Russian Environmental NGOs: An Endangered Species

Russia’s ongoing persecution of environmental groups (seemingly linked to the country’s heavy reliance on oil and gas mining) continues to concern global sustainability advocates.

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From Human Rights Watch:
JANUARY 18, 2017 12:22PM EST ‪Dispatches‬
Russian Environment NGOs: An Endangered Species
Environmental Rights Center Labeled “Foreign Agent”
by Anastasia Ovsyannikova, Natalia Estemirova fellow

2017, officially designated as Russia’s “Year of Ecology,”[1] is off to a disastrous start. On January 16, the authorities labeled one of the country’s most prominent environmental groups, Bellona-St. Petersburg, a “foreign agent organization.”

At the end of 2016, the Ministry of Justice conducted an unscheduled audit of Bellona, and although the group has not yet received the official result of that audit, Bellona-St. Petersburg has been added to Russia’s growing list of “foreign agents.”[2] Since 2012, the Russian government has used its “foreign agents” law to demonize independent groups that accept foreign funding and carry out public advocacy, especially those that challenge government policies and actions. In 2013, the Ministry of Justice and the General Prosecutor’s Office conducted a joint…

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