In Russia, too, it is possible to bring about change through the imaginative activism of citizens, writes Arja Paananen, a special editor.
Citizens the protest movement brought about change, and those in power suddenly had to retreat.
No one was arrested or even bombed.
No, even if it was about the strategic interests of the state. And not even then, even though people gathered for mass demonstrations and publicity raids organized by activists.
What a miracle this is – and can this really happen in Russia?
Yes you can, and most obviously thanks to the final awakening of those in power belongs to the ballerina of the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg. Ilmira Bagautdinova one frosty day in february, he put on his swan costume and, to the surprise of passers-by, appeared to dance in the middle of the snow and ice on the shores of the gulf of finland.
(BBC video and ballerina interview below.)
The stunningly beautiful video of the situation spread widely in Russia and around the world. Those who saw the video hurried to google Patterilahti online and were silenced not only by the icy swan dance of the ballerina but also by the summer aerial photos of the exceptionally beautiful bay.
I dispute the subject was the crescent-shaped Patterilahti, or Batareinaja Buhta, where the Russian state planned to build another port.
The fine sandy bay is the lifeblood of many St. Petersburgers. If the bay were still cleaned of Soviet-era submarine baskets and potentially poisonous old toxins in the ground, it would become a true Northern Riviera.
However, the land was leased without a public tender to a large company that planned to build a cargo terminal on the bay to serve the Sodruzhestvo Group’s connection to the Kaliningrad region.
The background is Russia’s efforts to get rid of land transport through the Baltic countries. The port was justified by geopolitical interests, so one of the main supporters of the project must have been the Kremlin itself, the president Vladimir Putin.
Read more: Exceptionally great video: ballerina swan dance on the ice of the Gulf of Finland mutes – appeals to Putin to block new project
Now it seems that even Putin has retreated in complete silence.
Governor of the Leningrad Region Aleksandr Drozdenko announced last week that a new location was being sought for the port and that the project would no longer affect Patterilahti.
The planned new oil plant terminal may be built in connection with the already operating Ust-Luga, or Laukaansuu oil and cargo port.
– We do not need to build our own port for each transport, Drozdenko justified the knockout of the port of Patterilahti.
The Russians have already managed to save their habitat piece by piece.
Patterilahden the rescue tells us that it is nevertheless possible for civic activists to bring about change in Russia.
(Below is a petition video of Patter Bay patrons for Putin and an aerial view of the bay in the summer scenery.)
For example, the gas company Gazprom had to back down from its intention to build a huge tower block in the historic center of St. Petersburg, and now the skyscraper has risen in the name of Lahta Center on the shores of the Gulf of Finland.
On the border between the Komi Republic and the Arkhangelsk region, the authorities in turn had to suspend the construction of the Shises landfill. In the middle of the untouched taiga forest, we had to start scraping the living waste of the Muscovites.
Demonstrations may not change the Kremlin’s host, but the Russians have already managed to save their own habitat piece by piece.
The author is a special editor of Ilta-Sanomat specializing in Russia.
Source site www.is.fi