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Protection of Environment and Environmental Safety


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Press releases and Publications

YABLOKO conducted a picket by the Russian Atomic Energy Agency against construction of nuclear power stations abroad on the Russian federal budget money

Press Release, April 26, 2013

Every year on April 26, the anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, YABLOKO has been conducting an action by the Russian Atomic Energy Agency (Rosatom) to commemorate those who died, express sympathy for those who got sick in this tragedy and remind everyone of the consequences of nuclear energy sector.
The danger of explosion has not been the only issue for the past years, the topic of distribution of budgetary funds by Rosatom has also been touched. This time YABLOKO has protested against Rosatom’s plans to spend billions of dollars of budget money on construction of nuclear power plants’ abroad.
Rosatom plans to invest USD 20 billion in the economy of Turkey to construct and operate the Akkuyu nuclear power plant. Turkey’s economy will receive this colossal amount of money from Russia’s taxpayers without any counter profit for Russia. Rosatom also plans to construct a nuclear power plant in Vietnam which will cost USD 10 billion. India, China, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Egypt and even Bangladesh with its unstable situation and some other countries are next in turn for Russia’s budgetary funds via Rosatom...

The authorities in Kemerovo feared Acad. Alexei Yablokov’s lecture

Press Release, April 4, 2013

On April 3 Acad. Alexei Yabloko, Chair of YABLOKO’s Green Russia faction and member of YABLOKO’s Political Committee, delivered a public lecture "Environmental problems of Russia" in the Kemerovo business center and held an informal meeting with representatives of public and scientific organisations during his trip to the Kemerovo region.

Alexei Yablokov’s visit aroused concern of the local authorities: a formal invitation to deliver two lectures on environmental issues in the Kemerovo State University was withdrawn, as the “lecture halls were occupied”. The second public lecture by Alexei Yablokov "Ecology and Health" scheduled at the Business Center for April 4 was cancelled a few hours before it had to begin due to the "collapse of the ceiling in the conference room"...

YABLOKO’s inspection: construction of the country cottage of ex Defence Minsiter Serdyukov in a natural reserve is almost finished, the second country cottage of Governor Tkachyov will be built soon

Press Release, March 22, 2013

Today YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin has held a public inspection of the so-called "Serdyukov cottage" in the Big Utrish natural reserve area. The inspection was held within the framework of Mitrokhin’s visit to the Krasnodar region. Alexei Yegorov, leader of the Anapa branch of YABLOKO and candidate for the Mayor of Anapa, and Andrei Rudomakha, leader of the regional branch of YABLOKO also participated in the inspection.
The participants of the inspection have personally observed that construction of the cottage in a natural reserve went on despite the resignation of Anatoly Serdyukov fromk his ministerial post. In 2009, the site was transferred to the Ministry of Defence for "placement of a navigation station" there. However, mysteriously, construction of a luxury villa instead of a radar began at the site. The contractor was Serdyukov’s son-in-law Valery Puzikov. Presumably the villa is being built for him...
YABLOKO also carried out an inspection of another plot of land: not far from "Serdyukov’ villa" there may soon emerge the second villa of Governor Tkachyov. According to the activists of the regional branch of YABLOKO, the site in the natural reserve Big Utrish was transferred into property of the Stroibeton company. Most likely the owner of the cottage will be Governor of the Krasnodar Territory Alexander Tkachyov. Such a scheme – transfer of land into property of some firms controlled by him – Tkachyov had already used in the construction of his first summer cottage in the Blue Bay.
Sergei Mitrokhin is visiting Anapa to support Alexei Yegorov, YABLOKO’s candidate for the post of the city mayor. The elections will be held on March 24. Sergei Mitrokhin appealed to the Central Electoral Commission so that the Commission ensure lawful voting.

YABLOKO’s Maxim Petlin is a political prisoner

Press Release, March 21, 2013

"Maxim Petlin can be considered a political prisoner," YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin commented on the sentence to Maxim Petlin, leader of the Sverdlovsk Region branch of YABLOKO and deputy of the Yekaterinburg City Duma.

"We believe that the sentence is based on a case fabricated by the investigators with gross procedural violations. Petlin’s activities targeted at exposing corruption launched his prosecution," said Mitrokhin.

According to Mitrokhin, the court acts "in the interest of the clans controlling the city and influencing not only on the city, but also the regional Federal Security Service departments, the prosecutor's office and the court"...

Mitrokhin on the attempted murder on Cossack chieftain Nesterenko: shooting of those fighting against criminal authorities has begun in the Krasnodar Territory

Press Release, February 22, 2013

YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin believes that the attempted murder on Nikolai Nesterenko, Deputy Ataman of the Anapa City Cossack Community, demonstrates a qualitatively new stage of confrontation between public activists and criminal authorities of the Krasnodar Territory.

Attempted murder on Nikolai Nesterenko was committed in Anapa on February 22. A killer opened fire on the car of the Cossack. Nesterenko was wounded and his driver Viktor Zhuk was killed. Nikolay Nesterenko is one of the leaders of the civil society in Anapa. For many years he has been fighting against unlawfulness, violation of citizens’ rights and abuse of power by businessmen and officials in the city.

"Earlier they have exerted pressure on public activists in different forms, including their unlawful conviction on trumped up criminal cases, but now we can say that, that they begin shooting the most active public figures who do not let them to do lawlessness," said YABLOKO’s leader...

After YABLOKO’s rally acting Governor of the Moscow Region sent the General Plan of Balashikha Development back for revision

Press Release, February 21, 2013

Andrei Vorobyov, acting Moscow Region Governor, agreed with the demands put forward during YABLOKO’s manifestation and rally and sent the General Paln of the Balashikha City Development for revision.

He made such a statement at his meeting with residents of the city. The manifestation and rally organized by the YABLOKO party were in the city in the past weekend. Participants of the rally marched in the centre of the city. "The new General Plan is a shame of Balashikha" was written on the banner carried in front of the column.

"The Plan aroused outrage of the city residents by its absolute negligence of the needs of citizens and its cynical approach to the urban policy," Vladimir Konnov, the leader of the Balashikha branch of YABLOKO said at the rally...

Environmentalists on the Sochi Olympic Year loudly announced by the governments

Press Release, February 10, 2013
On February 7, the day of celebration of the "Year of the Olympic Games" in Sochi, environmentalists from the Kudepasta village opposing the construction of the Kudepsta thermal electric power station in the area and YABLOKO activists of the Sochi branch of YABLOKO conducted an action targeted at drawing public attention to the environmental problems in the region and maintaining of healthy environment...

YABLOKO collects signatures against destruction of a unique Sochi park

Press Release, February 6, 2013
The Sochi branch of the YABLOKO party joined the campaign for collection of signatures under an appeal to the federal and regional authorities to preserve the unique park Southern Cultures, as an asphalt concrete factory is being built by the park.

The construction site is located within the buffer zone of the park. A walk among 60 rare trees enlisted in the Red Book which has become a place interest in Sochi is used now as a road for trucks. And cutting of trees has been going on.

In 2012, the Federal Property Management Agency (Rosimuschestvo) transferred the Southern Cultures Park to the Ministry of Natural Resources. However, in the process of transfer it turned out that a 250-meter walkway connecting the park with the sea shore, was not part of the park any more and was in the disposal of the city administration...

Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics: A Celebration of Human Body and Spirit or Complicity in Crimes?

North Caucasus Environmental Watch. Open Letter to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), February 11, 2013

...A unique environment is being damaged irreparably over a large area. According to our information, functionality of approximately 2000 hectares of the Greater Sochi had been radically changed; radical land expropriation, destruction of natural landscapes and appearance of anthropogenic landscapes have taken place. First of all, this concerns the Mzimta river valley (deforestation) in the area of construction of a combined railroad and highway Adler – Alpinka Service and Imeretinskaya valley, where substantial agricultural lands and wetlands were replaced by compensation housing construction and by transportation infrastructure and storage facilities. Some of the territories of the Western Caucasus (UNESCO World Heritage site) were removed from World Heritage protection, natural heritage sites are being destroyed, and crushed-stone quarries are mined in the reserve areas of the national park. That is, diverse ecosystems were damaged practically irreparably. New threats of landslides, erosion, avalanches, and mudslide have appeared on the slopes of mountain ridge Aibga as a result of continuing deforestation and construction of ski trails, chair lifts and other objects. Disappearance of specific natural habitats, even when there are analogous remote natural habitats, of numerous plant and animal species in Sochi is reaching critical levels and is leading to local extinction of the species, which, in its turn, is leading to impoverishment of biodiversity. This is a consequence of the inability of the affected species to migrate across regions unfit for their survival...

Sergei Mitrokhin: Moscow Mayor Sobyanin must sack Chief Architect of Moscow who advocates abolishing of public hearings

Press Release, January 15, 2013.

YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin expressed his satisfaction with the call of Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin to the deputies of the Moscow City Duma to preserve the institute of public hearings on different construction and development projects in Moscow. Earlier, the Public Advisory Council of Political Parties under the Moscow City Duma severely criticized the amendments introduces by the ruling United Russia and targeted at cancelling of public hearings.

Mitrokhin also noted that the "attempt to cancel public hearings has clearly revealed the utter incompetence of the Moscow City Duma which is ready to obey any orders from the Moscow government, no matter how senseless and harmful for the Muscovites it could be"...

YABLOKO demands actions from the Krasnoyarsk government on the Boguchanskaya Hydroelectric Power Station

Plotine.net, December 21, 2012.

On December 20, representatives of non-parliamentary parties spoke to the deputies of the Krasnoyarsk Region Legislative Assembly. Oksana Demchenko, Chair of the Krasnoyarsk regional branch of YABLOKO, urged the lawmakers to oblige the owners of the Boguchanskaya Hydroelectric Power Station to evaluate and compensate for the damage caused to the environment and local people, as well as conduct an environmental assessment of their further development of the Lower Angara River area.

According to Demchenko, the creation of powerful new industries in the area (an aluminum plant, a timber complex and wood-chemical and pulp and paper mills) is impossible without a strategic environmental assessment, otherwise the present practices of development of the territories will inevitably lead to an imbalance between the industrial development and the environment. "The lack of a strategic environmental assessment of the investment projects does not allow to create a model of a rational use of natural resources in the region," she said in her speech. Oksana Demchenko also recalled that six weeks ago, the federal Political Council of the YABLOKO party sent a special message to the Legislative Assembly of the Krasnoyarsk region, noting disturbing examples of negligence of the standards of social and environmental responsibility in the Lower Angara area...

We demand that prosecution of Suren Gazaryan be stopped

Statement by the YABLOKO party, December 21, 2012.

The Russian United Democratic Party YABLOKO expresses a categorical protest against the prosecution of Suren Gazaryan and putting him on the federal wanted list. Suren Gazaryan is a well-known environmentalist, an organizer of public actions against outrageous environmental violations in the Krasnodar region, the initiator of the resonance investigations of unlawful construction of permanent facilities in the natural reserves, Gazaryan plays an important role in the socio-political life of the region and criminal prosecution of Gazaryan represents nothing but a revenge of the authorities to him for his civil and political activity...

Considering the prosecution of Suren Gazaryan politically motivated, the YABLOKO party demands from Alexander Bastrykin, head of the Investigative Committee of Russia, to check the actions of his subordinates in the Krasnodar region who have been fabricating the second criminal case against Suren Gazaryan on absolutely fictitious grounds.

YABLOKO calls on all opposition forces, all the honest people to switch into the campaign in defence of Suren Gazaryan. Let us not allow the authorities to imprison him!

A picket in support of Suren Gazaryan held in Kazan

Press Release, November 27, 2012.

On Saturday activists of the YABLOKO held a picket in support of YABLOKO’s Suren Gazoryan facing several years of imprisonment for standing up against Governor Tkachyov’s unlawful seizure of public lands in the Black Sea Coast.

About 15 people participated in the picket in Kazan. Nailya Biktimirova, representating of the Social-Ecological Union, said that this summer she met with Gazaryan in Moscow at the award ceremony of the Presidential Council for Civil Society Development and Human Rights. At that time Gazoryan was sentenced to three years of probation for graffiti and “damaging” of the fence around Governor’s cottage built on public land. However, a new case against Gazaryan may lead to his imprisonment, as accordikng to the investigators, YABLOKO’s activist had allegedly threatened to kill the three guards of the so-called Putin’s Palace.

"I think any environmental activist may be imprisoned now, as the authorities have been trying to defend the territory they did not have any right to sale and develop,” said Naila Biktimirova...

Sergei Mitrokhin: Governor of the Krasnodar Territory Alexander Tkachyov much be charged with negligence in the case of a flood in Krymsk resulting in many victims

Press Release, November 27, 2012.

YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin said that not only officials from district and city governments, but also officials from the Krasnodar Territory Administration and Governor of the Krasnodar Territory Alexander Tkachyov much be charged with negligence in the case of a flood in Krymsk resulting in many victims.

“I am satisfied with the fact that a charge was brought against the local authorities, but this is not enough. We have convincingly shown that the regional authorities have failed to implement their duties, however, none of the officials incurred the responsibility. Why Governor Tkachyov guilty of criminal negligence should remain in his post for another five years endangering the population of his territory? “ Mitrokhin said...

The authorities want to put YABLOKO’s candidate to the Mayor of Krymsk into prison

Press Release, November 23, 2012.

Yugeny Vitishko, a renowned environmentalist and civil rights activist, member of the Regional Council of the Krasnodar branch of YABLOKO and member of the North Caucasus Environmental Watch, is running for the post of head of the Krymsk District in South Russia (the district which suffered from a large flood this summer) from the YABLOKO party. The elections will be held on December 9.
This summer, Vitishko was sentenced due to fraudulent evidence to three years probation for the "damage to the fence" around the Governor Tkachyov’s cottage. The lands under the cottage and the fensed beach nearby still registered as public are virtually in the Governor’s property. Now new charges are invented so that to withdraw a strong candidate from the election campaign. The authorities threaten to replace a suspended sentence by a real imprisonment...

YABLOKO and Muscovites inspected Ostankino park

Press Release, November 19, 2012.

Activists of the YABLOKO party, led by party leader Sergei Mitrokhin, together with the residents of the Ostankino district, Moscow, held a public inspection of natural and historical park Ostankino.

The inspection revealed a large number of violations of environmental legislation in the interests of unknown businesses and officials from the administration of the park and the city authorities...

Do not write on a non-existing fence

Gogol.tv, November 19, 2012

Suren Ghazaryan, PhD, is a speleologist and biologist studying bats in the Institute of Ecology of Mountain Territories of the Kabardino-Balkar Research Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences, member of the Northern Caucasus Environmental Watch non-governmental prganisation. His and Yegeny Vitishko’s participation in the public campaign against the seizure of forest and coastline at the Black Sea (near the village of Dzhubga) by Governor of the Krasnodar Territory Alexander Tkachyo resulted in criminal prosecution against Ghazaryan and Vitishko and three years of a suspended sentence for the "damage to property" ("This is our forest", "Alexander is a thief!" was written on the fence around the Governor’s cottage).

However, earlier environmentalists had got several answers from the Public Prosecutor’s Office where the latter had been denying the existence of any fence around the Governor’s cottage located at unlawfully seized public lands...

A Russian Deja-Vu. The Political Development and the Objectives of the YABLOKO party

Sergei Mitorkhin's lecture in the British Parliment. London, November 12, 2012

...Soon it will turn a year since the beginning of mass protest rallies in Russia. For many people these rallies meant hopes for rapid democratic changes. Frankly speaking, I have never shared such an optimistic point of view.

For me, it was clear that Vladimir Putin would consider the awakening of the society as disorders and side-affects of the "liberalization" carried out by ex President Dmitry Medvedev. And this meant that Putin’s only possible response to the mass protests could be "tightening the screws" or, in other words, increase of reprisals.

This is how Vladimir Putin’s regime tries to avoid the fate of his Middle Eastern counterparts. Obviously, Putin has been very concerned of the fates of his colleagues from the Arab world, and this makes him take up preventive measures against the Arab Spring scenario in Russia...

On YABLOKO’s initiative the Congress of European liberals condemned reprisals against Russian opposition

Press Release, November 10, 2012.

The Congress of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) adopted an urgency resolution “On reprisals against YABLOKO activists and dissenters in Russia”.

The resolution was submitted by YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin who was delegate of the Congress.

ALDE (the earlier name ELDR) joins together all the European liberal and democratic parties. The Russian United Democratic Party YABLOKO has been full member of ALDE since 2006. The ALDE Congress is held in Dublin, Ireland, on November 8-10, 2012.
The resolution marks a new wave of reprisals in Russia against opposition activists and all dissenters against the present government’s policies against the backdrop of the curb on human rights and freedoms; suppression of the freedom of speech; use of the law enforcement and the judiciary as a tool for reprisals”.
The ALDE Congress called on the ALDE groups to raise the issue in the European Parliament and the Council of Europe and draw the attention of the Russian government to the inadmissibility of persecutions for criticism...

On reprisals against YABLOKO activists and dissenters in Russia
Urgency Resolution submitted by the YABLOKO party and adopted by ALDE Congress on November 9, 2012




- a new wave of reprisals in Russia against opposition activists and all dissenters against the present government’s policies against the backdrop of the curb on human rights and freedoms; suppression of the freedom of speech; use of the law enforcement and the judiciary as a tool for reprisals;

- persecution against YABLOKO activists and candidates to the regional parliament Suren Gazaryan and Yenegy Vitishko, who have been charged with a criminal offence that could lead to their imprisonment for criticising Krasnodar Region Governor Alexander Tkachev for his unlawful seizure of public lands and their fight for human rights and environmental safety in the region


- On the ALDE groups to raise the issue in the European Parliament and the Council of Europe and draw the attention of the Russian government to the inadmissibility of persecutions for criticism, in violation of Russia’s obligations relating to its membership of the Council of Europe and in direct contrast with the statements of the Russian authorities on adherence to democratic values;

- On the Russian government to stop the reprisals against Gazaryan and Vitishko and revoke the unlawful court decisions against them and punish those guilty of giving false evidence and prosecutions.

YABLOKO leader spoke at the Moscow Perspectives forum

Press Release, October 27, 2012.

On October 27, YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin participated in the socio-political forum Moscow Perspectives organized by the Democratic Choice party. Other reports on the prospects of Moscow development were made by representatives of the Moscow Mayor Office, political parties, as well as research centres and business associations.

Vladimir Milov, organizer of the Forum and leader of the Democratic Choice party, told about the need to involve Moscow residents in the solution of the different tasks. Milov stated that municipalities lacked real power and bureaucratisation of the city prevented development of small and medium businesses and, consequently, the middle class – the major contributor to the city budget. According to Milov, there is a need of a dialogue between the society and experts with the city administration so that to create a strategy of Moscow development. "Moscow can set the right direction to the rest of Russia", said Vladimir Milov...
"The Moscow government in Moscow should create a platform for a dialogue with the public about the development of the city. Public hearings are a good method here. But the chief architect of the city and Sergei Sobyanin [the Moscow Mayor] government apparently believe that Muscovites are not ready for this and do not conduct hearings on the most important issues of Moscow development, " Mitrokhin stressed...

Police are trying to disrupt the meeting of Sergei Mitrokhin and YABLOKO’s candidates for the forthcoming elections with the residents of Ilsky village

Press Release, September 28, 2012.

A meeting of YABLOKO’s candidates to run in the regional and local elections (the voting day on October 14) with the residents of the Ilsky village, the Krasnodar Territory, is taking place now. According to YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin, provocateurs from the local administration and the police are trying to disrupt the meeting.

The main issue of the meeting is the discussion of the situation around environmentally unfriendly Ilsky refinery, which is a factor of serious pollution in the area. Expansion of the plant and violation of environmental standards have led to a sharp increase of morbidity in the area and growth of the death rate. All this provokes fair indignation of the local population. The residents of the area demand that unlawful expansion of refinery should be stopped.

A leader of public movement against the construction of the Kudepstinskaya thermal plant dies under unclear circumstances

Press Release, September 12, 2012.

YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin expressed condolences to the family and friends of Anatoly Makhnovsky, Chairman of the Territorial Council of local self-government for Kudepsta residential district, who suddenly died yesterday.

Makhnovsky, aged 70, died on September 11 about 1 p.m. under unclear circumstances.

According to one of the versions, he was talking to a local woman at a bus stop, stumbled, fell down, hit his head and died. However, there is additional information: two police officers were standing next to him and their role was unclear. Moreover, a folder with documents on the disputed Kudepstinskaya thermal plant he had with him during the accident suddenly disappeared.

It is not ruled out that Makhnovsky’s death was connected with his fight against the construction of the Kudepstinskaya thermal plant...

Over 500 people participated in a rally against Kudepstinskaya heat power plant

Press Release, September 10, 2012.

On September 9, a rally against construction of a thermal power plant in Kudepsta near Sochi brought together over 500 residents of Sochi. YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin asked the developer to submit the permission documentation.

Local residents oppose the construction of environmentally hazardous industrial facilities, the operation of which will result in air pollution, noise and other factors posing a serious threat to the health of tens of thousands of residents and holiday-makers in Sochi. Sochi administration and the Olympstroy company plan to locate the thermal plant in the centre of a densely populated resort area...

Sergei Mitrokhin to Governor Tkachyov: after a terrible flood in South Russia money should be allotted to creation of the alerting system, not only to cleaning of rivers’ beds

Press Release, August 30, 2012.

YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin said that measures scheduled by the regional administration for prevention of floods in the Krasnodar Territory are insufficient. Yesterday Governor Alexander Tkachyov announced that regional administration was going to allot 3 billion rubles for cleaning and deepening of rivers’ beds, however, he did not say anything about creation of a system which would alert the population in case of a coming flood...

...YABLOKO has been demanding resignation of Alexander Tkachyov who bears full responsibility for the consequences of the tragic July floods leading to numerous human victims. The party is seeking a thorough investigation into the Governor's actions.

YABLOKO’s environmentalist Suren Gazaryan faces several years of imprisonment due to a new case launched against him

North Caucasus Environmetal Watch. Press Release, August 30, 2012.

Russian authorities have launched a new criminal probe against environmental activist Suren Gazaryan after he led an inspection of a public shore near what we believe is President Vladimir Putin's Black Sea dacha for violations. The proceedings are an attempt to stop the activist's efforts to expose illegal palaces built on public funds or land and cutting off access to a public shore...

Suren Gazaryan is required by police to attend a session of questioning regarding the alleged death threat on September 4. He can be kept in custody before trial which has turned into a common practice for persecution of Russian opposition activists.

Sergei Mitrokhin: "Vladimir Putin's promise to evacuate residents from the flooding area in Krymsk has remained unfulfilled"

Press Release, August 26, 2012.

On August 25, YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin held a series of meetings with the residents of Krymsk area which suffered a terrible flood in July.

The meetings had to identify the cases of non-fulfillment by the authorities of their obligations to the residents who lost their property in the flood. People reported red tape in getting compensation for lost property and money for repairs, continuous “losing” by officials of their documents submitted in order to get a compensation and small size of compensations insufficient for repairs. The residents resented such bureaucratic formalism when people were denied compensation...

The police tried to debar Mitrokhin from meeting the residents. Also several cars with representatives of local administration followed YABLOKO leader at the meetings. At the end Mitrokhin managed to make the local officials cooperate in the solution of the problems of the Krymsk residents.

YABLOKO activists conducted pickets for resignation of Governor of the Krasnodar Territory Alexander Tkachyov

Press Release, August 3, 2012.

Today YABLOKO activists conducted a series of pickets for the resignation of Alexander Tkachyov, Governor of the Krasnodar Territory. The action was held by the Permanent Mission of the Krasnodar Territory in Moscow. YABLOKO activists were standing in turn by the Mission with slogans “Tkachyov, go!”

“After the tragic flood in Krymsk, [South Russia], Tkachyov have to resign. The liability for the failure to alert the residents of the coming flood lies directly on the government of the Krasnodar Territory. I am ready to stand here 24 hours a day until Tkachyov leaves post,” told Sergei Sokolov, participant of the action and the deputy of Municipal Council Konkovo...

YABLOKO: Governor Tkachyov and government of the Krasnodar region should be held liable for the tragedy in Krymsk

Press Release, July 31, 2012.

Governor of the Krasnodar Territory Alexander Tkachyov, his deputies and officials of the regional Emergency Ministry Department should be included into suspects in investigation of the causes of flooding in Krymsk, South Russia. Such a statement was made by YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin at today's press conference, which drew up the first results of YABLOKO's investigation of the causes of the flood.

Activists from the North Caucasus Environmental Watch, Andrei Rudomakha, leader of the Krasnodar branch of YABLOKO, Yugeny Vitishko, chairman of the Tuapse branch of YABLOKO and Yugeny Pimkin, resident of Volgograd region whose son died in a flood in Gelendzhik trying to save people, also participated in the press-conference. According to YABLOKO's activists, a natural calamity coupled with negligence of the governments lead to such a large number of casualties in Krymsk. No system for public notification in case of emergency had been created in the region prone to flooding. Possible negative consequences of economic activities in the region that may lead to flooding had been also neglected. The governments learned nothing from the experience of the disaster in 2002, when a flood in Krymsk killed 62 people...

YABLOKO leaders about their investigation of the causes of dramatic flood in South Russia

Press Release, July 26, 2012.

On Tuesday, July 31, YABLOKO will conduct press conference “Who is liable for the catastrophic flood in Krymsk: the disaster or the governments?” The conference will take place in the Independent Press Centre. YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin and leaders of the Krasnodar branch of YABLOKO will tell about the results of their investigation of the tragedy taking the lives of many people in South Russia.

The participants of the press-conference:

Sergei Mitorkhin, Chairman, YABLOKO
Andrei Rudomakha, head of the Krasnodar Region branch of YABLOKO;
Yugeny Vitishko, head of the Tuapse branch of YABLOKO.

The press-conference will begin at 1 p.m.

Address: Kropotkinskaya metro station, Prechistinka 17/9, ground floor.

Accreditation: tel: +7 495 780 30 19 or by e-mail press@mosyabloko.ru

YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin: Governor Tkachoyv should be among those suspected in negligence inflicting deaths of people in the flood in South Russia

Press Release, July 22, 2012.

YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin expressed his opinion that regional government officials and Alexander Tkachyov, Governor of the Krasnodar Region and top officials of the regional department of the Ministry of Emergency Situations, should be made liable for the negligence resulting in mass victims during the recent flood in the Krasnodar region...

In his blog Sergei Mitrokhin analysed the legal acts related to the prevention of emergencies in the Krasnodar region and came to the conclusion that regional authorities did not fulfill the responsibilities entrusted to them by law.

In particular, Governor Alexander Tkachyov did not commission any of his deputies to supervise the implementation of the regulations "A system of warning and informing of the public about the threat of emergencies". After publication of the regulations in 2005, the control over its implementation was entrusted to A. Ivanov, however, now there is no such a Deputy Governor with such a name.

In addition, for the past seven years the regional government has not allotted any funds for creation of a system for alerting citizens about emergencies. This should have been made from the regional budget, however, each year, the regulations of 2005 did not contain such a clause. Also since 2005 they have prolonged the regulations of 2005 without including a clause on funding of the system.

"In any normal state an official responsible for such criminal negligence would be immediately dismissed. Only in Russia such an official can retain his gubernatorial post for another five years presenting a threat to millions of people living in the region governed by him," Mirokhin wrote in his blog.

Three villages in the Krymsk District were flooded due to uncontrolled activities of the Private Hunters’ Club

Press Release, photographs by Andrei Rudomakha, July 19, 2012.

..."There is no doubt that economic activity of the Private Hunters' Club played a negative role in the flooding of Armyansky, Sheptalsky and Novoukrainsky villages," noted EcoWatch experts. These villages located in the valley of the Psyzh River are outside the influence of the flood from the Adagum River affecting Krymsk abd Nizhnebakanskaya and Neverdjayevskaya villages. However, these three villages were also serely affected. In addition to destruction and damaging of housing the flood led to human victims there.

On July 16 YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin demanded from Yury Chaika, Public Prosecutor General, to bring to justice the officials whose negligence and lack of action led to flooding of three settlements in the Krymsk district.

YABLOKO's congress appealed UNESCO in view of endangered "The Western Caucasus" World Natural Heritage Site

Press Release, June 18, 2012.

On June 17, the 17th Congress of the YABLOKO party unanimously adopted an appeal On the threat of the destruction of unique natural complexes of the World Natural Heritage Site "The Western Caucasus". The appeal is addressed to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee that will meet for a session in St.Petersburg in the end of June. The draft appeal was submitted to the Congress by Andrei Rudomakha, head of the Krasnodar branch of YABLOKO and Sergei Mitrokhin, YABLOKO Chairman.

YABLOKO called the World Heritage Committee to pay special attention to the critical situation in the field of preservation of World Natural Heritage Site "The Western Caucasus"...

On the threat of the destruction of unique natural complexes of the World Natural Heritage Site "The Western Caucasus"

The 17th Congress of YABLOKO, June 18, 2012.

The Russian United Democratic Party YABLOKO calls the World Heritage Committee at its forthcoming session, which will be held in St.Petersburg in late June, to pay special attention to the critical situation in the field of preservation of World Natural Heritage Site "The Western Caucasus".
"The Western Caucasus" based on the Caucasian Nature Reserve is a unique natural area, that is not only a national treasure of Russia, but also the natural heritage of all the mankind. Throughout the period since 1999 up to the present, when "The Western Caucasus" was included in the list of the UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site this object has been endangered by different projects that could destroy it...

YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin to visit Omsk

Press Release, June 9, 2012.
...On June 11, Mitrokhin will participate in the conference of the regional branch of YABLOKO.

On June 12, he will meet students, political scientists and other citizens in the conference hall of hotel Tourist at 11:30. The topic of the meeting is "Omsk on the threashold of mayoral elections". Address: Str. Broz Tito, 2.

Then YABLOKO leader will join the rally in support of Moscow's March of the Millions.

A public inspection on problematic sites of the city will take place at 15:13: Ptichya Gavan (Birds’ Harbour) – Zyelyoniy Ostrov (Green Island) - Metro – Silicon plant.

On June 13 (at 15:00) Sergei Mitrokhin, Alexander Korotkov, YABLOKO's candidate for mayor of Omsk, and Tatiana Ovcharenko, renowned expert in the field of protection of citiznes' rights in the housing and utilities sector, will participate in the press conference "Challenges before Omsk on the Threashold of the Mayoral Elections". The press conference will take place in the press center of the Komsomolskaya Pravda paper.

No to cutting of a city garden under construction of a new parliament’s building!

Statement by the Moscow branch of the YABLOKO party, June 1, 2012.

The State Duma Commission on construction of a new parliament’s center announced the plans to cut apple-trees garden at Kutusovsky prospect in the centre of Moscow under a construction site.

YABLOKO together with the residents of this Moscow district have repeatedly repulsed the attacks on this old unique garden in Moscow.

The intentions of the Duma deputies once again demonstrate that they are ready to eliminate gardens and parks worsening living conditions of Muscovites or take children’s playgrounds for the sake of their own comfort.

The Moscow Regional Branch of YABLOKO states that it and the citizens will spare no effort so that to defend the apple garden from the deputies...

Muscovites dismantle the fence around an unlawfully seized beach at Serebryanniy Bor
Press Release, May 30, 2012.

A meeting of the residents of the West and North-West of Moscow who oppose unlawfully seizure of Moscow beaches will take place in Serebryanniy Bor on Thursday, May 31. The residents will dismantle un unlawfully erected fence.

On May 28 YABLOKO’s public inspection which also included environmentalists and journalists managed to get inside the fenced territory of the beach. (See the photo report here.) The guard of the fenced beach was unable tell the name of the “owner” of the beach, but said that the place was a "barbecue site" for Federal Security Service and Interior Ministry officers and their families...

Forum "Environmental Problems in the Political Context" held in the Moscow Region
Press Release, May 29, 2012.

"The Green Forum: Environmental Problems in the Political Context" was held on the initiative of YABLOKO’s Green Russia faction in the Moscow Region on May 28, 2012.

Representatives from 64 environmental organizations from 35 Russian regions from Kaliningrad to Kamchatka participated in the Forum so that to discuss the political and environmental situation in Russia.

YABLOKO leader Grigory Yavlinsky and the leaders of the Green Russia faction (Acad. Alexei Yablokov, Alexander Nikitin and Olga Tsepilova) participated in the Forum. The discussion was also attended by leaders of environmental organisations such as Greenpeace Russia, the Russian branch of the World Wildlife Fund, the International Socio-Ecological Union, as well as a number of influential regional organisations such as Dodo, Nizhni Novgorod, Ecodefence, Kaliningrad, Plotina.Net!, Krasnoyarsk, Bellona, St. Petersburg, Siberian Ecocentre, Novosibirsk, the Far East Fund for Environmental Health, Vladivostok, the Kamchatka League of Independent Experts, the Union of Moscow Environmental Organisations, the Union of Bashkirian Environmentalists and the Green Branch, Yaroslavl...

Pickets in support of Gazaryan and Dutlov take part in different Russian cities
Press Release, March 17, 2012.

YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin who is now in Novosibirsk on a working visit participated in a series of pickets in support of the Suren Gazaryan and Viktor Dutlov. Young activists also joined the action in Novosibirsk.

Solidarity actions with the detained environmentalists took place all over Russia. In Moscow, the police detained dozens of picketers, including four members of YABLOKO – Galina Mikhalyova, deputy head of the Moscow branch of YABLOKO, and activists Maya Zavyalova, Gleb Sitnikov and Oleg Rumyantsev...

Maxim Petlin, Chair of YABLOKO’s branch in Ekaterinburg, is granted bail
Press Release, March 16, 2012.

..."I am certainly glad that such a decision was adopted. We know that President Medvedev whom I handed the documents on Maxim facilitated the adoption of such a decision. These documents clearly demonstrate that the case was framed up," Mitrokhin said. He also added that imprisonment was an "inadequate measure showing that the case was purely political".

According to Mitrokhin, obvious inability of Maxim Petlin’s family to pay such a bail is the vest evidence that there was corruption in Petlin’s actions, and this also another indirect proof that the accusation in corruption was absurd...

Maxim Petlin, Chair of YABLOKO’s branch in Ekaterinburg, is granted bail
Press Release, March 16, 2012.

Judicial Board on Criminal Cases of the Sverdlovsk Regional Court refused to extend arrest for Maxim Petlin, leader of Ekaterinburg YABLOKO, and granted him bail amounting to RUR 5 million. Petlin will come out of prison after the bail will be at the account of the Investigation Committee of the Russian Federation in the Sverdlovsk region.

Maxim Petlin took an active part in the fight against illegal construction of a recreational centre in the place where a city park was. The fight between YABLOKO and civil activists with the developer - Forum Group - had loud public resonance. Maxim Petlin was the victim of a provocation on the part of the Forum Group and was accused of extorting bribes...

Environmentalist Suren Gazaryan and lawyer Viktor Dutlov get ten days of imprisonment on a framed-up case
Press Release, March 14, 2012.

Tuapse. On March 14 Suren Gazaryan, environmentalist and YABLOKO member, and Viktor Dutlov, lawyer, YABLOKO member and activist of the North Caucasus Environmental Watch, detained by the country cottage of Governor of the Krasnodar Terriroty Tkachyov a day earlier, got ten days of administrative arrest for “non-obeying to the lawful orders of police”. The judge refused to call the witnesses of the defence, as well as to consider audio and video recordings proving innocence of Gazaryan and Dutlov.

On March 13 Gazaryan and his attorney Dutlov approached the Governor’s cottage so that to inspect the “damages” (graffiti) they had allegedly made to the fence. Such inspection was required for their defence in court (as they were accused in damaging the fence) and was sanctioned by the investigator. When activists approached the fence, the guards came out and put handcuffs on the activists. Gazaryan was beaten by one of the guards...

On the creation of a pro-Putin pseudo-green party
Statement by the Green Russia faction of the Russian United Democratic Party YABLOKO,
February 16, 2012.

On February 12, 2012, Russia's environmental movement The Green decided to once again form an environmental party. Its first public action was the decision to support Vladimir Putin's candidacy at the presidential elections in Russia. Also prior to its self-liquidation this party had already declared its support to Vladimir Putin. This party had also supported the decision to import foreign radioactive waste into Russia. Obviously, the revival of the party is aiming at supporting the government in their fight against ecologists, rather than change of antiecological policies in Russia. The newly released government’s report "On the Situation with Environmental Protection in the Russian Federation in 2010" confirms that the quality of environment in Russia has been deteriorating, and respectful international ratings give Russia one of the lowest ratings in the world as of the trends of its environmental changes...

Road police tried to obstruct YABLOKO’s rally in the centre of Moscow

Press Release, November 18, 2011

Road police prohibited to a private transport company to transport participants of the rally against building of a freight airport in Stupino (a city near Moscow), threatening the company with annulment of its licence. Consequently, the participants of the rally had to go to Moscow by train being late for the rally for half an hour, also some participants were unprepared to go by train and stayed in Stupino.

Nikolai Kuznetsov, leader of the Stupino branch of YABLOKO, told that they could find a transport company only in another town, as the local companies received a ban on transportation of people to the rally...

Putin Awards Opposition Journalist. By Alexander Bratersky

The Moscow Times, November 2, 2011

...But the government needs to punish the attackers to prove it is serious, said Beketov's supporters, including Yabloko party leader Sergei Mitrokhin and Yevgenia Chirikova, who heads the campaign in defense of the forest.

"If they can give Misha back his leg and the third of his brain that got smashed away, I'm all in favor," an indignant Chirikova said Tuesday, according to Gazeta.ru.

"But if this is just a way of saying, 'Oh, what a nice Misha!' by the people who have created the system that crippled him, then this is cynicism, pure and simple," she said.

Mitrokhin said by phone that he was sad the authorities didn't think about Beketov until it was too late.

"The government didn't care about him when he was lying there dying in a Khimki hospital," said Mitrokhin, who helped to transfer Beketov to a better medical facility after the attack...

The original publication by the Moscow Times

Charges brought against Eugeny Vitishko, YABLOKO candidate to the State Duma

Press Release, October 31, 2011

Eugeny Vitishko, candidate to the State Duma from the YABLOKO party and leader of the Tuapse branch of YABLOKO, detained in Tuapse during environmental action on November 30 faces charges of violation of the border regime and violation of the navigation rules. YABLOKO considers the detention and the charges unlawful, as the detention of candidate MP was held without the mandatory approval by the Prosecutor. YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin is going to appeal against such actions in court...

Eugeny Vitishko, candidate to the State Duma from the YABLOKO party, arrested in Tuapse

Press Release, October 30, 2011

Eugeny Vitishko, candidate to the State Duma from the YABLOKO party and leader of the Tuapse branch of YABLOKO, and Eugenia Chirikova, leader of the Movement in Defence of Khimki Forest, were detained in Tuapse during environmental action on November 30. Chirikova has been released by now. YABLOKO considers the detention unlawful and demands immediate release of Eugeny Vitishko...

YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin spoke at an anti-corruption rally in the Sverdlovsk region

Press Release, September 25, 2011

...According to Mitrokhin, the construction company enjoyed support not only of the city parliament which adopted corresponding amendments to the land laws neglecting the rulings of the statutory court, but they were also supported by the city government, namely, Alexander Yakob, head of city administration. “We can also see that even the governor sided with the corrupt officials and businessmen demanding to cancel the decision of the statutory court,” Mitrokhin said...

Sergei Mitrokhin demanded from President Medvedev to stop unlawful construction works for Olympic Games in the Sochi national park

Press Release, September 23, 2011

YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin forwarded to President Medvedev a letter demanding to stop unlawful excavation works in the lime-pit the Sochi national park for construction of Olympic facilities in Sochi. In June 2011, after his meeting with environmentalists, Dmitry Medvedev ordered the Russian Government and the regional government to stop such works, however, President’s orders have been sabotaged.

YABLOKO’s activists and activists of the North Caucasus Environmental Watch detected these violations. Excavation of lime in the national park have already eliminated inhabitations of many species of the rare plants, inflicted irreparable damage to landscapes and fauna. However, this unlawful pit has been guarded by the Federal Security Service.

President Medvedev learned this during his meeting with environmentalists on June 21, 2011. He ordered Prime Minister Putin and Alexander Tkachyov, head of Administration of the Krasnodar Area, to stop excavation works at the Sochi national park by August 1...

YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin participated in the environmental rally in Volgograd

Press Release, September 1, 2011

On August 31 YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin took part in an environmental rally organised by the Volgograd branch of YABLOKO. The action was held under the slogan "Let’s Return Land and Water to People”.

According to Galina Boldyreva, Chair of the regional branch of YABLOKO, people need protection from those who grab coasts of rivers and water reservoirs. During picketing YABLOKO’s activists distributed leaflets explaining what laws were violated by raiders and also distributed postcards in protection of the Volga-Akhtuba flood from drying...

President Medvedev promised to study YABLOKO’s programme “Land-Housing-Roads”

Press Release, August 30, 2011

...“From the economic point of view, the programme is targeted at creation of conditions for unprecedented growth of domestic demand,” Mitrokhin said. This envisages gratuitous and mass-scale transfer of [federal] lands to the citizens under their housing construction and development of infrastructure (water, gas and electricity supply), as well as construction of roads at the expense of the federal budget, i.e. the reserves accumulated for the recent years due to high oil and gas prices.

“The effect from this programme can not be overestimated from both social and political aspects. A possibility to obtain a plot of land free of charge from the state, e.g. 50 hundred square meters of land and built 150 square meters of housing there for half of its cost, - this will constitute a real breakthrough from Russia’s economic stagnation,” he added. Mitrokhin also noted that, according to the estimates of party experts, implementation of such a programme will create at least 10 mln additional jobs and will ensure economic growth by at least 3.5 percentage points...

The company polluting the environment at the Black Sea coast will be held answerable for libel against environmentalists

Press Release, August 11, 2011

Environmental organisation North Caucasus Environmental Watch with YABLOKO’s support is going to start a law suit against PR technologists employed by the Eurochim company (which has constructed and launched oil shipment terminal in the resort city of Tuapse despite loud public protests) and hold them answerable for libel...

Environmentalists’ lives endangered by the security of the “Putin’s Palace”

Press Release, July 27, 2011

...Dressed in black uniform and with police batons the security resembled nazies. All the time the activists reached some road the securities prohibited them to use it. Soon it became clear that they received an order to “teach them a lesson” so that to make the environmentalists keep away from the Indokopas company and “Putin’s Palace”. So the activists had to make a very difficult three-hours march through the forest via a mountain pass and past a canyon. Such a trip endangered their lives, the activists were all bruised and bleeding when late at night they managed to get on the road by Praskeyevka village.

The actions by the security of the “Putin’s Palace” were absolutely unlawful, moreover the security on purpose endangered the lives of the environmentalists. The police did not come to rescue despite of the fact that the call made by the activists was registered by the local police department...

Bulk terminal in Tuapse to be launched despite the decision of the President

Press Release, July 25, 2011

On July 26, chemical fertilizers will be delivered to bulk terminal in the centre of Tuapse, Black Sea coast, so that to begin their exports already in early August. The terminal is launched despite the order of the President to hold public hearings and consultations with environmental organisations. The YABLOKO party and North Caucasus Environmental Watch are going to conduct several actions in the city centre and by the terminal...

Actions on July 26 will be followed by a mass-scale protest rally YABLOKO and environmentalists are preparing now...

YABLOKO campaign unfairly targeted
ELDR Press Release, July 22, 2011.

...In conducting a campaign in the Black Sea coastal region to return public land, including beaches and forest areas, to the people and to stop the construction of oil shipment terminals, ELDR member party YABLOKO, has been targeted by an unknown source which is calling for the party to be put on a list of terrorist organisations and for its activities to be prohibited.

Click here to read YABLOKO's press release on this matter.

This follows the arrest last month of YABLOKO activists campaigning for better environmental awareness and consideration at the Black Sea coast. Read more.

The notion of wanting to label a political party as being a terrorist organisation on the basis of conducting a peaceful campaign that represents the views of a number of citizens living in the area concerned is very worrying and a clear infringement of human rights and on the actions of YABLOKO as a political party. ELDR deplores such attempts to limit the freedom of expression of the Russian people and the underhand tactics used against YABLOKO to halt the campaign.

Sergei Mitrokhin demands from Public Prosecutor General to check who is funding the campaign envisaging enlisting YABLOKO as a terrorist organisation

Press Release, July 19, 2011

YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin applied to Public Prosecutor General Yury Chaika to determine the sources of financing of a black PR campaign launched against YABLOKO and ecologists fighting against constructing of oil shipment terminals in Novorossiysk and Tuapse, the Black Sea coast. After loud public protests against construction of hazardous facilities in the resort cities and his meeting with environmentalists President Medvedev ordered (on June 8) the regional authorities to conduct consultations with public organisations and activists
Such a meeting was held in Krasnodar yesterday, on July 18. However, not all the environmentalists and representatives of public organisations were allowed to be present. Thus, according to a personal order of the anchor of the event, well-known Russian journalists Vladimir Soloviyov, the security did not allow Suren Gazaryan, activist of YABLOKO and North Caucasus Environmental Watch to pass to the premises were the even was held.
However, Gazaryan got hold of a document entitled “Action Plan for Creation of Broad Public Resonance in Connection with the First Public Consultations." According to the document, the goal of the PR campaign is "to achieve generally positive reaction from the Internet community on the decision to launch the terminals in Tuapse and Novorossiysk." The unknown PR technologists also set up the task to "discredit environmentalists" fighting against this project endangering the environment in the region...

Residents of Korolyov, Moscow region, jointly with YAB LOKO managed to recall a new city development plan

Press Release, July 16, 2011

Draft city development plan of Korolyov, Moscow region, was declined and sent to revision. Such a decision was adopted on July 14 by the city administration basing on the results of public hearings (see our photo report) that took place in Korolyov on July 4. Such a decision by the city authority marks a real victory of the residents of the city who together with YABLOKO conducted a large-scale public campaign against the city development policies of the Korolyov administration...

Environmentalists crash ‘Putin’s seaside palace’. France 24. The Observers, July 5, 2011

...Last week, a handful of environmentalists and political opposition party members made their way to the site of Putin’s alleged fairytale home to check out the mysterious place and assess its environmental impact.

In January, the FRANCE 24 Observer’s website published an article on the controversy triggered by photos published on the internet of Putin’s seaside palace near the southern town Paraskoveevka, on the Black Sea. The site also published comments made by Sergei Kolesnikov, a Russian businessman who had been involved in the building’s construction, and who maintained that the prime minister was its true owner. Although officially classified as a centre to be used for medical care, Kolesnikov was able to use a paper trail detailing the building’s financing to link it to Putin...

Sergei Mitrokhin: tortures in the name of Christ. Sergei Mitrokhin’s blog at the Echo Moskvi web-site, July 5, 2011

...Our guys were put into a jail cell in the police station 3 by 3 meters large, where about 20 people had already been crammed along with them. People were standing, squatting or lying close to each other on the dirty cement floor. One of them - a homeless person – obviously had tuberculosis. In this cell the guys were kept before sending them to court: Goncharov for nine hours and Menzheritsky for 14 hours...

...The convicts were housed in a temporary detention facility, located in the same police building in Gelenzhik. Menzheritsky was kept cell No 13. The cell was about 16 square meters. m, and was designed for seven, but the police kept 18 people there. The cops did not try to hide the fact that the temporary detention prison had several vacant cells. They tormented 18 people on purpose, so that, according to the police officers, "they would try to avoid getting there in the future”. People had to queue so that to sleep in turn on a board couch (as there were no separate beds and linen)...

YABLOKO’s activists arrested by “Putin’s country cottage” at the Black Sea Coast
LI News Bulletin, Issue 239, July 1, 2011

Kirill Gontcharov, leader of the Moscow Youth YABLOKO (LI full member), and environmentalist Sergei Menzhitsky were sentenced to five days of imprisonment for alleged “physical resistance to police orders”. They were detained in Divnomorskoye village at the Black Sea, while protesting against unlawful and illegal construction of cottages in national parks, which involved turning public beaches and territories into top officials' private property. The YABLOKO action, titled “All-Russia Protest Against the Stolen Black Sea Coast”, was launched on 24 June...


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Georgian opposition parties reject ruling party proposals for electoral reform
Moldova: Liberal Party candidate becomes Mayor of Chisinau

Rally against launching of the Tuapse bulk terminal by Eurochem company gathered over two thousand people

Press Release, June 28, 2011

On June 26, a rally against launching of chemical shipments terminal in Tuapse owned by the Eurochem company was conducted in the centre of the city. The action was organised by the North Caucasus Environmental Watch on and YABLOKO’s Green Russia faction. Despite the interaction from the administration of the Tuapse district and the Krasnodar Territory, the rally brought together over two thousand inhabitants of the city...

YABLOKO’s activists arrested by “Putin’s country cottage” at the Black Sea Coast

Press Release, June 25, 2011.

Kirill Gontcharov, leader of the Moscow Youth YABLOKO, and environmentalist Sergei Menzhitsky were sentenced to five days of imprisonment for alleged “physical resistance to police orders”. They were detained in Divnomorskoye village at the Black Sea.

On June 24 Kirill Gontcharov, leader of the Moscow Youth YABLOKO and environmentalists Sergei Menzhitsky and Konstantin Andramonov were detained in Divnomorskoye village at the Black Sea. YABLOKO had launched an action “All-Russia Protest Against the Stolen Black Sea Coast” protesting against unlawful and illegal construction of cottages (especially for top officials) in the national parks and turning of public beaches and territories into their private beaches and territories.

On June 25 the activists planned to conduct a rally by “Putin’s dacha” (“Putin’s country cottage”). And on June 24 they inspected the national park of the relict Pitsunda pine (as it has been detected previously that part of the relict trees were cut for construction of the Governor’s residence)...

Tuapse printing facility refused to print YABLOKO’s bulletin for the rally obeying the order from the authorities

Press Release, June 24, 2011.

Tuapse subsidiary of the Kuban Printing Works refused to print YABLOKO’s bulletin on environmental problems “Let Us Save the City”. YABLOKO and North Caucasus Environmental Watch planned to conduct a rally against launching of chemical shipments terminal on Sunday, June 26...

After YABLOKO and ecologists’ protests President Medvedev postponed launching of chemical terminals at the Black Sea

Press Release, June 22, 2011.

After YABLOKO’s and ecologists protests President Medvedev postponed launching of a chemical terminal at Tuapse and a masut transshipment terminal at Novorossiysk until public hearings on assessment of environmental risks of these projects. The YABLOKO party which was one of the organisers of protests against hazardous productions welcomes this decision...

The President mandated Prime Minister Putin and Governor of Krasnodar Region Alexander Tkachyov with controlling functions over finalization of the projects (by October 1) with regard to ecological expertise and public hearings...

Citizens of the Korolyov city, Moscow region, demand resignation of the city administration

Press Release, May 30, 2011.

On May 30, about 30 people - YABLOKO's activists and citizens of Korolyov, Moscow region, - gathered by the Moscow Region parliament so that to demand resignation of the city.

The participants of the picket said that corrupted city administration had been allocating even children's playing grounds such as a single children's hockey rink under commercial construction.

YABLOKO leader detained while protesting against deforestation
LI News Bulletin, Issue 232, May 12, 2011

Party leader Sergei Mitrokhin and YABLOKO party activists have been detained by Russian police after protesting the planned deforestation of Khimki Forest (a region which covers 1000 acres in Moscow). When Mithrokin arrived on the scene to join the peaceful protest, he witnessed activists being herded into a van by police forces. Mithrokhin himself was also detained and will likely be charged with disobedience of police instruction. Witnesses were alarmed by the fact that the police forces were being directed by a non-uniformed individual, igniting speculation that this was a government mandated operation. Party officials directed criticism towards the government and their attempt to silence a peaceful protest conducted by a federally recognized political party just ahead of “Victory Day”. According to Mr. Mithrokin: “'I assess the actions of the police [to be] a purposeful provocation of the Khimki district authorities on the verge of Victory Day.” Yabloko is a full member of Liberal International, first joining at the Budapest Congress in 2002.

YABLOKO’s leader detained by police and transported to court

Press Release, May 8, 2011.

Today, on May 8, YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin and a group of party activists joined the group of environmentalists who have been trying to protect Khimki forest from cutting.
YABLOKO’s activists have been in the environmentalists’ camp all these days trying to stop cutting of the woods. On May 6 unidentified young men attacked the camp and injured Suren Gazaryan who came to Khimki from the Krasnodar Area so that to support the environmentalists in the Moscow region.
On May 8 environmentalists, YABLOKO’s activists and local citizens conducted a peaceful rally, however, the riot police (OMON) broke the rally and detained over 20 people, including YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin, head of Movement in Defence of Khimki Forest Eugenia Chirikova, Yaroslav Nikitenko, Sergei Udaltsov and leader of the Klin branch of YABLOKO Yuri Samsonov.

See also:

Fight to preserve Russian forest turns violent. By William J. Dobson. The Washington Post, May 9, 2011.

Clashes, Camp Attacks Occur As Battle Over Russia's Khimki Forest Heats Up. Radio Free Europe, May 6, 2011. Video, Photos.

Public Prosecutor General does not want to open “Putin’s country cottage” case

Press Release, April 21, 2011.

Public Prosecutor General’s Office withdrew the responsibility for examination of unlawful privatisation of land for the so-called "Putin's dacha” (Putin’s country cottage). That is how YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin commented the response from Public Prosecutor’s Office on his appeal to Public Prosecutor General Yury Chaika.

V.Kroshkin, Senior Assistant of Public Prosecutor General, informed Mitrokhin that his appeal had been forwarded to the Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Krasnodar Area for a “rapid response." Kroshkin promised that an audit would be conducted and if grounds were found, prosecutor’s measures would be taken.

"I do not understand why the Krasnodar Public Prosecutor’s Office should deal with this case, as it is a federal facility, which belonged to the Presidential Property Management Department," Mitrokhin said...

YABLOKO conducted two rallies in Irkutsk during the past weekend

Press Release, April 18, 2011.

The activists from the Irkutsk branch of YABLOKO conducted two rallies in Irkutsk during the past weekend. The first rally was conducted against the government’s policies in the housing and utilities sector, raising of tariffs and taxes. About 200 people came to the action by the Regional Administration building...

The second rally was conducted in protection of Lake Baikal from pollution of the Baikal Pulp Plant owned by oligarch Oleg Deripaska. This rally joined together about 250 people...

A motor rally against cement elevator took place in Moscow

Press Release, April 17, 2011.

A motor rally against cement elevator took place in Pechatniki district, Moscow. The race was conducted by local residents and YABLOKO’s activists led by party leader Sergei Mitrokhin. Activists in cars with stickers “Stop Cement in Pechatniki!” collected signatures against a cement facility in a residential district.

The South Port cement elevator by the Eurocement company is situated on the bank of the Moskva River in close proximity to blocks of flats. The decision to close the facility was adopted in 2003, when he the draft plan of the district development was developed, repeated decisions were passed in 2005 and 2007. However, the facility has never stopped...

YABLOKO’s leader detained by police at a picket by the administration of one of the Moscow districts

Press Release, April 13, 2011.

YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin was detained by police at a picket by the administration of one of the South-Eastern District of Moscow. The picketers demanded to close a cement plant in Pechatniki district. The plant is situated by the Moskva-River embankment. Local residents say the district has been growing and new blocks of flats have been built already very close to the functioning plant. “We breathe in the cement power,” they say.

In 2003 the plan of the district development envisaged a park that had to be made on the place of the plant which had to be moved to an industrial zone. However, the plant is still functioning in the residential district. YABLOKO’s activists held placards demanding to close the plant.

In 20 minutes police arrived and demanded the picketers to leave the place. Also the police carefully studied the allowance obtained for the picket from the local authorities in accordance with the law...

1,500 people came to environmental rally in Tuapse

Press Release, April 9, 2011.

...YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin also made a speech at the rally. “I have an impression now that the authorities decided to divide the Black Sea coast into several zones: one, where Eurochim, Rosneft and other oligarchic structures earn their profits at the expense of health of local residents, and the second zone for construction of cottages and palaces for bureaucrats and oligarchs,” Mitrokhin said. He promised to send an address to President Medvedev demanding to prohibit the launch of the terminal...

YABLOKO to conduct an environmental rally and a demonstration in Tuapse

Press Release, April 5, 2011.

An environmental rally and a demonstration organised by the Green Russia faction of the YABLOKO Party with support of the North Caucasus Environmental Watch will be conducted in Tuapse, Krasnodar Area, on April 9. The main issue of the rally is not to allow for launching of a terminal for transshipment of chemical fertilizers of the Eurochom company. The terminal is built in the centre of the city...

March in Protection of St.Petersburg joined together 2,000 participants

Press Release, April 3, 2011.

The 5th Extraordinary March in Protection of St.Petersburg was conducted in a form of a rally. Marches in protection of the historical part of the city are regularly held every autumn. The action joined together 2,000 participants. The main slogans of the march were “We have won over the Okhta-Centre, we will win over irresponsibility of the bureaucrats from the city government!” and “Let us preserve the heart of St.Petersburg!”...

Yabloko demands investigation of unlawful detention of its activists
LI News Bulletin, Issue 223, March 11, 2011

LI full member YABLOKO is outraged by the treatment of its activists in the North Caucasus, who were unlawfully detained on 28 February while protesting against the deforestation of a public area of protected trees, where recreational cottages have been built for the Governor of Krasnodar Krai. Last week, three of the jailed activists went on a hunger strike to protest the unjust verdict of imprisonment and the dire conditions of detention. YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin said that the cells in which the detainees were held were unlit and had poor sanitary facilities. He further commented: 'The police broke not only Russian law, but also inner normative acts of the interior, protecting unlawfully constructed cottages. Moreover the police actions against peaceful citizens were tough and violent.' YABLOKO has conducted numerous actions of support and forwarded letters to the Public Prosecutor and the Interior Minister demanding them to investigate the actions of the police and the regional authorities, but has yet to receive a response. The activists have now been released...

Press conference “Black Sea Palaces and Their Hosts”

Press Release, March 9, 2011.

Press-conference of the ecologists who served their imprisonment sentences in Tuapse prison for conducting a public inspection of the country cottage of Governor of Kransodar Area Alexander Tkacyov will be held in YABLOKO’s office tomorrow on March 10. “The Krasnodar prisoners of conscience” – Eugeny Vitushko, leader of the Tuapse YABLOKO and Suren Gazaryan, member of YABLOKO, will tell about the unlawful construction of a recreation complex for Governor Tkachoyv in the relict pin forest protected by the state, as well as other complexes and palaces unlawfully constructed at the Black Sea coast of the Krasnodar Area...

Are Prisoners of Conscience Only in Moscow?

Boris Vishnevsky’s blog at the Ekho Moskvy web-site, March 5, 2011.

...According to Achilov, virtually all the prisoners rights were violated in this prison: right to a walk, right to have bedclothes, to use toilet, to receive parcels from families and so on. The night of their arrest they were not even allowed to have water and call a doctor. The cells, according to Achilov, "remind of Inquisition dungeons”, they are dark, without artificial or natural light, the prisoners are not allowed to use toilet even in the morning, food is disgusting (despite statements made [by the authorities] that RUR 400 [USD 13] are allotted for maintenance of each prisoner per day). Now, according to Achilov, Dmitry Shevchenko is running high temperature (38 degrees), he is coughing typically of pneumonia, and Gazaryan has approximately the same high temperature too. Protesting against such conditions of detention and unjust verdict of imprisonment Gazaryan, Shevchenko and Vitishko went on a hunger strike; whereas there is no doctor in this jail...

When Boris Nemtsov, Ilya Yashin and Konstantine Kosyakin were detained at Triumphalnaya square in Moscow on New Year's Eve, and court sentenced them to an unlawful arrest from 5 to 15 days, a huge number of people spoke in their defence, whereas YABLOKO’s leaders were among the first to protest against this arrest...

However, the conditions in which my friends and colleagues from YABLOKO held in the Tuapse jail are many times worse and more humiliating than those the aforementioned "Moscow prisoners" were in. But no one hurries to recognise Gazaryan, or Shevchenko, or Vitishko a "prisoner of conscience." No prominent public or political figures speak in their defence. Their arrest does not outrage U.S. senators and European parliamentarians. Finally, we do not hear anything about public speeches by Nemtsov or Yashin on this topic. Maybe I have missed something. Or maybe they are silent because its will be improper after this to habitually claim that YABLOKO in contrast to them is “not an opposition”?..

WWF demands from the Interior Minister to investigate the circumstances of the arrest of ecologists by Governor’s dacha

Press Release, March 4, 2011.

The World Wide Fund for Nature Russia (WWF Russia) appealed to Russian Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev to investigate the actions of the authorities when members of the YABLOKO party and environmentalists were detained during the “protest picnic” by “Tkachyov’s [Governor of the Krasnodar Area] palace”.

"WWF calls to the Russian Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev demanding to conduct an official investigation of the actions of police officers involved in the attack against environmentalists", runs the WWF statement...

Friendly Oligarch Buys 'Putin' Palace

The Moscow Times, March 4, 2011.

...The unfinished mansion has been at the center of tabloid controversy since last December, when businessman Sergei Kolesnikov claimed that state funds were being diverted to build a personal palace for the prime minister...

Last month, Environment Watch North Caucasus, a local green group that says the complex was illegally built on publicly owned forestland, got close enough to the site to take more photos before being detained by the Federal Guard Service...

Last Sunday, about 20 Environment Watch and Yabloko activists held a "protest picnic" at a comparatively modest four-story brick structure they say is being built for Krasnodar region Governor Alexander Tkachyov.

"We found dozens of violations. First of all, it is partially built on forestland; then it violates the Water Code by blocking off free access to the shore," said Andrei Filimonov, deputy coordinator of Environment Watch, who was at the protests. They also found evidence of the felling of endangered Pitsunda pines, he said...

On Wednesday, the four went on a hunger strike to protest the conditions they are being held in...

Young YABLOKO activists hang a banner “Freedom to Political Prisoners!” opposite of the Kremlin

Press Release, March 3, 2011.

Young YABLOKO activists hang a large banner “Freedom to Political Prisoners – Gazaryan, Vitishko, Achilov and Shevchenko!” (8 x 5 meters) opposite of the Kremlin.

The banner hang on the bridge by the Kremlin for about 15 minutes. Then the police took it off.

YABLOKO’s activists Kirill Gontcharov, Vadim VAshenko, Andrei Lazarev and Andrei Nistratov were detained and taken to the local police department. Also the police detained a photographer from the oppositional Novaya Gazeta paper...

YABLOKO - Aktivisten inhaftiert. Liberales Forum.

Redaktion, 28.02.2011

Vier Aktivisten der liberalen Oppositionspartei YABLOKO und der NGO Environmental Watch of the Northern Caucasus wurden am Sonntag, den 28. Februar 2011, in einem Areal, genannt „Tkachyov Datscha“, des Gouverneurs Alexander Tkachyov von Krasnodar verhaftet.

„Tkachyov Datscha“ ist die informelle Bezeichnung eines exklusiven Erholunskomplexes, erbaut für den Gouverneur des Krasnodar Gebietes am Schwarzen Meer in der Blauen Bucht...

YABLOKO’s activists get imprisonment verdicts

Press Release, February 28, 2011.

Four activists of the YABLOKO party and Environmental Watch on the Northern Caucasus were arrested yesterday by the dacha of Governor of the Krasnodar Area Alexander Tkachyov...
However, soon police arrived at the scene and without any explanation detained 19 people, including 3 journalists. The detention was violent, one of the activists – Suryen Gazaryan was injured (the policemen dragged him 30 meters to the police car and also broke his nose). All the activists were taken to the local police department in handcuffs...

YABLOKO protests against construction of a cement plant by the nature reserve

Press Release, February 21, 2011.

On February 19, a picket against construction of cement plant was held in the city of Vinyov. The plant is owned by Elena Baturina, the wife of Moscow ex-mayor Yuri Luzkkov. The group of local civil activists was supported by the YABLOKO party. The picket took place despite severe frosts and counteraction of the local authorities.

Another archaeological and historical monument of the 12th century Shchuchye Town is also located at the future construction site. To date, 99 per cent of the local residents put their signatures against the construction...

Sochi Mayor menaces YABLOKO’s activist

Press Release, January 24, 2011. Video

The Sochi Administration puts pressure on YABLOKO’s activist and environmentalist Suren Gazaryan who downloaded a video from the meeting of Sochi Mayor Anatoli Pakhomov with the residents of the Akhshtyr village (the village has been facing environmental problems due to the construction of the Adler – Krasnaya Polyana highway for the Olympic Games). The administration demands from Gazaryan to delete the video and threatens that in case of disobeying he will have problems...

YABLOKO and administration of Volgograd signed a cooperation agreement

Press Release, January 21, 2011

Following Sergei Mitrokhin’s visit to Volgograd in October 2010, the Volgograd regional branch of YABLOKO and administration of Volgograd signed a cooperation agreement. The goal of the joint work is “development of civil initiatives for efficient socio-economic and socio-political development of Volgograd, raising of the role of non-parliamentary political parties in the functioning of local self-government bodies”.

The parties of the agreement will joint their efforts in drawing public attention and involving of the population of the city to the solution of the environmental problems, as well as ecological education, development of programmes for improvement of public territories, protection of environment, development of the city infrastructure and mass involvement of the citizens in planting trees in the city parks, gardens and streets...

Environmental disaster at construction of the Olympic facilities in Sochi: Russian Railways poisoned the Dzykhra river in the Sochi National Park

Press Release, January 17, 2011

The YABLOKO party continues its monitoring of the environmental situation at the Black Sea coast, at construction of the Olympic facilities in Sochi. Since the public inspection of Sochi construction sites conducted by Sergei Mitrokhin jointly with activists from the North Caucasus Environmental Watch held in October 2010, the ecological situation has deteriorated.

According to Suren Ghazaryan, activist of the YABLOKO party and the Environmental Watch on North Caucasus, catastrophic pollution of the Drykhra river and its water storage reservoir began on January 8, 2011. The pollution led to mass death of fish in the river...

Pollution of Lake Baikal is a crime!

Statement by the Chair of the YABLOKO party, January 13, 2011

A year ago, on January 13, 2010, Chair of the Russian government Vladimir Putin issued a decree on resuming of functioning of the Baikal Pulp Plant. The past year demonstrated that the work of the pulp plant was associated with constant violation of the pollution norms.

Instead of abrogation of this decision the Government obviously is going to meet the commercial interests of manufacturers of pulp and is planning under faked pretexts to even revise these norms!

Pollution of Lake Baikal is a crime not only against the present generations, but also future generations and not only those of Russia, but the entire world.

We demand that functioning of the Baikal Pulp Plant should be immediately stopped!

The Politics and Business of Going Green
By Roland Oliphant

The Moscow Times, January 12, 2011

This year will see increasingly politicized environmental movements sprouting up around local issues, and an alliance between green groups and businessmen to open up Russia's potential in renewable energy — provided there are no more fires...

Protesters failed to close the Baikal paper mill and a government-appointed commission gave the Khimki highway project the go ahead in December. But the public outcry over both “put regional environmental problems on the federal agenda,” said Alexei Yablokov, who heads the Yabloko party's green wing.

That puts single-issue pressure groups in the peculiar position of being disillusioned with their current tactics, but in a strong position to open a new front: the overtly political.

“We're expecting a strengthening and greater politicization of the green movement in 2011,” Yablokov said in e-mailed comments. “Groups that previously avoided politics have come to understand that, without political decisions, nothing gets done, laws don't work”...

the original publication in the Moscow Times

Krasnodar: police breaks a permitted demonstration, environmentalists detained

Press Release, December 12, 2010

...About 300 people participated in the demonstration under YABLOKO’s flags. The demonstrators held slogans “Utrish should live!” “Yes to the Utrish natural reserve!” “Utirish is a world heritage!” “President’s place is in the Kremlin, leave Utrish for the country!”However, the police broke the peaceful demonstration considering the demonstration unlawful despite of the fact that YABLOKO had timely notified the administration of the action. Later during a rally the police detained members of YABLOKO’s Green Russia faction Andrei Rudomakha and Suren Gazaryan and environmental activists Dmitry Shevchenko and Dmitry Shabalin. The detention was conducted with grave violations of the law “On Police”, with the use of physical force and special means [of suppression]...

YABLOKO calls on journalists to visit the Utrish nature reserve that has been threatened with destruction

Press Release, December 8, 2010

On Monday, 13 December, YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin will visit Anapa and the Big Utrish reserve located near the city. YABLOKO calls on journalists to join him and visit this unique territory, which is threatened with total destruction, owing to the planned construction of a state residence and highway. The Big Utrish reserve was created to protect unique relict landscapes and juniper-pistachio forests, and also the habitats of rare species of animals and plants. This is one of the most significant protected natural territories of Russia. The territory's reserve named Novorossiya was recognised as one of the global centres for plant diversity. This year the Russian Government issued a decision to establish the Utrish reserve here...

On political reprisals in Krasnodar

Statement by the YABLOKO party, December 12, 2010

The Russian United Democratic Party YABLOKO condemns unlawful actions by the police in breaking a peaceful demonstration in protection of nature which took place in Krasnodar on December 12, the Russian Constitution Day.

On the order of Administration of the Krasnodar Area the police detained members of [YABLOKO’s] Green Russia faction Andrei Rudomakha and Suren Gazaryan and environmental activists Dmitry Shevchenko and Dmitry Shabalin. The detention was conducted with grave violations of the law “On Police”, with the use of physical force and special means [of suppression]. Shevchenko and Gazaryan were unlawfully detained in the police department of Krasnodar for three hours until arrival of a lawyer and YABLOKO’s leader there. All this time Gazaryan was unlawfully held in handcuffs. Earlier on December 5, Rudomakha and Gazaryan had been also unlawfully detained by police during a peaceful march for protection of the Utrish [natural reserve]...

Russia needs deeds, not words, to resolve environmental problems

Statement by the YABLOKO party, December 9, 2010

In his Address to the Federal Assembly Russian President Dmitry Medvedev proposed that the quality of the environment should become one of the key parameters for socio-economic development. Unfortunately, the President’s words are contradict by the ongoing environmentally unsound policies of the Russian state: the law on the state budget signed by the President envisaged expenditure on environmental protection that is 100 times less than is the case in countries, which are really concerned about the environment...

A highway via Khimki Forest does not resolve the transport problems of Moscow region

Statement by the YABLOKO party, December 9, 2010

Today the authorities may bring to an end the public discussions on the route of the new Moscow-St Petersburg highway: the highway will based based on its original route, which envisages the elimination of Khimki Forest.

The “additional public and expert discussions”, which should have been held on the instructions of the President to the Prime Minister, turned out to be nothing more than a fiction.

The authorities did not issue any assessments on the alternative routes of the highway. We believe that an expansion in the Leningradskoye highway in the area of the City of Khimki to be the most efficient project here.

In violation of the law, a reserve way of the Leningradskoye highway was built with shopping centres in the 1990s and 2000s...

Ecologist Andrei Rudomakha becomes laureate of The Best Civil Action contest

Press Release, December 8, 2010

Head of Ecological Watch in the Northern Caucasus and member of the YABLOKO party Andrei Rudomakha was chosen a winner of The Best Civil Action contest. The ecologist was awarded the prize by the jury for organisation of the public campaign for protection of the Utrish natural reserve. The contest was organised by the Law and Justice foundation. From December 2009 through to April 2010 four waves of actions in protection of Utrish were conducted. The actions embraced over 70 cities in Russia and Ukraine. In Russia the actions were held from Kaliningrad in the West to Khabarovsk in the East, Murmansk in the North and Sochi and Vladikavkaz in the South...

Police detained YABLOKO's activists during the action in defence of the national park

Press Release, December 5, 2010

On December 5, an unsanctioned march against elimination by the authorities of the Utrish national park took place in Krasnodar. The General Affairs Department of Presidential Administration plans to build a recreation complex in the national park.The police detained YABLOKO’s activist Andrei Rudomakha, organizer of the march in defence of the Utrish national park and head of the Ecological Watch in the Northern Caucasus, and YABLOKO’s activist Suren Gazaryan.

The activists were taken to the medical expertise first under the pretext that they were drunk. However, the expertise did not confirm this. Despite of this both the activists had to spend a night in the police department. Gazaryan is facing 15 days of arrest for “non-obeying the lawful demands”. Rudomakha is accused of organizing an unsanctioned action...

The Eurasia Canal will threat Russia’s national security

Statement by the YABLOKO party, December 3, 2010

Recently, President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev announced that "technical and economic evaluation of the project envisaging construction of a new navigation canal between the Caspian Sea and the Azov and Black Sea basin" is under way. The Kremlin has decided to reanimate the project of the Kuma-Manych waterway which was abolished in Stalin's time. It is obvious that 450 - 600 billion rubles which will be allotted for construction of a Eurasia canal will lead to the following consequences...

Leader of St.Petersburg YABLOKO welcomes proposal by Governor Valentina Matviyenko to search for a new site for construction of Gazprom’s skyscraper

Press Release, December 3, 2010

Leader of St.Petersburg YABLOKO welcomed the proposal by St.Petersburg Governor Valentina Matviyenko to search for a new site for construction of Gazprom’s skyscraper. According to Reznik, such a decision by the Governor results from long-term fight by the defenders of the historical centre of the city and the dialogue between the Governor and architects and historians with has finally begun...

Sergei Mitrokhin: YABLOKO’s union with the greens is strategic

A short version of Sergei Mitrokhin's speech at the 3rd Conference of the Green Russia faction, November 23, 2010.

I believe that the union we concluded long ago between YABLOKO and Green Russia is very important. I was an active advocate of such a union. Together we have created virtually the only political organisation in the country which has been engaged in comprehensive solution of environmental problems. No one in this country, except us, has ever raised the issues of environmental policy as such, and this is a tragedy of our country. And the worst here is that the government does not deal with these problems either. The system of environmental protection has been destroyed in several months after Putin came to power, and you were the political force which strongly opposed this. The first steps we have done separately, but then we joined our efforts and out voices protesting against the policy which was carried out then, or rather, a rejection of any policy in this field...

The Environment and Politics in Russia

by Alexei Yablokov

Russian Analytical Digest, 79/10

Russia faces serious ecological challenges, which are having adverse effects on both the natural environment and the health of the population, demonstrated by its lower than average life expectancy for a developed country. The problems are exacerbated by the state authorities’ policy of “de-environmentalism” or “de-ecologization”, whereby environmental costs are deemed acceptable in the quest for economic gains. A significant change in mindset towards the environment is required in both the power-structure and wider society in order to arrest the trend of environmental neglect in Russia.

The Consequences of Environmental Neglect Every year in Russia, approximately 35,000 people die as a result of car accidents, 40,000 from alcohol poisoning and 490,000 from environmental-related diseases (data taken from WTO in 2004). Furthermore, experts claim that about half of Russia’s 180,000 miscarriages per annum are due to environmental causes... Download

Reproduced with the kind permission of Forschungsstelle Osteuropa, Bremen, Center for Security Studies, Zurich, and Research Centre for East European Studies, http://www.res.ethz.ch/analysis/rad/

YABLOKO obtains a permission from the Moscow Mayor’s office to conduct a rally against political terror

Press Release, November 9, 2010

Today YABLOKO has obtained a permission from the Moscow Mayor’s office to conduct a rally against political terror on November 14. The rally will take place by the Giboyedov monument at Chistiye Prudi. The rally marks the sad anniversary of an attack against journalist and Editor-in-Chief of the Khimki Pravda paper Mikhail Beketov left handicapped because of the injuries (Mikhail was one of the activists protecting the Khimki Forest near Moscow and criticizing the local authorities), and will be commemorate all the journalists and human rights activists who were injured or murdered. The participants of the action will speak about Konstantin Fetisov, activist protecting the Khimiki Forest, and journalist of the Kommersant paper Oleg Kashin who were severely injured several days ago...

March in Support of St.Petersburg gathered about 3,000 participants
Press Release, October 11, 2010.

The fourth March in Support of St.Petersburg took place in St.Petersburg on October 9. According to the organizers, about 3,000 people came to this action which was conducted in a form of rally-concert. The action was initiated by Zhivoi Gorog (Living City) movement, Civil Initiatives Movement, St.Petersburg YABLOKO and members of St.Petersburg branch of the Society for Preservation of Historical and Cultural Heritage (VOOPIiK). Other participants of the action were St.Petersburg Youth YABLOKO, the Federation of Social Youth, United People’s Front, the Women Voters’ League, environmental human rights centre Bellona, EKOM, the Okhta Curve, Let Us Preserve Yuntolovo, For the Protection of the Vassiliyevsky Island, Bashne.Net, Solidarity, Defence, Russian People’s Democratic Union, St.Petersburg Human Rights Council, Association of Small and Medium Businesses, different initiative groups and many other. The key topic was the protest against building of the Okhta Centre which will spoil the historical environment of the city. The participants also called to preserve the historical centre of St.Petersburg and protect parks and gardens in the city. Many participants spoke about the need to return elections of St.Petersburg Governor and called the present Governor Valentina Matviyenko to resign...

A rally in protection of an oak wood in Khimki, Moscow region
Press Release, October 10, 2010.

About 500 people gathered for a rally in protection of an oak wood in Khimki, Moscow region, on October 10. This time the authorities decided to cut the wood under construction of an elite housing complex with a quay for yachts in the water protection zone of the Moscow Canal. The action joined together local residents, activists of the Movement for Protection of Khimki Forest and YABLOKO’s activists. YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin.

After the rally two unidentified men saying that they are from the Police Department on Economic Crimes tried to detain Mitrokhin. However, they refused to show their credentials...

The Mayor of Moscow and the Moscow City Duma give contradicting evidence in the litigation on the General Plan of Moscow Development

Press Release, September 22, 2010.

..."Today we are facing an absurd situation when everyone is interested in the fate of the Mayor of Moscow, but a document threatening with a collapse to the city in the nearest perspective remains without any attention. And only the YABLOKO party is dealing with it,” Mitrokhin noted. "Apparently the President and the other organisers of the campaign against Luzhkov do not care about the fate of the city, they are only interested in settling their personal political scores", he added.

YABLOKO planted about 6,000 trees for national park Meschyera which suffered from fires

Press Release, September 21, 2010.

On September 20, YABLOKO’s activists planted about 6,000 plantlets and 40 kilograms of acorns in the fields of a plant nursery for further planting of young trees in the national park Meschyera severely affected by fires. About 40 party activists arrived to Kolionovo farm (Yegoryevsky district of the Moscow region) on the invitation of farmer Mikhail Shlyapnikov so that to help with restoration of forests in three regions that suffered from fires: Moscow, Vladimir and Ryazan regions.

“The national park will need about 70 years to restore after fires while we can considerably curb this period planting trees,” Mikhail Shlyapniokov noted. The farmers allotted 2 hectares of land under a plan nursery and YABLOKO bought plantlets of fir-trees, pines, ashes, lime trees and other trees...

YABLOKO’s activists cleaned the territory by the Baraus Lake near Chelyabinsk

Press Release, September 20, 2010.

On September 19 YABLOKO’s activists cleaned the territory by the Baraus Lake situated in the Ilmen national park in the Chelyabinsk region. Two large KAMAZ trucks took the dump from the lake. A large territory along the coast was cleaned from the dump...

YABLOKO welcomes the decision by President Medvedev to suspend works in the Khimki Forest
Press Release, August 26, 2010.

“The YABLOKO party welcomes the decision by President Medvedev to suspend works in the Khimki Forest. We hope that the route of the new highway Moscow – St.Petersburg will be revised,” said YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin.

Mitrokhin also noted that YABLOKO has been fighting against the present project of the highway envisaging cutting of a substantial part of the Khimki Forest for three years already, since this project emerged.

Sergei Mitrokhin demands from Public Prosecutor to file a criminal case against head of the company felling trees in Khimki Forest

Press Release, August 16, 2010.

YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin demanded from Public Prosecutor to file a criminal case against Alexander Semchenko, head of the Teplotekhnik company felling trees in Khimki Forest. In his interview to Komsomolskaya Pravda paper Semchenko told that he had organised an attack of football fans on the defenders of the forest.

Semchenko also admitted that he had employed a group of persons for provocations against ecologists and other citizens...

Radiological situation in Russia should be taken under control

Statement by YABLOKO's Chairman, August 13, 2010.

The YABLOKO Party has repeatedly drawn attention to the unacceptable negligence by the Russian authorities to ensuring of environmental safety of the population. Today we once again are drawing the attention of the authorities and the citizens to the danger of possible additional radiation exposure caused by the pyrogenic spread of radionuclides. Forest fires in Russia have already reached the Bryansk forests contaminated by Chernobyl’s fallout, and the forests around the city of Ozersk in the Chelyabinsk region polluted by the plutonium productions...

In Russia, fires - and politicians - are bringing down forests
By William J. Dobson.
Washington Post, August 13, 2010.

The biggest story in Russia today is the battle to tame a national outbreak of wildfires. The flames have consumed nearly 2 million acres of forests, farms and villages in their path. More than 4,000 people have lost their homes. A dense blanket of smoke and pollution has settled over Moscow; hundreds are pouring into hospitals because of illnesses triggered by the suffocating smog.

Russian media are focusing on government efforts to extinguish the fires, showcasing President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's promises to hold local officials accountable for not preventing the devastation. What the media are not reporting is the Kremlin's insistence, even as these fires rage, that a centuries-old oak forest on the outskirts of Moscow be cut down.

If you know about the destruction of Khimki Forest, it is only because you have heard the voice of Yevgenia Chirikova, the 33-year-old mother of two who unexpectedly has become one of Russia's fiercest environmental activists...

The original

YABLOKO leader convicted for involvement in demonstration

LI News Issue 195, August 6, 2010

...The arrest and trial adds another incident to the long list of controversial Russian government obstruction of the YABLOKO party's political activities. “Spending this day in Khimki I saw the functioning of the judicial-police-prosecution mafia which have kept the whole district in their tentacles”, Mitrokhin said. “The police are lying, but the courts believe these lies and public prosecutors cover all these police actions,” he added referring to the court case.

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The YABLOKO party starts litigation disputing lawfulness of the General Plan for Moscow Development until 2025

Nezavisimaya Gazeta, July 27, 2010.

The Moscow City Court appointed hearings of the YABLOKO party law suit disputing lawfulness of the General Plan of Moscow Development until 2025 on August 9. The trial will be open for public. "I have filed this lawsuit personally as a citizen, whose rights are violated by the law. If we translate this in short from the legal language, [the Plan] affects the following rights: driving around the city without traffic jams, breathing clean air, buying housing at affordable prices and walking around historical places of the city. All these rights were violated by the developers of the law to fill Moscow with office and trade premises,” Sergei Mitrokhin, leader of the YABLOKO party, said yesterday. Mitrokhin also explained, "This trend violates my right to a healthy environment, not only a natural, but also architectural and technological environment”...

Russian and European Integration

Speech by Sergei Mitrokhin
Liberal International Executive Committee
Berlin, June 11, 2010

Announcing a policy towards modernisation in Russia President of Russia put himself in line with a number of Russian rulers-reformers who aspired to perform radical transformations in the country. Some specific traits of this policy resemble those of his predecessors. The President understands modernisation primarily as acceleration of scientific and technological development. With some reservations about the need for political reform, the latter look like a number of quite shallow and very systematic activities...

Yevgenia Chirikova, her aid and YABLOKO’s activist detained and taken to court

Press Release, August 5, 2010.

Leader of the Movement in Protection of the Khimki Forest Yevgenia Chirikova, her aid Yaroslav Nikienko and YABLOKO’s activist and defender of Chirikova Artur Grokhovsky have been just detained when leaving the Khimki police department where Chirikova has been interrogated and are being taken to court. According to Grokhovsky, the court of the first instance will hear the case of disobeying the police when police was dispersing the activists from ecologists’ camp on July 28. Then police accused ecologists of burning fires. The detained were escorted to the local police department where they were detained for nine hours. The following day only ecologist Elena Maksimova was summoned to court.

Weapons of mass destruction have no place on the planet!

Statement by the YABLOKO party, August 6, 2010.

The memory of the dozens of thousands people killed by the nuclear tornado in those August days of 1945 calls for our increased efforts so that to achieve as soon as possible complete prohibition of all forms of weapons of mass destruction.

The end of the Cold War and fabulous material and human resources wasted by the mankind for a dangerous confrontation set a new challenge for the world: finding other methods and techniques for provision of national security that would not involve elimination of people.

In the 21st century the global security, including national security systems of the states of the globe, represents above all the need to address common human and global problems of climate change, chemical and biological pollution and other negative effects of modern civilisation...

Sergei Mitrokhin to President Medvedev: felling of forest in Khimki is fire hazardous

Press Release, August 5, 2010.

YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin urged Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to establish a moratorium on the felling of forests in the Khimki area "at least until the end of fires and lifting of the of the emergency situation regime in the Moscow region." The photographs attached to the letter show the signs of fire-hazardous activities in the work of woodcutters and securities protecting them, in particular, a fire they had made in their camp and cans with fuel for chainsaws simply scattered throughout the clearance.

"In spite of the order by the Moscow Region Governor Boris Gromov on limiting access of citizens to forests in the Moscow region, dozens of voluntary assistants to the Teplotekhnik company are supporting felling of the forest and their work can also contribute to fire development,” runs the statement...

YABLOKO conducted a picket in support of Yevgenia Chirikova

Press Release, August 4, 2010.

YABLOKO’s activists Olga Ushakova and Andrei Lazaryev conducted picketing of the Interior Affairs Department of the Moscow Region where the police took today Yevgenia Chirikova for interrogation. YABLOKO’s activists demanded to release the ecologist.

After the end of a press-conference in the Independent Press Centre the police virtually kidnapped Chirikova on the eyes of journalists. Without giving any explanations three policemen from the OMON division (the riot police) twisting her arms took Chirikova to their car (strange, but the car number was ordinary, not one of the special numbers belonging to police) while journalists and ecologists were pushed off with police chains...

YABLOKO’s picket: “Heads of the Khimki police to trial!”

Press Release, August 3, 2010.

...“We have such a situation in Khimki that the smallest gathering of people is prohibited and dispersed, while the efficiency of the police work from the point of view of the law and the citizens has been falling towards zero,” YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin told in his speech at the picket. According to Mitrokhin, an attack against journalist Mikhail Beketov is still uninvestigated (editor-in-chief of and independent Khimki Pravda paper defending the Khimki Forest who was beaten virtually to death and left to die. To-date Beketov is handicapped), and none of the policemen dared to opposed the attack of hooligans against the Khimki administration. “The Khimki police is not simply exercising arbitrary rule, it is even dangerous for the society,” Mitrokhin added...

“Now we have a so-called “mini-Stalinism” in Khimki: they can detain a person on the street under faked pretexts and get him imprisoned. We had this in our history only in Stalin’s period,” the ecologist said. She also said that the ecologists were not protesting against construction of a highway in general, “We only want the highway to change its route and go past the forest”. This is especially important, she added, when we have such extremely hot summer and many forests are on fire. “We should preserve every tree,” Chirikiva said...

Court ruled out Sergei Mitrokhin guilty of disobeying police orders. YABLOKO’s protest action

Press Release, August 3, 2010.

Yesterday court ruled out that Sergei Mitrokhin was guilty of disobeying police orders and organization of unsanctioned rally in defence of the Khimki Forest and sentenced to a fine RUR 500. The court’s decision stated that Sergei Mitrokhin organized an unsanctioned rally. When a policeman, according to the court’s statement, came up to him, gave his name and politely asked to leave the site of action, Mitrokhin refused to do this disobeying the police.The court included into the case a video material showing only policemen taking Mitrokhin into the police car. Moreover the video recording had been done from a long distance...

...At this moment YABLOKO is picketing by the Criminal Police Department of the Moscow Region protesting against arbitrary rule of the Khimki police. The activists are holding slogans “Heads of the Khimki police to trial!”, “Put an end to arbitrary rule by the Khimki police!”...

Mitrokhin is facing 15 days of arrest. Russia’s Ombudsman notified of detentions in Khimki

Press Release, August 2, 2010.

...“The second charge was fabricated right after I demanded to release me, as the first charge had already been announced,” Mitrokhin said. He also noted that the second charge may be needed so that to convoy him to court.

It should be also noted that the six activists with the same charges and detained together with Mitrokhin have been still kept in the police department for over three hours already in violation of the law.

Riot police breaks the rally of the defenders of the Khimki Forest, YABLOKO’s leader detained

Press Release, August 2, 2010.

...Ten minutes after the meeting of the ecologists began the police came to the site and began detaining all the men present at the meeting. YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin was one of the first detainees. Wringing his hands the policemen forced him to come into their car making him sit on the floor, virtually in the luggage compartment...

More detains of the defenders of the Khimki Forest

Press Release, July 31, 2010.

One of the defenders of the Khimki Forest Gennadi Rogozin was detained by police for the second time on July 31.

On July 28 the riot police (OMON) broke into the defenders’ camp. Nine ecologists were kept in the police department throughout the whole night and driven to court the following morning. However, the judge heard only one case – that of Elena Maksimova – the rest were released without issuing any notifications of summoning them to court to some other date.

On the same evening the activists reported being under police surveillance. Policemen visited the activists’ homes and questioning their next-of-kin about the whereabouts of the activists.

Police begins persecutions against the defenders of the Khimki Forest

Press Release, July 30, 2010.

Police has begun persecution of the activists from the "In defense of the Khimki Forest" movement and Euvgenia Chirikova, the movement’s leader. According to the defenders of the forest, yesterday they found out that they were under surveillance, police officers came to their homes without informing their relatives of the purpose of the visit. Also the activists did not get any official notifications from the police.

"Yesterday, shortly after we came out of the court of the Khimki town, we found our that we were under surveillance. It a stout man in a white suit. However, we managed to escape him: luckily we quickly got into a taxi and headed to Moscow", Yaroslav Nikitenko, Aid of Euvgenia Chirikova said...

Sergei Mitrokhin applied to Prime Minister Putin and Public Prosecutor General Chaika in view of unlawful cutting of the Khimki Forest

Press Release, July 30, 2010.

Today on July 30, YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin applied to Prime Minister Putin and Public Prosecutor General Chaika in view of unlawful cutting of the Khimki Forest.

According to the federal law "On Highways”, "cutting of the woods is only possible after obtaining a permission for construction of a highway. The Forestry Code requires that every user of the forests should obtain a land declaration. The normative acts of the town of Khimki require obtaining of a special cutting ticket, which should be supplied with a dendroplan and a tally sheet. According to our data, all of these documents are missing, thus cutting of the woods is unlawful,” runs Mitrokhin’s letter to Public Prosecutor General...

Sergei Mitrokhin stopped cutting of the trees in the Khimki Forest

Press Release, July 30, 2010.

YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin and party activists once again managed to stop cutting of the woods in the Khimki Forest.

Mitrokhin told the workers about the order of Public Prosecutor to stop all the works. After this the driver of a harvester stopped his work and was going to leave the site. However, one of the guards from the private security company tried to stop him, however, the driver refused to resume work. At the same time the other guards were calling their chiefs...

The Phobos company continues eliminating the Khimki Forest despite Public Prosecutor’s ban

Press Release, July 30, 2010.

Despite Public Prosecutor’s ban the workers of the Phobos company constructing the Moscow-St.Petersburg highway continue cutting of the Khimki forest. Vyacheslav Sorokin, whose house is located in 200 meters from the Khimki Forest, informed YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin of it today...

Ecologists and civil activists detained in the Khimki Forest are facing 15 days of arrest

Press Release, July 29, 2010.

At present YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin is in Public Prosecutor’s office in Khimki filing an application of unlawful actions by the police.

The police confiscated mobile phones of nine detained ecologists and journalists, thus depriving them of an opportunity to get in touch with lawyers and get a legal consultation.

The police officer on duty told Mitrokhin that confiscation of mobile phones was lawful, and the activists are kept in the wards. The police issued protocols of administrative violation (disobeying the police orders) against them, which can involve such punishment as 15 days of arrest. The leader of the defenders of the Khimki Forest Yevgenia Chirikova (who is one of the nine detained ecologists) managed to tell Mitrokhin that the policemen referred to an order of the Moscow Region Governor Boris Gromov who “had prohibited any persons to appear in the Forest”...

Police breaks into ecologists’ camp

Press Release, July 28, 2010.

At night of July 28 special riot police (OMON) broke into the camp of the Khimki Forest defenders made close to the cutting site. The police detained 16 persons, including the leader of the ecologist Yevgeniya Chirikova and five journalists.

However, YABLOKO and ecologists continue defending the Khimki Forest. YABLOKO’s experts state that the highway Moscow – St.Petersburg can well take one of the alternative routs without going through the Khimki Forest which is acting as the “lungs” of the region. Cutting of the woods has been held without any permits. Representatives of the construction company did not come to the scheduled meeting with the ecologists and residents of Khimki where they had promised to show “all the due permits”.

Public hearings on the Khimki Forest postponed

Press Release, July 28, 2010.

The meeting of the residents of the Khimki city, the Moscow regions, and Sergei Mitrokhin with representatives of OOO Teplotekhnik conducting cutting of the woods in the Khimki Forest is postponed for an undetermined period.

At the agreed time (June 28, 5 p.m.) the residents of the city and YABLOKO’s leader and party activists came to the meeting. However, the doors were closed and a sheet of paper notifying that the meeting is “postponed” was pinned on the doors. The notification gave no time or date of the new meeting.

Sergei Mitrokhin and the residents of the Presnya district, Moscow, will fill up the pit of an unlawful construction site

Press Release, July 28, 2010.

...In early May 2010, head of the Moscow construction complex Vladimir Resin said that the contract with the developer - the Phobos company – was dissolved. The local authority also issued an order to stop the works. However, these orders did not stop the Phobos construction company.
The residents of the neighbouring houses are afraid that their houses may give cracks and, consequently be ruined due to large-scale construction works in the old district of the city. After the workers were ousted by police the residents decided to fill in the excavated pit with earth.
On Thursday, July 29, Sergei Mitrokhin will meet with the residents of the district and also participate in filling in the pit with earth...

YABLOKO to participate in public hearings on the Khimki Forest

Press Release, July 28, 2010.

YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin and party activists will participate in the meeting of the residents of the Khimki district with representatives of a contracting company eliminating the Khimki Forest. The hearings will take place at 5 p.m. in the Dom Kulturi Rodina (address: Khimki, Leninsky prospect 2, by the Khimki railway station in the Leo Tolstoy Park).

Please note that tonight despite an announced moratorium on construction works and cutting of the woods, OAO Teplotekhnik continued cutting of the trees. According to the witnesses the work was conducted under spotlights. It is expected that after public hearings the participants of the meeting will go to the place of cuttings so that to stop unlawful works.

Unlawful works in the place of destructed architectural heritage stopped

Press Release, July 26, 2010.

YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin stopped construction works in the place of destructed architectural heritage in Tishinsky lane, Moscow. Despite a ban of the Moscow regulator the builders began excavation works. After arrival of Sergei Mitrokhin the workers disappeared.

The building at Bolshoi Tishinsky 30/44 building 1, was built in the early 20th century by architect Nirnzeye and was almost completely destroyed in 2008. Under a pretext of renovation the construction company left only a corner wall of the building. The residents of the area jointly with the YABLOKO party have been fighting against construction of a new building with a multi-level underground garage on the site of the destructed monument of architecture for two years. In early May 2010, head of the Moscow construction complex Vladimir Resin said that the contract with the developer - the Phobos company – was dissolved...

Off with your hands from the defenders of the Khimki Forest!

Statement by the YABLOKO party, July 23, 2010.

...The Russian United Democratic Party YABLOKO calls the human rights community and democratic politicians to defend the constitutional rights of the Khimki activists and render them all possible assistance. This is the case, when Russia’s civil society has virtually shown itself and dared to resist the big money and the state machinery. Its support in this confrontation is far more important than hundreds of rallies in defense of democracy in general.

We also fully support the requirements of the defenders of the Khimki Forest. Destruction of a unique natural complex providing fresh air to the capital of Russia will bring to nothing all the talks about modernization and demonstrate to Russian citizens and the entire world the inability of the Russian state to modernise...

A mass-scale rally for protection of the environment took place in Tuapse

Press Release, July 19, 2010.

From 2 to 3 thousand people, according to different estimates, gathered for a rally in protection of environment in Tuapse (a city on the Black Sea) on July 18. The rally was organised by an initiative group headed by coordinator of the Environmental Watch in the North Caucasus and member of the YABLOKO party Andrei Rudomakha.

The participants of the rally demanded to conduct a referendum on construction of a terminal for the EuroChem chemical company in the Tuapse port, as well as stop oil extraction at the Black Sea shelf.

A broad-scale campaign launched by the local authorities and targeted at disruption of the rally was held on the threshold of the public action...

Ecologists block the driver who attacked the leader of the Movement in Protection of the Khimki Forest

Press Release, July 19, 2010.

The activists protecting the Khimki forest made a camp in the place of cutting of the woods and are now blocking a car of a stranger who attacked Eugenia Chirikova, the leader of the Movement in Protection of the Khimki Forest, and almost hit her with his car.
On July 16 this man drove to the camp in a silver KIA jeep (No B 104 YE 98). Coming out of the car the man began hitting Eugenia on the hands trying to make her drop her mobile phone. Then he jumped into his car and tried to knock her down with his car, Eugenia managed to escape only by a miracle...

In protection of the Khimki Forest and its defenders

Statement by the YABLOKO party, July 17, 2010.

...Environmental safety of several thousands of the residents of the Khimki area is swapped for profit, unraparable damage to the ecological system of the Moscow region. For the sake of profits the authorities are covering the criminals: the bandits who made handicapped Mikhail Bekotov, Editor-in-Chief of the Khimki Pravda paper courageously defending the Khimki Forest, have not been found.
Elections to the federal parliament will come soon. We are drawing the attention of the Muscovites and the residents of the Moscow region to the fact that the attack against the Khimki Forest is supported by the omnipresent [progovernmental] United Russia party and its leader Vladimir Putin. Thus, hey once again demonstrate that the commercial interests of the few are more important than care of the health and well-being of many...

The police finally returned impounded soft and hardware to the Baikal Ecological Wave

Press Release, July 15, 2010.

The YABLOKO congratulates the staff of the Baikal Ecological Wave who managed to prove that impounding of computers and software from their office was unlawful. The computers are returned, and the Irkutsk police brought their apologizes to the ecologists.

During the investigation it was confirmed (however, this was obvious from the beginning): the Baikal Ecological Weave used only licensed software...

Flash mob in protection of the Lake Baikal at the Red Square

Press Release. June 5, 2010. Video, photographs.

On June 5, the World Environment Day, the activists of the YABLOKO party conducted a flash mob at the Red Square. YABLOKO’s activists carried a large white banner showing the Lake Baikal chanting "Hands off of the Lake Baikal!" The same slogan was printed on their shirts. However, this march was broken by police and all the participants of the action were taken to the police station.

Destruction of nature has been accelerating

Statement by the YABLOKO party. June 4, 2010

The biosphere of our planet has not improved for the past year. We have been facing dangerous ongoing climate change, deterioration of the condition of the world ocean, shrinking biodiversity, disappearance of the rain forests, aging nuclear power stations and proliferation of nuclear weapons threaten us with another Chernobyl, chemical contamination and the spread of GMOs. Influential international bodies – the G-8 and the G-20, the World Bank, the European and the Asian Banks of Reconstruction and Development - declaring the importance of preserving the planet's ecosystems in words, virtually support quick-profit technologies detrimental on nature.

Lack of stringent environmental control over implementation of commercial projects at the national and the international level leads to a terrible disasters like that we observe in the Gulf of Mexico...

YABLOKO submits application dispute lawfulness of the recently adopted General Plan of Moscow Development

Press Release. June 7, 2010

Today, on June 7, YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin submitted an application to the Moscow City Court disputing lawfulness of the General Plan of Moscow Development. Mitrokhin asks the court to recognise adoption of the General Plan of Moscow Development null and void....

On June 7, 2010, YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin will start litigation in the Moscow City Court disputing lawfulness of the General Plan of Moscow Development

Press Release. June 4, 2010

On Monday, June 7, 2010, YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin will start litigation in the Moscow City Court disputing lawfulness of the General Plan of Moscow Development. “The conclusion of the state expertise was signed on December 22, 2009, a month after the draft General Plan of Moscow Development was submitted to the Moscow City Duma. This fact alone will suffice for abrogation, however, in our statement we indicate a number of other procedural violations,” Sergei Mitrokhin said...

YABLOKO’s leader to visit Nizhni Novgorod

Press Release. June 4, 2010

On Saturday, June 5, YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin will visit Nizhni Novgorod. As part of his mission, Mitrokhin and political scientists and businessmen from Nizhny Novgorod will take part in a roundtable discussion "Environmental and political situation in Russia. The upcoming elections in autumn 2010”. The event will be held at the Higher School of Economics from 09:30 to 10:40. Then Sergei Mitrokhin, will participate in a press conference for regional journalists devoted to the elections. The press conference will take place in the Interfax office (beginning at 11:00).

Then YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin and Chair YABLOKO’s Green Russia faction Acad. Alexei Yablokov will conduct a picket against the raising of the water level in the Cheboksary reservoir. Members of the environmental organization Dront will also participate in the picket...

The General Plan of Moscow Development signed by the city authorities to be disputed in court

Press Release. May 28, 2010

YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin will dispute in court the General Plan of Moscow. “Procedural violations in development and adoption of the Plan were considerable. We shall apply to court as soon as the General Plan is published,” Mitrokhin said...

Mitrokhin also offered to the Moscow residents whose interests will be affected by the Plan to apply to YABLOKO for help...

Public Prosecutor to check the lawfulness of pulling down of historical buildings in Kadashi, Moscow

Press Release. May 27, 2010

On May 27, Chair of the YABLOKO party Sergei Mitrokhin forwarded a letter to V.Shevshuk, Public Prosecutor of Moscow, and A.Kibovsky, head of the Rosokhrankultura (Agency for preservation of historic and cultural heritage) with a request to stop unlawful pulling down of buildings in the territory of the Resurrection Temple in Kadashi, Moscow.

The buildings that had to be pulled down on May 24 in Kadashi are situated within the boundaries of a historical and cultural heritage zone, and any works except for preservation and regeneration are prohibited there. Mitrokhin also expressed his doubts in the lawfulness of the permit issued by Moskomnasleydiye (the Moscow Heritage Committee) to pull down buildings there...

The first suit against the State Plan of Moscow Development motioned

Press Release. May 18, 2010

The YABLOKO party has motioned a suit in the first instance court demanding to oblige the Moscow authorities to provide a state expertise the State Plan of Moscow Development. “According to our information, the State Plan of Moscow Development has not received a positive conclusion from the state expertise in spite of the fact that Mosgosekspertiza (Moscow State Expertise Agency) under the Moscow Government was mandated to conduct it. As far as we know, most experts were dissatisfied with the solution of transport problems in the new plan,” runs the statement signed by YABLOKO’s Chair Sergei Mitrokhin...

YABLOKO’s rally for protection of the Lake Baikal conducted in Ulan-Ude

Press Release, March 27, 2010

On March 27, a mass rally in protection of the Lake Baikal took place in Ulan-Ude, Buryatia. The rally was organised by YABLOKO’s branch in Buryatia and ecological organisations. About 500 people came to the rally.

The participants of the rally demanded to abrogate the Resolution of the Government of the RF No 1 on launching the Baikal Pulp Plant. The rally called the authorities to develop tourism in the area which would create new jobs for the citizens of Baikalsk, rather than creating jobs at environmentally unfriendly enterprise...

Russia’s Ombudsman Vladimir Lukin sends a letter to Public Prosecutor in defence of the Khimki forest

Press Release, March 25, 2010

Russia’s Ombudsman Vladimir Lukin asked Public Prosecutor Yury Chaika to examine whether the government’s decision to construct a highway Moscow – St.Petersburg that has to go through the Khimki forest was lawful.

In accordance with the order of the Government the lands of the Khimki forest were transferred to the category of “industrial lands”.

In his letter to Public Prosecutor Vladimir Lukin noted that the Khimki forest is a protected natural territory in accordance with the Forestry Code, thus any cuttings should be prohibited there...

Sergei Mitrokhin: Mayor of Moscow Luzhkov and head of the Moscow police Kolokoltzev are responsible for disrupting a protest motor race against construction of the nuclear power station

Press Release. March 18, 2010

YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin laid responsibility responsible for disrupting a protest race against construction of the Monakovskaya nuclear power station on Mayor of Moscow Luzhkov and head of the Moscow police Kolokoltzev. “As a muscovite I feel ashamed that it was Moscow that demonstrated unlawful actions by the police to the full extent,” he said.

At present the 25 participants of the motor race are in the police station. They are accused of violating the Administrative Code of Moscow, as they have allegedly “interfered with the traffic order by means of driving in a column with slogans on their cars”, runs the protocol. The activists disagree with the police. According to Mitrokhin, this is the first case in his practice when a regional rather than federal norm is applied to the participants.

OMON and road police do not let the participants of the motor race against construction of a nuclear power station in the Nizhy Novgorod region to enter Moscow

Press Release. March 18, 2010

Special police forces (OMON) and road police have been blocking the column of the motor race against construction of a nuclear power station in the Nizhy Novgorod region at the Moscow Circular Road for 40 minutes already. YABLOKO’s activists and YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin are arrested. Some cars the police left on the road, which led to a traffic jam.

The participants of the race were stopped at the Moscow Circular Road for checking of their documents. However later a police official stated that they were stopped “because of such unsanctioned event”. Special police forces arrived probably to assist the road police in checking the documents.

YABLOKO to join a motor race against construction of a nuclear power station in the Nizhny Novgorod Region

Press Release. March 17, 2010

A rally against construction of a nuclear power station in the Nizhny Novgorod Region organised by ecological organisations and YABLOKO will take place in the centre of Moscow on March 18.

A motor race Murom – Moscow against construction of the nuclear power station started today. On March 18 YABLOKO’s activists together with party leader Sergei Mitrokhin will meet the participants of the race in the Moscow region and join the race.

“My task is to ensure that the motor column is allowed to enter Moscow, as the participants expressed their concern that the column would be stopped by Moscow,” Sergei Mitrokhin. Today protesters have been stopped by the police several times and their passport data were copied.

The Battle for Khimki Forest. By Yevgenia Chirikova. www.opendemocracy.net
17 March 2010

The plan to construct a section of the new Moscow-St.Petersburg motorway through the legally-protected Khimki Forest Park will destroy a rare eco-system. Dogged local resistance has turned this into a national, even international issue. But it has not derailed the plan...

Officials offer apology to YABLOKO’s ecologist

Press Release. March 10, 2010

Officials from Administration of the Lomonosovsky District of the Leningrad region offered their apology to Alexander Senotrusov, deputy head of YABLOKO’s Green faction, for their intention to dismiss him from school where he had been working as a teacher and their suspension of functioning of a children’s club where he also worked. Persecutions against YABLOKO’s activist began after his interview to the NTV television channel.

On March 7, NTV released a piece devoted to the practices of unlawful construction of cottages in the natural reserves. Alexander Senotrusov told the journalists about unlawful construction at the Lebyazhiye village situated on Gulf of Finland shore.

After this the district administration began persecutions against the teacher. Local bureaucrats were going to dismiss Alexander Senotrusov as redundant and also cut off electricity in the children’s club where he worked.

YABLOKO’s action in protection of Utrish and Baikal

Press Release. February 25, 2010

A rally in protection of the Utrish national reserve park and the Baikal Lake took place in the centre of Krasnodar on February 20. The rally was organised by YABLOKO’s activist Andrei Rudomakha.

After the rally the participants marched along the main street of the city and held a second rally at the end of the march.

About 300 – 350 people took part in the action.

The leader of Gelendzhik YABLOKO is forced to quit his job because of a rally

Press Release, February 12, 2010

On January 31, 2010, Gelendzhik YABLOKO conducted a meeting of protest against destruction of the Utrish relict lagoons, where the Presidential Property Management Department planned to build a “sports and recreation complex” and Administration of the Krasnodar Area – commercial buildings. Public protest action took place by the city Administration building.

And already on February 5, Sergei Buldakov, leader of the local YABLOKO branch was informed that he was transferred to another work place located in 57 km from his current place. Alexander Umitbayaev, Director General of the Vodokanal municipal state company, where Buldakov worked informed Buldakov of this transfer.

Sergei Mitrokhin spoke at the rally for protection of Baikal

Press Release. February 13, 2010

About 700 people participated despite sever frosts in the rally for protection of Baikal in Irkutsk. Members of ecological organisations, members and supporters of YABLOKO, residents of Irkutsk and Baikalsk and CPRF members spoke against resuming of functioning of the Baikal Pulp Plant.

The rally organised by the ecological organisation The Baikal Wave and the Baikal movement was held under the slogans “To close the Baikal Pulp Plant!”, “To provide alternative jobs to the residents of Baikalsk!” and “Stop budget financing of oligarch Deripaska!”

The authorities chose to support of oligarchs’ interests and reprisals against public organisations rather than protection of the Lake Baikal

Statement of the Bureau of the YABLOKO party, February 1, 2010

On January 28, 2010 the police of the Irkutsk region without any rulings of the court or public prosecutor blocked the work of the largest public organisation engaged in protection of the Lake Baikal – The Baikal Ecological Wave – confiscating their computers under the pretext of a check whether this organisation had been using licensed software. However, the representatives of the interior refused even to look at the certificates of the software submitted to them. The ecologists who tried to disobey confiscation of their computers were threatened with legal persecution in view of “attacking the police”.

The YABLOKO party expresses its resolute protest in view of such actions of the interior and considers them as a awkward attempt to shut down the wave of public discontent in view of the adoption by the Government of the RF of a resolution allowing to resume functioning of the Baikal Cellulose Paper Plant that have been polluting Baikal with its waste, as well as stored, buried and burnt hazardous waste on the banks of the lake. Such governmental decision was adopted in satisfaction of short-term interests of the owner of the plant – a definite tycoon, and contradicts Russia’s interests.

Apple tree garden in Biryulyovo, Moscow, will be preserved

Press Release, January 25, 2010

“Apple tree garden in Biryulyovo, Moscow, will not be cut”, Vladimir Resin, head of the Moscow Construction Complex told to YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin during their meeting today. Moreover, the plot of land with the apple tree garden will be included into the natural reserve Biryulyovo Dendrary Park...

It is already the second apple tree garden saved by YABLOKO. In 2006 the party managed to stop cutting of the trees in Davydkovo district.

On anti-ecological policies of Russia’s authorities

Resolution of the 15th congress of the YABLOKO party No 253, December 24, 2009

The Russian United Democratic Party YABLOKO regards the supreme goal of a democratic state as ensuring of flourishing of the country, the well-fare and the highest living standards for the citizens. One of the most important functions of the government is ensuring of ecological safety of the citizens and protection of nature as a national resource which is regarded as a public asset.
The political and economic system of modern Russia, its supreme political and economic administration grossly violates the principles of ecological policies determined by the Constitution of the Russian Federation: the rights of the citizens to a friendly environment, reliable information on its condition, recovering of the damage incurred in ecological violations, rational use and protection of natural resources and careful attitude to the natural riches that should be regarded as a foundation for life and performance of the citizens.
1. The policies of Boris Yeltsin – Vladimir Putin – Dmitry Medvedev created a system of underdeveloped periphery capitalism in Russia almost entirely basing on the maintenance and development of environmentally unfriendly productions left from the Soviet times. Neither the government nor business merging with the authorities pay any serious attention to the safe environment, as it is connected with reduction of their super profits. Consequently, Russia logically and inevitably has found itself on the periphery of rapidly developing innovative world.

Environmentally unfriendly bulbs versus nuclear power stations?

Acad.Alexei Yablokov’s blog at the Echo Moskvi web-site

December 7, 2009

I was wondering why our government suddenly made a complete ban on incandescent electric bulbs its prime concern (Law of the RF No 261-FZ “On Energy Saving and Raising of Energy Efficiency and on Introduction of Changes into Some Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation” of November 23, 2009).

And recently I have heard the news that Europe has been closing production of incandescent electric lamps of the first generation (luminescent, with mercury) – the very lamps that have to replace our incandescent electric bulbs. And these environmentally unfriendly productions are offered cheaply to those who would be eager to buy them. Let us make a simple calculation...

YABLOKO’s Political Committee: Russian state acts like an irresponsible business corporation conducting anti-environmental policies

Press Release, December 5, 2009

On December 5, 2009, YABLOKO’s Political Committee discussed the ecological policy of the government. The key report was made by Academician Alexei Yablokov, leader of the Green Russia faction. After a discussion the Committee adopted resolution “On the Anti-Environmental Policies of the Russian Authorities”.

On opening of the meeting the Political Committee commemorated the victims of the Nevsky Express railroad crash and the victims of the Perm nightclub fire by a one-minute silence.

Alexei Yablokov reported on a bad environmental situation in Russia dwelling on the most acute ecological problems and offered ways of their solution. According to the World Health Organisation, 493,000 people die annually in Russia because of ecological problems. Thus, life expectancy for men is only 59 years, which is 15 – 18 years less than in the USA and Japan. And it is even 3 – 4 years lower in the zones of environmental pollution (about 14% of the territory of the country).

Sergei Mitrokhin: “The democratic project of the country’s development is closed”

Press Release, November 30, 2009

On Saturday, November 29, 2009, a meeting of YABLOKO’s Bureau took place in Moscow. The Bureau adopted decisions on working over persuading the government not to abolish indexation of unemployment benefits, return gratuitous public transport tickets for pensioners of the Moscow Region and creation of nature reserve Utrish. The Bureau also heard the reports of the Human Rights and the Gender factions of the party.

The meeting was opened by party Chair Sergei Mitrokhin who made a report on the political situation in Russia. “It has become clear after voting on October 11 that elections as a legitimate institution that could be trusted by the society is completely ruined in Russia. This means that the democratic project of the country’s development initiated in the late 1980s has been completely closed now – and not only by the ruling elite, but by the society as well,” Mitrokhin said. According to Mitrokhin, the forthcoming YABLOKO’s congress (that will take place in December 2009) has to formulate the basis of a new democratic project for Russia.

Sergei Mitrokhin and the camera crew of the RenTV channel detained while trying to get to the Kurkino VIP village

Press release, November 16, 2009

Sergei Mitrokhin and the camera crew of the RenTV channel have been detained by the security of the Kurkino VIP village by the Valley of the Skhodnya River natural reserve. The security have detained the politician and the journalists and have called the police.

Sergei Mitorkhin and the camera crew of the RenTV channel went to the Valley of the Skhodnya River natural reserve (where an unknown VIP village was built on the permission of the ex-head of the North-Western District of Moscow Viktor Kozlov) so that to study the situation with returning of the plot unlawfully granted to General Major of the interior Anatoli Petukhov. On November 5, 2009, the Moscow City Court confirmed the decision of the Tushino District Court on abuse of authority by Kozlov. This motion envisages retrieval of this plot amounting to 3,688 sq m, also court rulings on other plots of the natural reserve unlawfully given for construction of cottages have to appear shortly.

The Moscow City Court ruled that granting a plot of land to the police top official in the nature reserve park was unlawful

Press release, November 10, 2009

On November 5, 2009, the Moscow City Court left in force the decision of the Tushino District Court regarding abuse of rank by the dismissed head of the North-Western Administrative District of Moscow Viktor Kozlov, who unlawfully granted 3,688 sq.m of land in the natural preservation zone of the Valley of the Skhodnya River Park for lease to the ex-top officer of the interior General Major Anatoly Petukhov.

According to the ruling of the court, the plot of land granted on unlawful basis Petukhov has to be retrieved. The decision is final and binding.

Muscovites together with YABLOKO preserved Sadovniki park

Press Release, September 9, 2009

Two resolutions of the Moscow Government allowing for construction works in Sadovniki park, Moscow, were recalled.

It is not the first time that the authorities allow construction works in the park and the residents of the area together with the YABLOKO party oppose it. Due to the efforts of the initiative group of the residents of the area and YABLOKO’s support, construction works in the park did not start and moreover were prohibited.

State officials’ poaching should be stopped!

Statement by the YABLOKO party July 1, 2009

Mayor of Minusinsk (a city in the Krasnoyarsk Area) got drowned in the Podkamennaya Tunguska river on June 27. The circumstances of the accident showed that this accident took place during committing of a crime [by the Mayor] – unlawful fishing (fishing is prohibited in this part of the river until winter due to sturgeon spawning).

One more Moscow park protected by YABLOKO

Press Release June 29, 2009
The Prefect’s Office of the Southern District of Moscow cancelled its resolution on construction of a restaurant on the territory of the Bitsevsky park. Such a statement has been made by an official from the Prefect’s Office today during a protest action against such construction.

YABLOKO disrupted the plans on elimination of a specially protected natural territory in Moscow

Press Release June 24, 2009
Today the Moscow City Duma has declined amendments into the draft law “On Specially Protected Natural Territories in Moscow” that would allow to conduct once in three years the so-called “corrections” [i.e. reductions] of such natural zones not exceeding 1 per cent of the territory. To prove to the deputies that such an initiative will inevitably lead to shrinking of forests and parks Sergei Mitrokhin, leader of the YABLOKO party and its faction in the Moscow Duma, visited on June 22 with deputy’s inspection one of such specially protected natural territories (The Valley of the Riva Skhadnaya in Kurkino), where a nameless elite settlement is situated.

500 people came to the meeting for protection of Bitsevsky Forest in Moscow
Press Release. June 3, 2009

In the evening on June 2, 2009, over 500 activists participated in the protest action for the protection of Bitsevsky Forest against construction of a cafe on a safeguarded territory.

The Green Russia and Global Nuclear Legacy
Press Release, June 1, 2009

The leaders of the Green Russia faction of the YABLOKO party Alexei Yablokov and Alexander Nikitin participated in the meeting of the Global Nuclear Legacy project in Budapest on May 29-31. Over 40 representatives of the anti-nuclear movement from the USA, Western and Eastern Europe, and the CIS countries came to Budapest. The meeting joined together victims of the nuclear industry, ecologists and specialists from the nuclear sphere who openly inform the society of the dangers of the industry.

The Committee for the Protection of Muscovites demands the resettlement of residents from apartment buildings contaminated by phenol
Press release, July 22, 2004

Over 50 people gathered today at the protest meeting organised by the Committee for the Protection of Muscovites by the Mayor's office in Moscow. Activists from the Committee as well as residents from the Metrogorodok district of Moscow participated in the meeting demanding the adoption of measures to resettle residents from phenol-contaminated apartment blocks, i.e. residential premises with covering made from materials emitting dangerous levels of phenol gas.

50 Protest Phenol Gas
The Moscow Times, July 22, 2004

"We technically only had permission to demonstrate at Pushkin Square," said one of the protest organizers, Ilya Yashin, a Yabloko party official. "But we felt we had a right ... to make our voices heard."

YABLOKO to Propose Amendments to the Forestry Code
RIA "OREANDA", April 5, 2004

By and large, the RF Ministry of Natural Resources and the Russian Democratic Party "Yabloko" will cooperate on environment protection and efficient nature management.

Chemical Funds
Associated Press, March 17, 2004
MOSCOW (AP) -- Environmental and human rights activists criticized the implementation of Russia's chemical disarmament program Tuesday, accusing authorities of mismanaging funds and endangering lives by skimping on safety and security measures.

Sergei Mitrokhin: Yavlinsky Convinced Putin Not to Import Spent Nuclear Fuel
from rbc.ru, March 4, 2004

In an article Putin Will Process the Nuclear Damp (from February 27) Alexei Vinogradov made a serious mistake. The author of the article stated that the President supports imports of spent nuclear fuel into Russia. This is not true. In the quotation used by Vinogradov as his source, Putin speaks refers to the need to focus on waste from our [domestically produced] fuel. He implies here that spent nuclear fuel from domestically produced fuel rod arrays were exported to Europe by the USSR and then by Russia.

Nuclear Power Ministry and Green Cross in the Same Team.
By Sergei Leskov, Izvestia, December 19, 2003

The President discussed with the representatives of the nuclear department and the ecologists the problems of burying spent nuclear fuel, where opinions were divided irreconcilably.

Roll-call voting in the State Duma For the adoption of amendments into the Forestry Code of the Russian Federation (simplyfying the transfer of forests of the 1st category into non-forest categories). Third Reading.
November 21, 2003 16:04:10

Video. Protest action by YABLOKO and ecologists agianst amendments to the Forestry Code allowing for the transfer of forests from the top category to the lower categories. The State Duma. October 8, 2003. 11 min 4 sek, 256 Êáèò/ñåê - 49 Ìáàéò, 128 Êáèò/ñåê - 18 Ìáàéò (RealPlayer required)

Krasnoyarsk Territory. The Legislative Assembly approves the initiative to restrict the transfer of forestry areas to other categories of fields
Regions.Ru, March 3, 2003
According to RIA Press-Line information agency today, on March 3, 3003 members of the permanent Commission on Natural Resources, Ecology and Protection of Nature of the Legislative Assembly of Krasnoyarsk Territory supported the draft law of the State Duma deputy Sergei Mitrokhin.

Ministry of Nuclear Power Ready to Finance Environmental Programmes in Chelyabinsk Region
RIA "OREANDA", November 3, 2003

The deputy minister's letter is the Ministry's official response to Mitrokhin's appeal to the Ministry to allot money to move people away from nuclear-contaminated areas in Chelyabinsk region.

Ministry of Nuclear Power Ready to Finance Environmental Programs in Chelyabinsk Region
Press release, October 31, 2003

...the Ministry is willing to "discuss the draft specific environmental program aimed at rehabilitating the territories contaminated due to operations of Mayak plant, including evacuation of the residents of Muslyumovo and Tatarskaya Karabolka towns".

Deputy Mitrokhin demands an investigation into the situation around the methanol terminal in Azov
FMBusiness, September 5, 2003

According to the documents, a number of federal legislative acts, such as the Law "On Environmental Protection ", the Law "On Environmental Expertise", the Provisions on the assessment of the impact on the environment and legislation regulating construction work were violated during the design and construction of the terminal in Azov.

Ratification of the Kyoto Protocol Will Help Russia to Attract Vast Investments into Industry
RIA Novosti, September 8, 2003

"Now we cannot achieve such a capacity, with our outdated equipment. But when innovations are introduced, greenhouse gas emissions will decrease significantly," the expert believes.

Suspension of the operations of a copper-smelting plant is a powerful signal to environment polluters
Press release, June 27, 2003

Deputy of the State Duma Sergei Mitrokhin (the YABLOKO faction) stated that he was satisfied with the decision of the supreme state inspector for control over natural resources of the Ural Federal district Nikolai Krupinin who issued a warrant to suspend the operations of the Krabash Copper-Smelting Plant from June 27, 2003.

The State Duma turned down the amendment granting tax privileges to environmental bodies
Press release, June 21, 2003

On Friday, June 20, 2003, the State Duma refused to grant a tax break on the property of organisations protecting and caring for territories with an enhanced regime of environmental protection.

Grigory Yavlinsky called for an increase in state ecological controls
Vesti Programme, RTR channel, June 5, 2003

In particular, in autumn 2003 YABLOKO is going to submit to the State Duma the Kyoto Protocol for ratification.

YABLOKO determines the directions of Russia's environmental policy and calls on the State Duma to ratify the Kyoto Protocol
Press release, June 5, 2003

In addition to the prospects of ratification and entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol, the participants of the Round Table discussed a range of problems related to Russia’s environmental policy.

Deputy Mitrokhin manages to make the law-enforcement agencies initiate criminal proceedings for environmental pollution
Press Release, May 27, 2003

Criminal proceedings in accordance with Article 246 of the Criminal Code of the RF (violation of environmental protection regulations at work) were started by the Chelyabinsk Prosecutor for Environmental Protection for "investigation of all the circumstances and reasons for environmental pollution in the city of Krabash ."

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Administrator: Vlad Smirnov, e-mail: vladislav.smirnov@yabloko.ru