
court decision, the plant "Roskontakt", owned by "Krotbers" company,
continued the construction of the facilities. This made the radical
movement "Rainbow Keepers" continue the protest campaign. Through
August they held a protest camp near the plant, demanding to shut down
the dangerous processing facility, and destruction of the illegally
The camp gathered at least 70 people from Russia, Ukraine,
Belarus, Czech Republic, Germany and Finland.
The protesters were continuously harassed by the plant security,
while local militia (police), was intentionally inactive. The local
Administration head supported the harassment.
On August 5, shortly after the camp was set, 10 people in
camouflage, one of them later recognized as plant security, drove to
the camp in two trucks and, using violence, kidnapped 15 camp
participants and stole different camp belongings. Then they drove 40
km away to the forest, where campers were beaten and received death
threats, many papers concerning the case and other "RK" work were
stolen, films shot were taken away. The mobsters also poured out all
the water that protesters had and then drove away, leaving 15 beaten
people in unknown forest.
But the camp continued its work, and on August 6 it was attacked
twice. During the first attack mobsters again were truing to "deport"
environmentalists, but did not succeed. Then they came back (at least
20 men), carrying bats, beaten several camp participants. Then they
poured gasoline on the tents, personal belongings and food and set the
camp on fire. During the attack gangsters boasted that they will go on
unpunished, as the might plant owner, Natalya Suchkova, will get them
out of any trouble.
On August 7 the "mighty plant owner" Suchkova arrived to the camp
and promised to burn the camp down with its participants. Then she
left and made an attempt to bring up action against protesters, but
did not succeed. Obviously, she did not even have the legal papers for
the land that she claimed as her property.
Local people, being supportive of protesters, decided to guard
the camp and the protesters form the further harassment.
At the same time, the local Administration was using the papers
stolen from the camp to defame the protesters. Combining different
"Rainbow Keepers" program papers, local authorities clamed that
campers were agents of the foreign intelligence service, preparing
local turnover, which should result into turning the Ryazan region
into the Netherlands kingdom province. Kasimov head Yepifanov repeated
the same accusations when the "Keepers" came to obtain the permission
for demonstration. To support his words Yepifanov showed papers that
were stolen 10 days ago by mobsters.
The situation in Kasimov is still unsolved, with local people and
environmentalists on one side, and corrupted officials and
criminalized businessmen on the other.
The "Rainbow Keepers" will continue their work no matter what. Year ago they have established community "The Kasimov Alternative" in the nearby village. First it was only one house, restored from the poor condition by the community members. Through the last year they have held several events on alternative environmental lifestyle and culture. Now they have bought and restored another house. We promise to tell you more about "The Kasimov Alternative" in the next issues.
MOX PROTEST CAMP NEAR VORONEZH
(By the SEU Antinuclear campaign)
The Antinuclear camp was established on August 17 near Novoronezh
nuclear plant by more than 50 antinuclear activists from Russia,
Ukraine, Latvia, Finland, Great Britain and other countries. It was
sponsored by the ECODEFENSE! and Antinuclear campaign of the
Socio-Ecological Union. Camp demanded from local authorities to
introduce the ban for loading of MOX fuel into reactors of
Novovoronezh NPP, also to introduce moratorium for the construction of
new reactors. Another demand of the camp was to shut down the old
reactors' in 2 years.
The MVD (police) and FSB (former KGB) officials had been watching
the camp from the very first days. They claimed that the ecologists
should leave a 5-kilometers zone around NPP because it is a "territory
of strong regime". The police had established special post near the
camp for watching camp 24-hours a day.
In spite of everything, even a veteran of AES, a trade union
member who worked at AES for more than 30 years has expressed a
solidarity with the ecologists' demands.
A number of camp participants moved to Voronezh-city to collect
the signatures under an appeal to the regional parliament deputies.
One of the Antinuclear camp's aims was to collect more local citizens'
signatures under an appeal containing a request to forbid the MOX fuel
import into Voronezh region. During first 1,5 hours they have
collected more than 300 signatures.
On August 24 the camp participants held a press conference in
Voronezh, city with over million population, home of the oldest
nuclear plant in Russia.
"Specialists of the Novovoronezh nuclear plant and Russian
nuclear inspectorate (GAN) aren't sure about technical competence of
the Russian ministry of atomic power", said Vladimir Slivyak and
Alisa Nikoulina of the Antinuclear camp near Novovoronezh NPP at the
press-conference. In support they quoted the NPP and GAN
"You can try to load MOX fuel into Novovoronezh 5, but then I
wouldn't suggest to start this unit up," said Alexandr Krutskih,
director of the technical department of GAN at the Novovoronezh NPP
when visited camp to talk with activists on August 19.
"Plutonium (MOX) fuel may not be loaded into unit 5 of my nuclear
plant because the reactor was made not for this kind of fuel," said
director of the Novovoronezh NPP in the interview to "Molodoy
Kommunar" newspaper in Voronezh on August 17.
Activists also reminded the history of the problem:
In 1996 Russia Minatom and US DoE released the report for two
presidents in which both agencies suggested to fabricate so-called MOX
fuel (mixed oxides of uranium and plutonium) with weapon-grade
plutonium. This report suggest to load unit 5 of the Novovoronezh NPP
with MOX fuel.
"MOX program of Minatom is extremely dangerous as from economical
as from environmental point of view and even experts of the nuclear
industry reject this program", said Vladimir Slivyak.
The antinuclear protest near the governor's office resulted into arrest of more than 20 activists.
NUCLEAR WASTE TRANSIT STOPPED BY JOINT EFFORTS
(By SEU Antinuclear campaign)
International protest campaign organized by SEU Antinuclear
campaign, Moldova NGO Biotica, Bulgarian NGO Za Zemiata and Russian
NGO ECODEFENSE! once again stopped nuclear waste transport from
Bulgarian NPP Kozlodui to Russia.
On July 8, 1999 the Parliament of Moldova moved to postpone until
October 1999 a vote on ratification of the joint agreement on nuclear
spent fuel transport between Russia, Bulgaria, Ukraine and Moldova.
Moldova's participation in this agreement was essential for Bulgaria
to be able to ship spent nuclear fuel by rail to Russia for storage
and reprocessing, which also required passage through Romania and
Ukraine. Nine months ago, all transfers of nuclear waste from the
Kozloduy reactors to Russia were suspended because Moldova's
parliament would not yet ratify the agreement. The plenary of the
parliament on the July 8 again delayed the Bulgarian nuclear industry
from getting a green light to move forward with these plans.
"Nuclear transportation continues to be a topic of great public
concern. It's extremely dangerous and will waste considerable amounts
of money", said Vladimir Slivyak of Socio-Ecological Union and Polina
Kireva of Za Zemiata, a Bulgarian environmental group. Both groups
began their campaign against these nuclear waste transfers in
September 1998. Since that time, public protests in several Central
and Eastern Europe countries and opposition in the Moldovian
parliament have twice forced Bulgarian authorities to cancel scheduled
nuclear waste shipments.
In late June Russian and Bulgarian environmentalists again asked
their colleagues worldwide to send faxes to Moldova's President, Prime
Minister and Chair of parliament asking them not to ratify the
agreement. According to the Greens in the Moldovan parliament, the
international fax campaign made a great impact on the July 8
"The decision allows us to mark the first anniversary of a
successful resistance to nuclear transport in Bulgaria, Russia and
Moldova," said Slivyak and Kireva. "We intend to continue with this
campaign until we obtain a political decision to indefinitely suspend
all such transport. Nuclear power plants should implement a policy of
using dry on-site storage of spent fuel instead of sending this
radioactive garbage to its neighbors."
For more information:
Antinuclear campaign of Socio-Ecological Union
Za Zemiata! - 359-2-9633125 (Sofia, Bulgaria)
ECODEFENSE! - 7-0112-437286 (Kaliningrad, Russia)
ANTINUCLEAR LEADER HARASSED
On September 7 people from Moscow Criminal Investigation
Department (MUR) captured Vladimir Slivyak, Director of Antinuclear
campaign of Socio-Ecological Union (SEU). The formal reason for the
arrest was documents control, while the real reasons were
investigation actions within Manezh square explosion suit. People in
civilian stopped the activist of environmental movement when he was
going out of his house; they refused to introduce themselves and to
explain the reason of the arrest. After documents control and numerous
questions about Slivyak's job, environmental organizations and
environmental movement in general, senior lieutenant of MUR 6th
department A.S. Kosterov (the only person whose documents were
possible to look at) stated that he "deals with terrorists" including
investigation of circumstances of the explosion at Manezh square. At
the place of detention Kosterov took a package with marijuana and
threatened to "find it in the bag" of the Director of Antinuclear
campaign if he does not facilitate actively enough "the course of the
The Sacred Earth Network started a new project - "Ecological
Design" bulletin. According to the project coordinator Bogdan Popov,
humankind has all means to develop its further living within
accordance to ecosystem functioning. The problem that still needs to
be solved is the lack of information about these means. The Ecodisaign
bulleting is supposed to deliver information referring to the
environment - friendly building, permaculture, transportation etc to
the communities. First the bulletin will be published monthly through
e-mail, but the hard copy is also planned.
The editorial board is eagerly waiting for articles and
suggestions from the international community.
For more information:
The Environmental Inspector's School was held in August by the
Tomsk Ecological Student Inspection. It gathered more than 50
representatives of Druzhina for Nature Protection Movement from
different parts of Russia. The School included lectures and practice
lead by experts.
The young environmentalists were trained in hunting and fishing
inspection, forest protection, water use inspection, protected
territories control and monitoring, radiology safety, environmental
In Belarus participants of the "Earth Children'99" expedition
addressed the President of the republic. They demanded to speed up the
establishment of the once-planned protected areas. The expedition,
organized by the BelSEU Bobruisk affiliate, found that so far no work
to establish the planed Svisloch-Berezin nature park was done. On
contrary, significant clear cut loggings were planned and carried out.
In Tadjikistan environmental coalition of different organizations
has celebrated its first year. The coalition brought together Dushanbe
Youth Environmental Center, Humanitarian-rehabilitation Center
"Odamiat", Scientific and Pedagogical Society, Women organization
"Mekhringez", Khatlon project on women's health and the farm
association "Angubin". Today the coalitions joint activities are aimed
on a world popular region of Fan Mountains in the central Tadjikistan.
Within the project framework the bakery, village store and other
facilities are built. With a Chrisitan Aid sponsorship local women
receive loans for souvenir production.
The EcoCenter together with Tadjikistan Forest Management Agency
has prepared project for redesigning of the local nature park into Fan
National Park. The local business development within the area promoted
support for the idea by local population.
The Kazakstan NGOs - participants of the "Public access to the
information on radiological safety through NGOs" addressed the Prime
Minister of the Republic, the Environmental Ministry and the
Parliament. They requested to take efficient measures to collect and
store the so-called Ampoule Ionizing Radiation Sources. The AIRS are
used for different measuring devices in many fields. The used devices
should be collected and stored safely. Unfortunately, the complicated
financial situation within the republic led to the bankruptcy or
liquidation of many enterprises that used such devices. Thus AIRS are
stored in unsafe conditions, lost or even stolen. Then they show up in
the villages, there were cases when kids found AIRS and played with
BLACK SEA NEEDS YOUR HELP NOW
Below is another story about the disaster on the Black Sea coast.
This disaster is caused by the greed of oil multinationals and
corrupted officials. It is the Caspian Pipeline Consortium
construction. We just received extremely bad news - Valery
Timoshchenko from Novorossiisk told us that the CPC are trying to
start the construction works on the sea bottom. This means DEATH to
the unique and fragile marine ecosystem of the place. This means that
no time is left, and the Black Sea needs your help NOW!
I am sitting in the car trying to clean the dust off the lens of
my camera. It seems to be everywhere - just like sand in the desert.
The place we've been filming does look like some combination of desert
and battlefield. The casualties - once magnificent ancient junipers
and pistachios - are piled up and small tornadoes of dust are sweeping
over the naked land. The thin layer of soil was torn off together with
the trees that were keeping it, and now there is only yellow clay
left, reminding of the dead moon surface. This is a CPC logging and
construction site, where vast area of old-growth juniper forests was
cleared off. This is how the first CPC construction stage cheerfully
reported by Chevron as "completed" looks like.
YOU CAN READ THE FULL STORY (IN ENGLISH) AND SEE THE PHOTOS AT
Please distribute the information as widely as possible!
If you have any other ideas of how to stop the CPC please tell
us! We have large number of photos picturing the destruction and the
beauty of nature and footage in Hi8 format. We can send the photos on
request in small previews.
You can send your protests to :
Novorossiisk mayor Valery Prokhorenko:
fax +7 (8617) 25-0998
Krasnodar region governor Nikolay Kondratenko:
fax +7 (8612) 68-3542
Fortunately, we also have some good news - we have a new member in our community. Please, give a warm welcome to Amigos de Los Monegros (Friends of Los Monegros)
The main activities, as defined by the organization are:
Collection of information about the Fauna and the Flora of Los Monegros.
Publication of the study results in local and international mass media.
Educational activities in Los Monegros region among children and local public with purpose to demonstrate ecological value of the region.
During several years Javier Blasco-Zumeta (Amigos de Los Monegros leader) and group of interested people, which are now presenting the core of the organization, with help of specialists have prepared the inventory of the biocenose of Los Monegros region since it is going to be destroyed by built irrigation system. Results are very interesting: discovery in the region more than 100 unknown before species and links between and steppes of the Central Asia and the Middle East.
Results of the study are presented in many publications (relevant information can be found on the web page http://members. xoom.com/monegros). But people in the region do not understand the steppe area is important and unique for whole Europe. Therefore the main task for the moment is to rise the public consciousness and organize public participation in protection of Los Monegros.
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