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Russian Challenges

Between Freedom and Energy

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Edited By Galina Michaleva and Andrey Ryabov

This book analyses the influence that oil and gas have on various sides of Russia’s contemporary internal and foreign policy. On the one hand, the factor oil and gas enabled the ruling elite to strengthen the state institutions and to stabilize Russia’s political and social system after decades of instability. Relying on the new economic opportunities contributed to the growth of revenues of the mass sections of population, and owing to the increased export of natural fuel resources Russia significantly strengthened its influence on international politics. But on the other hand, authoritarian tendencies increased in politics. The contributions of this book inquire into the gradually declining role of independent actors in relation to the government, and the increasing authority of the elites in power who continue to represent their corporate interests as being national ones.

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Alexej Yablokov - The De-Ecologization of Russia: Causes and Effects - 103

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Alexej Yablokov The De-Ecologization of Russia: Causes and Effects The present review is not a detailed list of all environmental prob- lems in Russia but a mosaic showing that environmental problems are one of the most disturbing issues. However, in almost all cases, they receive insufficient attention by the authorities. A more detailed description of all Russian environmental prob- lems as well as the references to concrete sources of given figures and facts can be found in A. Yablokov’s report “Russia: health of nature and people” (in the series “Ecological policy”, published by “APPLE”. Moscow, 2007, 224 pages; in the Internet http://www.rus-green.ru). 1. Introduction In Russia, according to the Constitution and a number of laws, the ecological information, information about environmental conditions, people’s health, ecological and other threats cannot be kept secret. However, a number of people – not only experts but ordinary citizens as well – are pointing out with increasing alarm that the ecological information that is reported in Russia has become less detailed and unimportant. Instead of the analysis of tendencies in the development of oncological and other ecology-dependent diseases, the mass-media are filled with messages about fires and stings. It is difficult to make correct administrative decisions without the knowledge of the true state of affairs. If one agrees with nuclear scientists that “it is time to forget Chernobyl”, then it is possible to sharply reduce the support of the affected territories and liquidators, but if it is known that the 20-year-old latent period for...

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