The oil catastrophe in Siberia: do you still Have all of them?, asks an angry Putin

It is shortly after four o'clock in the afternoon in Moscow on Wednesday, the 3. June 2020, Vladimir Putin, in his many small screen flickering work room switc

The oil catastrophe in Siberia: do you still Have all of them?, asks an angry Putin

It is shortly after four o'clock in the afternoon in Moscow on Wednesday, the 3. June 2020, Vladimir Putin, in his many small screen flickering work room switched the heads of the regional authorities of the Krasnoyarsk region asks: "do you still Have all of them?"

The Russian President is angry because his regional authorities report the accident in a mining company behind the polar circle only days after the dramatic discharge of diesel oil. "Why learn the organs of the state only two days later?", Putin asks the screen round in front of the cameras. At this time, the world is already the huge red-brown stain on the river Ambarnaja from social networks.


Putin declares state of emergency in the Region. The state's attorney initiate several criminal proceedings. The state investigation Committee determines. Officials of the debt to push each other: Who has whom and when informed or not informed. Alexei Nikolsky/Pool Sputnik Kremlin/AP/Reuters Russian President Vladimir Putin in a telephone conference on the Oil leak

Sergei Lipin, Director, Nornickel (formerly Norilsk Nickel), the leaking diesel tank, assures that its workers have already removed 500 cubic metres of polluted water. The clean-up operation is continuing. The state of the Russian environmental supervision reports, the accident is no ground water was contaminated.

Other experts, however, the Alarm: "We have here to do with an accident, behind the polar circle. This is the Region's largest technically-caused disaster,“ says Vladimir Tschuprow of Greenpeace Russia compared to the DW. The Kremlin learned about it only a few days later, does not surprise him: "We have here to do with a System. The concealment of such accidents is, unfortunately, a common practice for many companies.“

On the DW-question of how high the damage is, refers to Greenpeace man Tschuprow on the Head of the environmental Agency Rosprirodnadzor Svetlana Rodionova, who visited the scene of the disaster. According to her, about 20 kilometres of river were contaminated. The cleansing of the water could take weeks. Your reclamation up to two years, complained of Tschuprow.

accident or negligence?

The mining group, Nornickel sees global warming as the main cause. Because of the permafrost melt behind the polar circle at the time, could have moved the pillars of the giant diesel tank. This, in turn, could have disastrous leak, and the spout of the Oil in the river led. Planet Labs Inc./dpa is The Oil leak from the air

Russian environmentalists, the banal negligence is not close, however. Alexei Knischnikow, head of the Department for Business Environmental Responsibility of WWF-Russia, accuses Nornickel in the DW-Interview "the blatant sloppiness and violation of the basic principles of environmental security": "We in Russia have certain Environmental requirements for such containers. You need to be surrounded for example by a dam, which must be of a certain height and for liquid-impermeable, so that in such a case, the Oil products on the industrial site can stay.“

disaster without any consequences?

The state investigators now need to figure out why this was the case of Nornickel obviously not the case or what led to Disaster. The DW interviewed policy experts doubt, however, that the environmental disaster of Siberia will have significant consequences.

Ilya Graschenkow from the centre for Regional policy lamented that this scandal is raging in the social media, but not in the state television, where he "barely perceived" (by Putin's memorable Video-conference). "We have here to do with a battle of the elites," explained political analyst in the DW-Interview. "This is a struggle for the company Nornickel, for the governorship of Krasnoyarsk, but not for the environment. To the full extent of the disaster becomes clear, in order for you to be put on the Agenda of the state policy, one needs the will from above. The is missing.“

Because of the accident of Norilsk happened to be one for the Kremlin very inopportune time. In a few weeks ' time, on 1. July to be questioned by the Russians about the changes to the Constitution. Thus, an environmental disaster could harm this survey only says Graschenkow: "Therefore, you will not be respected really."

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*The post "The disaster of Norilsk" is published by Deutsche Welle. Contact with the executives here.

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Date Of Update: 07 June 2020, 17:26