Staunton, July 28 – Dmitry Sekushin, one of the most prominent leaders of the anti-trash movement at Shiyes, now lives in the Republic of Georgia where he was forced to flee earlier this year to escape persecution in Russia. But he has not given up the fight: he now offers Internet courses to Russian activists about how best to organize protests.
He tells the 7x7 regional news agency that he isn’t so much organizing these protests as sharing his experience, thereby helping others to benefit from his experience at Shiyes (semnasem.org/articles/2022/07/28/pri-etoj-vlasti-v-rossiyu-ne-sobirayus-ekoaktivist-shiesa-dmitrij-sekushin-o-vynuzhdennoj-emigracii-shtrafah-za-diskreditaciyu-armii-i-vspleske-interesa-k-protestnym-ekokampaniyam).
Sekushin says that he hopes others who have chosen emigration will follow his lead. “If all who have left will do so for even an hour a day, that will put a great deal of pressure on the regime because many creative people with new ideas and ways of thinking have left.” And with the Internet, they can still be relevant.
At present, he acknowledges, attention to environmental problems has declined. Since Putin began his war in Ukraine, people have become more afraid, and “ecology after February 24th has fallen to perhaps 18th place” among their concerns. But it remains a serious issue and Russians will return to it especially after Putin leaves office. Then there may be an explosion.
In other comments, Sekushin says that while Moscow may be delighted to have activists emigrate, officials in the regions aren’t. When activists leave, the latter can’t impose fines or make arrests that cause them to look good to the powers that be at the center. They thus continue to fine activists even when these are in emigration.