Saturday, April 20, 2019

In Komi Republic, ‘People are Burning Bridges -- Literally -- with the Authorities,' Activist Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, April 20 – Yesterday, after eight months of protesting the plans of the central Russian government to dispose of trash from Moscow in the Russian North, Komi activists set fire to two wooden bridges that were being used to bring in equipment to set up the dump sites. One of their number said that “the people have burned their bridges with the authorities.

            Nikolay Maksimov tells the Activatica portal that “people are burning bridges with the authorities.  Who specifically did this is unknown to us. There are some anonymous partisans. Possibly this is a provocation” (

            But what is known, the Komi activist says, is this: residents have been driven to a state of despair and consequently it is no surprise that some of them “are prepared for radical actions.” In picking up this story, the Tallinn-based Region.Expert portal adds that “the Northern Ecological Revolution is continuing” (

            Opposition politician Dmitry Gudkov has weighted in on his Twitter account, suggesting that the authorities had only themselves to blame because they had not been willing to listen to the complaints of the people. He added that the situation regarding trash is deteriorating not only in Arkhangelsk and Komi but in the Moscow suburbs as well (

            Lest this story have legs and become the occasion for copycat actions, Russian officials in Moscow are putting out the word that Moscow has no confirmation of this story as well as the notion that “partisans” did this is “fake news” and that the bridges likely burned as the result of forest fires (

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