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  2. In Komi, eco-activists have opened a fundraiser for an expedition to study the consequences of an oil spill in the Kolva river

In Komi, eco-activists have opened a fundraiser for an expedition to study the consequences of an oil spill in the Kolva river

Elena Zholobova
Oil spill in Kolva
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Eco-activists from the Save Pechora Committee are raising money for an independent investigation — they want to go 357 km along the Usa and Pechora rivers by boat to assess the consequences of the oil spill that occurred in the Kolva River in May. The fundraising is held on the Sila Slova (‘the power of words’) Platform.

A large oil spill from the LUKOIL-Komi Company's Oshsky Oil Field was discovered in the Kolva River in the Komi Republic on May 11. The oil flowed along the Kolva, Usa, and Pechora rivers. Oil workers reported a spill of 100 tons of oil, but said that only 9 tons had got into the river. The Save Pechora Committee believes that the declared oil spill scale is not true. Social activists have already examined 208 km of the Kolva river and found that only 3% of the bank were being cleaned up.

"There are  regular oil spills in the Komi Republic, in the Usinsk District, with oil entering the Kolva river, the facts of spills being hidden in most cases," the activists say. "Residents of villages along the banks of two rivers — Kolva and Pechora — suffer from regular oil spills in Kolva. At the same time, none of them has ever received any compensation for the harm caused to their health. <...> The task of the journalistic expedition is to assess the real picture of an environmental disaster."

Journalists and activists of the Save Pechora Committee are going to go 357 km along the route from the village of Parma by boat and visit 15 settlements, collect eyewitness accounts, as well as samples of water, soil and bottom deposits to analyze the state of the environment. The expedition will result into an independent investigation, which will be published in full or in part in the Ecological Bulletin of the Pechora-Side Newspaper, on the Save Pechora Committee’s website, in Ivan Ivanov's author blog on the 7x7 Online Newspaper and his YouTube channel.

In total, activists need 100 thousand rubles for the expedition. You can support the initiative here.

In 2020, the 7x7 Online Newspaper and the Alliance of Independent Regional Publishers (AIRP) launched the Sila Slova Crowdfunding Platform for media editorial boards, initiative journalists, bloggers, and civic organizations. The project’s goal is to help media and journalists speak on complex topics and unite to prepare important materials.

Fundraising on the platform is used to support investigative journalism, media initiatives, journalistic expeditions to problem regions, as well as to help journalists who find themselves in a difficult situation.


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