Environmental Activism in Russia

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This week’s podcast is the fifth and final event for Nature’s Revenge: Ecology, Animals, and Waste in Eurasia, the Spring 2021 Speakers’ Series at the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. If you want to hear the entire series, go to here.

Like elsewhere, there’s a growing environmental movement in Russia. Activists are not only concerned about the larger issues like climate change, but local ones—the preservation and development of ecologically sustainable urban and rural space, industrial waste and carbon pollution, and the human footprint on nature. And like other political movements in Russia, activists risk arrest, repression, and marginalization. To get a picture of environmental activism its focus, goals, tactics and strategies, I talked to Konstantin Fokin and Angelina Davydova.

Guests:

Angelina Davydova is an expert on international and Russian climate and environmental policies, civil society movements and media. She is a director of an St. Petersburg based NGO “Office of Environmental Information’, based in St. Petersburg, Russia. She is also an environmental and climate journalist, and regularly contributes to Russian and international media. Davydova has served an observer with the UN climate negotiations (UNFCCC) since 2008, and is a member of Global Reference Group and World Future Council.

Konstantin Fokin is an entrepreneur, the CEO of the Russian National Business Angels Association, and a climate and environmental activist with Extinction Rebellion. Since 2016, he’s led or carried out more than 150 street actions, four hunger strikes, and has been arrested nineteen times that has resulted in seven jail sentences totally 81 days.

Music:

Skinny Puppy, “Natures Revenge,” Too Dark Park, 1990