Staunton, June 20 – Yury Medovar, a senior specialist at Moscow’s Institute of Water Problems, says that the safety systems the Soviets put in place in the Arctic have not been sufficiently maintained or updated and now “have run out” and that Norilsk is only the first of what is likely to be the first of an ever-increasing number of technogenic disasters there.
In the course of an interview taken by Andrey Vernikov, the expert says that the situation has been made worse by the fact that the current powers that be ignore the opinions of the population, have sought to kill off environmentalism, and not been willing to spend the money needed to protect against disasters (video at krizis-kopilka.ru/archives/77454).
Medovar concludes by saying that the only way to avoid serious breakdowns is to ensure that “smart people” are in office, implicitly suggesting that those there now are anything but and clearly do not understand what is going on. They are more interested in ensuring they escape blame than in finding solutions.
His remarks are striking because he suggests that the situation is on the brink of disaster because even the standards the Soviets imposed are not being maintained and because he is quite prepared to place the blame not on some minor functionaries but on those at the top who he says quite directly are responsible for ensuring that the system actually works.