Environmental protests water seeds of discontent in Russia
New wave of protests against Vladimir Putin’s government may help bring about political change
In an episode that would be hilarious if one read it in the works of Nikolai Gogol or Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin, but is actually a grim illustration of Russia’s environmental sickness, officials in a Siberian town were reprimanded in 2018 for painting snow white.
Pollution in the coal-mining region is so horrendous that the snowfall is thick with soot and ash. The officials responded, in the time-honoured manner of provincial Russian bureaucracy, by painting over a problem they felt helpless to solve.