Staunton, October 19 – Makhachkala, Nalchik, Vladikavkaz, and Grozny are among the most polluted cities in the Russian Federation, ranking 75th, 71st, 64th,and 77th respectively in a list of 87 cities released at the end of last week by Ministry of Natural Resources, yet another problem for the residents of that restive region.
The ratings, based on 2013 data, were based on a combination of statistics on “the level of pollution of the atmosphere, water use and its quality, handling waste, the share of extractive and industrial firms on a particular territory, access to public transport, level of energy use and other factors” (mnr.gov.ru/upload/files/docs/reyting_2013.pdf and
The compilers acknowledge, Kavpolit.com says in its report, that “the standing of many cities is lower than it might have been as a result of incomplete or incorrect data,” something that pushed the ratings of several cities down and may play a particularly negative role in the case of the North Caucasus.
But however that may be, the North Caucasus figures are disturbing and make Moscow’s ongoing campaign against environmental groups like the Environmental Watch on the North Caucasus especially unfortunate because it means that there will be little public pressure to clean up what is obviously a public health disaster.
Aleksey Yakovlev, an ecologist at the Russian Academy of Sciences told Kavpolit.com that he is always skeptical about such rankings but that there is no question that the environmental situation in the cities in the North Caucasus both those listed and others is bad and is almost certainly getting worse.
That is because, he continued, Moscow is pushing for investment at all costs and among those costs are “the health” of the population of the North Caucasus. Thus, “it is necessary to change the direction not only of ecological policy but of all policy” if the people in the cities of the North Caucasus and indeed in all Russian cities are to have a better future.