Russian authorities on Friday attempted to calm the anger of residents of a small town near Moscow, who protested in the thousands to demand the closure of a polluting waste dump whose emissions had caused the hospitalization of
Protests over the presence of landfills have increased in recent weeks in several cities around the Russian capital, where anger is fueled by the impression of residents to be "second-class citizens". "
In Volokolamsk, a town of 20,000 inhabitants located about 100 kilometers north-west of Moscow, where the situation is most acute, the town hall announced that it began distributing respiratory masks to the population and put Russian authorities set up a monitoring plan for the situation.
The authorities also assured that residents with respiratory problems (19659002) The Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations nevertheless found that there was "no need" to set up an emergency regime or organize evacuation.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that President Vladimir Putin was monitoring the situation and was "in permanent contact" with the local authorities.
"This is about a complex problem that can not be solved overnight. The work continues, "Peskov told reporters.
The inhabitants of Volokolamsk have been denouncing for months the nuisance associated with the nearby Iadrovo landfill, which was put into production in 1979, and whose toxic emissions affected some 50 of children on March 21.
Several thousand people gathered again Thursday before the town hall to demand the establishment of an exceptional regime and the closure of the landfill.
The authorities have promised to cover the landfill by the end of the month and install a degassing system in June
But the situation continues to worsen: new toxic emissions took place in the nights of Wednesday and Thursday, forcing the authorities to postpone classes in schools
A new demonstration to demand measures from the authorities is scheduled for Sunday in Volokolamsk.
– Interpellations –
Inspired by the example of Volokolamsk, demonstrations demanding the closure of landfills took place in several other cities in the belt around Moscow, where are taken waste generated by the giant Russian capital.
In Kolomna, city of 140,000 inhabitants to a hundred of kilometers south-east of Moscow, more than a hundred people have been trying for a week to block the truck traffic on the road leading to the "Volovitchi" household waste dump.
According to the NGO OVD -Info, specialized in the follow-up of the arrests, about thirty demonstrators were briefly questioned by the police Wednesday in Kolomna before being released. Three of them were charged with disturbing public order or refusing to obey
"We are like second-class citizens Why should we be treated worse than others? worse than the Muscovites? ", a protester indignant in a dialogue with a local official, according to a video broadcast on the internet.
Other cities, like Kline in North-West Moscow, fear for their part that the situation around their own landfill does not worsen after the promises made by the authorities to resolve the situation in Volokolamsk.
Faced with the growing number of complaints from dissatisfied Russians throughout the country in recent months, the authorities have acknowledged that the air quality measurement system was failing in the country
Due to lack of funding, this system is simply absent or obsolete due to lack of modernization since the collapse of the USSR.
in a particularly tense social context in Russia after a fire left 64 dead, including 41 children Sunday in Kemerovo, Siberia, which raised a wave of anger across the country at the shocking violations of safety standards found by investigators.