The Russian Social Ecological Union (RSEU) and the Nam Zdes Zhit (‘we are to live here’) Movement have created the Ecological Crisis Group to support Russian activists. They are going to publish expert analysis and news on how to support those who have been put strain on for nature protection activities on the project's special website and Telegram channel. Dmitry Sekushin, the Nam Zdes Zhit Movement’s activist, told 7x7 about this.
The Ecological Crisis Group’s creators monitor cases of persecuting Russian activists and environmentalists, analyze the reasons for putting strain on them, try to establish a dialogue between social activists and officials, and also develop a system of supporting nature protection activists. They are going to publish their work's results on the website and in the Telegram channel.
"The Russian Social Ecological Union has been protecting activists and environmentalists for a long time. Now we have decided to create an expert community, which sees helping eco-activists whom the authorities have put strain on as an important part of its work. We hope that the Ecological Crisis Group will help them," Dmitry Sekushin told 7x7.
According to the project’s creators, the security forces initiated 27 criminal cases against nature protection activists and drew up 47 administrative offense reports in 2021. They were threatened or violated about 10 times. The project's website has already published reviews on putting strain on social activists from January to October 2021. The OVD-Info*, Apologia and Agora projects are among the human rights organizations, listed on the website, that are ready to help.
This is not the first initiative in support of nature protection activists in Russia, created in 2021. For example, in June, journalist Natalia Zubkova from Kemerovo, who left Russia after being attacked and threatened, launched the REDBUTTON Forum for eco-activists and announced the opening of the Chyornaya Metka (‘black mark’) Project with information about environmental violators.