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City Ranks Among Most Polluted in Russia

Published: June 10, 2008 (Issue # 1380)


St. Petersburg placed 85th out of the country’s 89 regions in a newly released rating by the Russian Independent Environmental Monitoring Agency.

To award a position in the rating, the experts assessed a range of factors affecting the state of the environment, including air and water pollution, changing ecosystems, the production and treatment of industrial waste, environmental protection efforts, accountability by local business communities and the endangered status and extinction of animal species.

City Hall’s continued lack of attention to environmental problems and its aloof, hands-off attitude have become an additional negative factor in St. Petersburg, the agency said.

Dmitry Artamonov, head of the St. Petersburg branch of the international pressure group Greenpeace, said City Hall does not simply turn a blind eye to the city’s environmental plight, but vigorously pushes forward with dangerous construction and industrial projects which, if implemented in the intended form, further exacerbate the state of the local environment.

“The massive land reclamation project on Vasilyevsky Island is particularly dangerous and it looks set to ruin the already damaged ecosystem of the Gulf of Finland,” Artamonov said.

“Turbid spots formed by the masses of highly contaminated deposits rising to the surface now stretch for many kilometers. The works have already led to the mass destruction of living sea organisms and, if continued as before, could potentially turn the Neva Bay into a stagnant body of water.”

Ecologists argue that the construction of garbage incinerators — advertized by City Hall as a progressive campaign — will greatly contribute to air pollution in town.

“Not only is incineration expensive — rest assured that the fee will be incorporated into every resident’s monthly utilities bill — but it is also hazardous,” Artamonov said.

“Toxic waste is not separated from the non-toxic trash and everything is burnt together. This means the process results in vast amounts of super-toxic dioxin emissions.”

The nearby Leningrad Oblast enjoys 69th place in the rating, thanks to better air quality and the condition of ecosystems and animal life.

Kamchatka in Russia’s Far East tops the rating, followed by the Republic of Adygea in the Krasnodar Krai, the Republic of Tuva, the Buryat Republic and the Irkutsk region in Siberia.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Nov. 28


Join table-top game aficionados at the British Book Center’s Board Game Evening. Held every Friday at 5 p.m., aficionados and amateurs alike can come take part in a variety of different games that test one’s intellect and cunning.



Saturday, Nov. 29


Cats, dogs, birds, rodents and reptiles are just some of the things that will walk and crawl at Lenexpo convention center this weekend as part of Zooshow, a two-day exhibition featuring not only man’s best friends but a four-legged fashion show, as well as a food fair that will help pet owners find out more about which kibbles are best for their hungry pets.



Sunday, Nov. 30


Remember the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the Russo-Finnish war in 1939 during today’s reenactment titled “Winter War: How it Was.” More than 200 people will take part in recreating the opening salvoes of the battle for the north in Kamenka, a small village situated between Vyborg and St. Petersburg, using authentic equipment and vintage vehicles from the era. The faux battle begins at 2 p.m.



Monday, Dec. 1


Serbia filmmaker Emir Kusturica is the featured guest this evening at the Lensovet Palace of Culture the Petrograd Side. Fans of the director will get the chance to watch his movie “Black Cat, White Cat,” as well as ask questions about his award-winning filmography. Tickets for the event, which starts at 7 p.m., start at 2,000 rubles ($42.50).



Tuesday, Dec. 2


Today is the final day of “Takoy Festival,” a three-week program of plays based on the works of Dostoevsky, Remarque and other famed European writers, whose work is transcribed for theatrical performances. Tonight’s festival finale is “Fathers and Sons,” a two-act drama staged by the Novosibirsk Academic Drama Theater based on Turgenev’s classic about familial relations.



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