And one participant in the protest said that the protests must continue until the plan to bury trash around their villages is stopped. “It would be ideal if we had a meeting like the one in Ingushetia” and continue until we are able to “carry out a referendum on the territory of the Lena region with our own forces and without the participation of the powers that be.”
“For the entire history of Russia, not one leader of a region has included the disposal of trash of others in a swampy area as a priority plan,” Lyudmila Marina, a district deputy says. “We don’t need any investment projects [which is what the center is offering] in exchange for the destruction of an entire region.”
Ivan Ivanov, a local ecological activist, says that in his view the only reason regional and local officials have gone along is that they have received enormous amounts of money from Moscow, a kind of bribe in exchange for the death of the region, with others saying that officials had hoped to hide what they and Moscow were doing until it was too late to stop them.
NIMBYism is not a rare thing either in Russian regions or even in the neighborhoods of Moscow. Residents routinely object to the plans of the authorities by saying “not in my back yard.” But the protest in Arkhangelsk is noteworthy not only because of the level of anger – few denounce Moscow for genocide – but for the fact that it referred to Ingushetia.
The former suggests that even in predominantly Russian regions anger about the overreaching of the Moscow authorities is growing; and the latter that despite Moscow’s efforts to ignore what has been happening in the North Caucasus, even villagers in the Far North have heard about it and are following the example of the Ingush protesters.