Posted 10 августа 2021, 13:31

Published 10 августа 2021, 13:31

Modified 24 декабря 2022, 22:37

Updated 24 декабря 2022, 22:37

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The price of lies and silence: forest fires in Siberia and Yakutia threaten with civilian riots

10 августа 2021, 13:31
Catastrophic forest fires in Siberia can provoke mass protests in the country already under environmental slogans.

As you know, Putin instructed to increase the group to extinguish fires in Yakutia. And this is not without reason, since such a large-scale disaster is the largest in the entire history of observations. The fire has already begun to drown the permafrost, and an increased amount of carbon dioxide is emitted into the atmosphere, which has already led to the formation of abnormal hurricanes and "dry" thunderstorms. Smoke covered half the world: Siberia, China, Canada, Alaska and even Greenland. In fact, a global ecological catastrophe has already occurred, the consequences of which, according to ecologists, can lead to the extinction of species and accelerate climate change in Russia.

Experts believe that in addition to global warming, the cause of the fires lies in the collapse of forest protection during the USSR:

“There are no foresters, everything is littered with windbreaks, grass and peat bogs are on fire. Local firefighting equipment was destroyed, and the money was stolen. Local authorities are afraid to raise this topic, reporting back to Moscow in the old fashioned way with the traditional “everything is fine”.

At the same time, the smog has already begun to claim the lives of people with cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. Let me remind you that in 2010 more than 55 thousand people died from fires in the Central Federal District and the Volga Federal District, the mortality rate almost doubled...

It is no secret that it is possible to cope with such a large-scale disaster only through the efforts of the entire country: send the army, the Ministry of Emergency Situations to extinguish, organize the cutting of forest belts, dig up the territory of cities, create artificial rain clouds, mobilize volunteers, etc.

However, as political scientist Ilya Grashchenkov writes, “these are too expensive measures, and the authorities still estimate the damage from fires at only 1 billion rubles (for example, the same Norilsk Nickel was fined 146 billion for contaminating one relatively small reservoir). It turns out that the “in the money” fires are not so large-scale?"

However, the latest news from the Kremlin indicates a change in attitudes towards this problem. Grashchenkov writes:

“The Kremlin felt that it was burning. The smoke from the Yakut and Siberian fires reached the offices of officials, they promise to allocate money from the reserves of the NWF to fight the fire, President Putin personally intervened in the matter. A regional emergency regime was announced in Yakutia. Only on August 8, the head of the republic Nikolaev signed a corresponding decree in connection with the transition of forest fires to residential areas.

But why this was not done earlier, because the head of the regional government, Tarasenko, announced on June 7 that the municipalities were on fire, then blaming the residents themselves for everything. “It is very bad that the human factor remains the cause of forest fires. Fires are formed near settlements, which suggests that people themselves set fire to forests because of their carelessness, "Tarasenko said earlier. As a result, the heads of the ulus were instructed to fight the fire, whose budgets for environmental protection are 20-30 thousand rubles. In theory, an emergency could have been introduced at the beginning of summer, then a large-scale disaster could have been avoided. But for this, it would be necessary to redirect the equipment of the Ministry of Emergency Situations to fight the fire, which is now extinguishing fires in Turkey and Greece. By the way, yesterday Putin, in connection with an emergency appeal from Greece, instructed to increase the Russian group that is fighting the fires there, and Yakutia at the same time. The President ordered until September 1 to allocate funds from the reserve fund for extinguishing in Russia and equipment for this.

The second important issue is finding those responsible. So, Putin was offered to dismiss the head of the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation Kozlov. The initiative was put forward by the Yakut State Duma deputy Tumusov. “Nobody relieves the responsibility of the local authorities, but we know where the money is and who distributes it. We have a minister responsible for nature, but there is no nature - it burned down, ”Tumusov said. In the opinion of the Yakuts themselves, in general, the federals are really to blame, not only from the Ministry of Natural Resources, but also from the Ministry of Emergency Situations, the Ministry of Finance and other departments, who left Yakutia without the means to fight. As a result, even movie stars like DiCaprio tried to help, but international activity was ordered to curtail, and local officials began to press bloggers writing about the fires in social networks. So the responsibility for the aggressive silence of the problem lies with the regional authorities..."

The most important thing now, according to experts, is to localize the fires, since they not only did not end, but are spreading more and more, creating a feeling of the approaching Apocalypse.

Meanwhile, the population of Yakutia is already inclined to see in the fires not only the negligence of the authorities, but also "signs from above", some even demand the release of the famous shaman Gabyshev, who was placed in a mental hospital. How will all this affect the confidence in the authorities on the eve of the elections to the State Duma?", - asks Grashchenkov.

Another political scientist, Abbas Gallyamov, shares this concern:

“The next most important source of political negativity that the regime will face will be the environment. There are a lot of problems in the industry - burning forests, the volumes of which are breaking all records; garbage reform, creating more and more stress points across the country; "Black sky" over Russian cities and so on.

And what do the authorities oppose to all this?

Here I am looking at the website of the Ministry of Natural Resources, how Minister Kozlov arrived in Novokuznetsk and offered the purchase of 38 trolleybuses and 37 trams as the main means of solving the problem of air pollution. This is until 2024 and in a city that is literally choking on smog.

Or let's take the same fires - for nothing that the whole country is on fire, and the equipment used for extinguishing is worn out by three-quarters in many regions - but if not for the meeting that Putin held the other day in Chelyabinsk, then on the ministry's website on this the bill would have been nothing at all. There is practically no other news about the burning forests, but it is full of joyful reports of new snow leopard habitats or pictures of a young leopard successfully taken in the Far East.

To pretend that peace and quiet reigns in the subordinate industry, in the current conditions, seems to be the height of inadequacy. Russian ecology needs leaders who know how to work with a negative agenda, and not those who are trying to put a gloss on the rotten skeleton. We need leaders-communicators who will not get out of "hot spots", meeting with dissatisfied and resolving conflicts. We need those who, with their sincerity, convince the people that the government is honestly trying to solve the growing problems. Now look at the minister and tell me who and what can he convince?

In the month remaining before the elections, the authorities will certainly not have time to make the industry more politically adequate. Therefore, United Russia can be sure that here it will lose a lot of votes. If the authorities still fail to take control of the processes of politicization of the environmental agenda, then the next mass protest in the country may well begin with the environment..."