Activists of the Save Pechora Committee Eco-Movement have raised more than 88 thousand rubles for an independent investigation of the consequences of an oil spill in the Kolva River in the Komi Republic, which occurred in May 2021. They want to go along the neighboring Usa and Pechora rivers by boat to assess the accident’s scale and consequences. The members of the committee have raised money on the Sila Slova (‘the power of words’) Platform. Ivan Ivanov, the organization’s chairman, told 7x7 about it.
Ivan Ivanov, the Save Pechora Committee’s chairman, and another member of the organization are going to go 357 km from the village of Parma near Usinsk to the village of Ust-Tsilma by boat. The expedition wants to visit 15 settlements, collect eyewitness accounts, take samples of water, soil, and bottom deposits to analyze the state of the environment.
The activists initially planned to spend 100 thousand rubles on the expedition. However, only 88 thousand have been raised on the Sila Slova Platform. Nevertheless, Ivanov considers the crowdfunding to be successful. Representatives of the Save Pechora Committee will adjust estimates by reducing the number of water samples and other analyzes and not staying in hotels. According to Ivan Ivanov, if necessary, they will raise the remaining necessary amount with the help of the organization’s members and its supporters.
"The fact that almost the entire amount has been raised means that we are doing something important. This is our first experience of this kind. I am very grateful to those who supported our expedition. This is also a serious encouragement. Now we need to buy food and all the things needed, prepare glassware for samples (in the laboratory), check the equipment. Tomorrow, on August 11, we are hopefully leaving for the starting point, where there will be a boat for us," Ivan Ivanov commented.
The activists promise to publish an investigation, based on the expedition’s results, 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 7x7 and his YouTube channel.
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, journalists who find themselves in a difficult situation.
In March 2021, a fundraiser to pay legal bills of Elena Pivovarova, the ex-editor-in-chief of the municipal Vpered (‘forward, move on’) Newspaper of Bataysk, began on the Sila Slova Platform. A criminal case was opened against her for embezzlement (Part 3 of Article 160 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). The journalist’s colleagues are sure that the criminal prosecution of Pivovarova is connected with her activities in advocating readers' interests. Within several months, more than 100 thousand rubles were raised to provide Elena Pivovarova with legal assistance.
In June, 7x7’s journalists Evgeny Malyshev and Ekaterina Malysheva started a crowdfunding campaign to make a film about a conflict between Russian and Romani people near Penza. The correspondents plan to go to Chemodanovka, where there was a mass brawl in June 2019, and talk to all parties to the conflict. The film will show both Russian and Romani people’s viewpoints.