Oleg Mikhailov, a deputy of the State Council of the Komi Republic, says bluntly: “Trash is a poitical problem. We see how relations have been developing between the regions and the federal center. Arkhangel Oblast and the Komi Republic send enormous amounts of money to the center in the form of taxes.”
But “in exchange,” he continues, they are given poisonous trash rather than the assistance they need. As the editors of Region.Expert point out, this recalls the events of the mid-1980s when “many prominent regional politicians, including Boris Nemtsov began their activity precisely with environmental movements.”
Indeed, in many places, environmental protests became the basis for the formation of popuar fronts and even independence movements. At least some in Moscow will recall this and be worried by something they did not expect would ever re-emerge in their Russia. They will be more worried because such regional movements cross administrative lines Moscow has drawn.