Help us prevent an environmental catastrophe in Chelyabinsk, Russia!
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We, the people of Chelyabinsk city, would like to bring our plight to your attention. Please could you have a look into our problem and help us gather as much publicity as possible? For more than 3 years we have been fighting Russian Copper Company (http://rmk-group.ru/en/ and its plans to build a Copper Mining and Processing Plant in Tomino village, just 20km from the city of Chelyabinsk – a large, 1+mln people industrial centre in the middle of Russia. The so-called “Russian” Copper Company is a transnational group incorporated offshore in Cyprus, and its main objective is to exploit non-renewable natural resources of our planet. Its production methods bring immeasurable harm to the environment as well as to local residents. If RCC's project goes through, it will bring grave harm to the ecology not only of our region, but of the whole world, too. The people of Chelyabinsk and the whole region have been fighting against RCC's plans for several years, by all possible means. More details can be found in our online petition on Change.org that has gathered almost 135 thousand signatories: https://www.change.org/p/stop-the-building-of-tomino-mining-and-processing-plant
However, despite our many protest rallies, despite thousands of petitions delivered to the President’s office and other authorities, in June 2017 RCC started construction works for the Tomino Mining Plant - without any legally required permits and approvals. They have started cutting down acres and acres of pine and birch woods that used to provide Chelyabinsk with clean air. Many people from Chelyabinsk staged protests against this, and RCC then put a highly dangerous and lethal type of barbed wire all around the disputed territory, to keep people away.
The problem is that this is woodland territory that’s always had recreational and protective status. Many kinds of animals live there and migrate through this area, including some rare ones from the Red List of Threatened Species.
As the result of these criminal actions, animals wander into the barbed wire and get serious, life-threatening wounds. We have already found out about two painful deaths of young animals.
On 3rd July 2017 locals found a dead young roedeer and took photographs and videos, that can be found in our public group on VK social network: https://vk.com/wall-56308476_129745
One month later, on 8th August 2017 locals once again found an animal corpse, this time of a small elk calf. Photos and videos are available here: https://vk.com/wall-56308476_142185 The dead animal was found because the local noticed a female elk who comes and lies by the corpse every day.
Animals now suffer every day, caught between barbed wire and the noise of the machinery on the construction site. Please check these photos of a frightened fox, taken by local residents in the recent days: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=906959126128918&id=100004445169406
RCC is planning to irreversibly destroy 3000 hectares of woodland - aided, abetted and fully supported by our corrupt regional government. All federal authorities turn a blind eye to our protests, call us “foreign agents” and claim that we’re just seeking to destabilize the political situation in the region ahead of next year’s Presidential elections.
No matter how gross and unlawful RCC’s actions are, our authorities won’t back down and stop supporting this barbaric project. They violate the local citizens’ legal rights, threaten the whole region with ecological disaster of major proportions, threaten wildlife for many kilometers around, and kill poor defenseless animals.
Please help us defend our lands and our homes, help us spread these images through international mass media!
The residents of Chelyabinsk, Russia
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