27.11.2022

Russian Activists Announce End to 2-Year Landfill Protests

Russian eco-activists will end more than two years of protests against a controversial garbage dump that would have seen tons of waste shipped from Moscow to northern Russia after its construction was halted.

Russians nationwide have protested against plans to ship Moscow’s trash to remote regions since fall 2018 over environmental concerns, with a massive planned landfill at the abandoned Shiyes train station becoming the main protest battleground. Courts in the Arkhangelsk region where Shiyes is located eventually ruled that the landfill construction is illegal and ordered the site to be returned to its previous state.

The Chistaya Urdoma activist group said Saturday that they would end their protests due to “the continued demolition and removal of materials” from the Shiyes landfill construction site, “as well as in order to restore order to the territory” there.

The group will now transition to carrying out a “civil watch” on the site, it said.

Chistaya Urdoma (“Clean Urdoma,” in reference to the nearby town of Urdoma) added that some individuals didn’t agree to stop protesting and would continue to live in a tent camp at the site. The group called on these individuals “not to interfere with the reclamation” of the territory and said their activities will be considered “unrelated to the fight against the construction of the Shiyes landfill.”

The Shiyes protests rocked local governments, with both the Arkhangelsk region governor and the head of the neighboring republic of Komi stepping down in April 2020. Their replacements opposed the landfill construction and terminated the agreement with the Technopark company building the landfill.

Technopark in October promised to halt construction and recultivate the site by summer 2021.

Russian Activists Face Death Threats Over Women’s ‘Solidarity Chain’ Protest

Russian women activists have received hundreds of death threats after their Valentine’s Day “chain of solidarity” for female victims of political repression, the Mediazona news website reported Tuesday.

Around 300 participants formed human chains in central Moscow and St. Petersburg on Sunday following weeks of harsh police crackdowns at pro-Navalny protests.

The event’s organizer, activist Daria Serenko, told Mediazona she has received an estimated 600 threats since creating a Facebook event page announcing the “Chain of Solidarity and Love.”

“We’ll come after you, force you to sit on a bottle and rape you,” Serenko quoted one of the messages she received on social media, saying she has since deleted them.

“We know where your husband lives, we’ll kill your pets,” she quoted another message as saying.

The feminist activist linked the hate messages to an infamous anti-women blogger who fled Russia after a court overturned his suspended sentence for inciting hatred toward women in 2019.

The blogger and his allies had called on supporters to film themselves disrupting and verbally abusing the women’s chain of solidarity.

Hecklers spotted at Moscow’s event Sunday included two men wearing mock NATO helmets — a nod to Kremlin accusations of Navalny being a western puppet — and nationalist activists.

Later on Sunday, Navalny supporters across the country held up cellphone flashlights in residential courtyards to send a muted signal of solidarity and avoid direct confrontations with riot police. The Kremlin said no detentions were made at the flashlight protests because of low turnout and no violations of the law.

A database of nearly 30,000 Navalny supporters’ personal data had begun circulating online days ahead of the protests.

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