Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Mordvins Appeal to Finland for Help in Overcoming Environmental Degradation

Paul Goble

            Staunton, July 9 – In a remarkable demonstration of how concerns about one issue can rapidly be transformed into something larger, a group of Saransk activists has sent a four minute- long video appeal to Finland asking for help to overcome the environmental degradation that now threatens the future of two fellow Finno-Ugric peoples, the Erzya and the Mokshans.

            The video, available on Youtube at, stresses that “Mordvinia is a unique place” and that “you are our brothers and sisters and that “we want to speak about the ecological problems in Mordvinia” because they threaten the lives of the two peoples who form the Mordvin nation” (  

             Yevgeny Pashutkin, one of the activists behind the video clip, said that the Mordvins have been complaining about the environmental damage to their republic for a long time without success and have concluded that only by bringing it to the attention of the world and especially to a fellow Finno-Ugric nation can they hope to get the problems addressed.

            In a resolution by the Open Russia organization on the occasion of the release of this video clip, the activists say that “the Mordvinian powers that be are useless for the residents of the republic.” They are doing nothing to save the environment and now even the bees are dying out there (

            “There are no independent ecologists in Saransk who can speak the truth about the situation there,” the appeal continues. “Possibly if our fraternal people in Finland learns about the ecological misfortune in Mordvinia and talks about this, the Russian powers will begin to fulfill their obligations. Mordvinia is the home of Finno-Ugric peoples. We need your help.”

            Open Russia activists in Mordvinia have repeatedly appealed to Vladimir Putin about the problems they face, including the appearance in the water supply of human wastes and other contaminants. But so far, they have not received even the dignity of an acknowledgement of their complaints, let alone efforts to solve them (

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