Russia 100723 Basic Political Developments

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Riot police detained a group of activists, environmentalists, encamped in the forest Khimki and prevented his cutting, RIA Novosti reported. Detainees taken to ATS Khimki.
Previously, it was reported that on Friday morning, July 23, in a fight camp. According to environmentalists, in Khimki timber arrived about a hundred people in masks, "similar to the radical football fans." They blocked the defenders of the forest, after which the cutting was renewed. In clashes with these unknowns few environmentalists were injured. What happened to the unknown after the arrival of riot police, were reported.
Environmentalists have reported that arrived on the scene police patrol, but then one of the detained activists said that police called, but it did not come.
Confrontation loggers and environmentalists in Khimki forest began in May 2010 when a group of activists disrupted the beginning of logging at the site highway Moscow - St. Petersburg. Environmentalists argued that the decision of cutting taken from the violations, although in March confirmed the legality of the cassation at the Supreme Court. Felling of resumption on July 15, after which the Khimki forest camp was organized by the environmentalists to block the work.

Russian Mill Pollutes World's Deepest Lake

2010-07-23 02:21

A team of Russian scientists has discovered that a pulp and paper mill is polluting Lake Baikal, the world's deepest lake.  Using one of the country's Mir self-propelled manned submersibles to dive near the place where the mill discharges its waste waters in the lake, the scientists collected water samples from various depths and the bottom sediments.

[Eugene Chernyaev, Scientist]:               

"Our task was to lower to a depth of 2.5 kilometers below the discharge pipes of the pulp and paper factory, and then move through a canyon where the pollutants are deposited and bring back samples from the deposits and the water."     

[Igor Khanaev, Scientist]:

"If we compare the water of the lake with the water around the factory pipes there is a difference in clarity, and there is the presence of weighed substances, and when working in this area we also saw traces of these substances on the surface of the water."

After analyzing the samples, the scientists said they had discovered illegal and harmful substances in the samples.

[Mikhail Grachev, Director, Limnological Institute]:
"The dive took place on the 10th of July and today we finished the draft for results of our analysis. We found dangerous substances for which the maximum permissible concentration has not been established. That is it. Now I think our government needs to decide to either delete this part of the law or enforce what was previous promised, namely to install a closed-loop waste water circuit in the factory."

Built in 1966, the Baikalsk Pulp and Paper Mill has long been under heavy criticism for being the largest source of environmental pollution of the lake.

In October 2008 production was halted following instructions from environmental authorities to introduce a closed-loop waste treatment system and to cease dumping waste into Lake Baikal.
In January 2010, however, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin allowed the mill to resume operations, using the old open-loop waste treatment system.      
The facility is not yet running at full capacity and has only launched one of its pulp production lines.

Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Lake Baikal is known for its natural beauty and biodiversity. Over 80 percent of the animals living in the lake are unique.

Russian adoptions closer to reality

Published: 4:35PM Friday July 23, 2010

Source: Newstalk ZB/ONE News

The door could soon be open again to families who want to adopt Russian orphans.

The practice was stopped four years ago and both the New Zealand government and Russia have been working to develop new adoption protocols.

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett said progress is being made.

Russian officials have now given a permit to Inter Country Adoption New Zealand, to operate an adoption programme.

Bennett said it is a positive first step towards Russian adoptions being allowed again.

"We are satisfied the work has been done to ensure the process will be robust and we continue to work with Russian officials on that," said Bennett.

While New Zealand is a party to the Hague Convention where it applies to international adoptions, Russia is not, so similar protocols must be formed.

Adoption changes risk ignoring plight of orphans in Russia
by Tom Washington at 22/07/2010 18:08

Nothing touches Russian heartstrings like tales of adopted infants being mistreated in foreign lands.

Trans-Atlantic adoptions gone wrong provoke tabloid hang-wringing and righteous indignation from officials.

But while Russia and the US debate the future of international adoption, the murky fate of orphaned or unwanted children who remain in Russia still prompts questions.


Sent home alone

Earlier this year foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said the treatment of Artyom Savelyev was “the last straw” for overseas adoption.

Savelyev, aged 8, was dumped on a plane back to Moscow with a note saying he was “mentally unstable” after his adoptive American mother decided she could not cope with him.

And the subsequent furore brought the whole question back under the spotlight.


Crisis in Russia

But while international adoption is a big political issue, the numbers in Russia’s orphanages continues to climb.

There are now 700,000 orphans, 30 per cent of them living in state homes, according to figures from the parliamentary committee on family and children – more than at the end of World War II. Pro rata it’s four to five times higher than in the west.

Committee bosses describe it as a “humanitarian catastrophe”, and it’s one which childcare workers fear is being hidden by the lurid headlines.

“The main issue is not to forget about the kids behind all this talk about controls and regulations,” Director of educational centre of ROOF Olga Tikhomirova told The Moscow News.

“For the children to be happy, family is always preferable, no matter how good the orphanage is. There are the best orphanages with the best directors and carers [out there], but it is still worse than a family,” Tikhomirova said by telephone.


Tougher rules for foreigners

The ministry of education has ended independent adoption and wants to ensure that all future offers to give a home to a Russian orphan are handled by about 40 licensed agencies.

The scrunity won’t stop when the child leaves Russia. “It’s important that we can monitor the situation in the family until the child reaches 18,” Director of Education Alina Levitskaya told Kommersant.

“Right now the Russians require reports from social workers [in the US],” adoption agency World Child International Director Yaroslav Panasov said. He added that dates of visits are agreed in advance and that in some US states parents can deny inspectors access.

But reports on the children’s progress are meaningless, says psychologist Galina Semya. The earlier reports on the children in Russia are less rigorous and so there is nothing to compare the American checks with.


Finding homes

Last year Americans adopted 1,423 children from Russia and 50,000 from within the States, with Russians taking 9,500 from Russian orphanages. “We are pleased to say that the figure is growing,” Levitskaya said.

In total, since 1996, 80,000 Russian children have been adopted by families in the US, and 15 of them have died due to parental negligence.

July 23, 2010 10:03

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