Saturday, April 9, 2016

‘Patriotic Ecologists’ Will Promote Russian Economic Development, Pro-Kremlin Activists Say

Paul Goble

            Staunton, April 9 – International environmental groups like the World Wildlife Fund and Greenpeace get in the way of Russia’s economic development and must be replaced by “truly patriotic” ecological organizations that will see as their overriding task the promotion of the country’s growth, according to the Ecological Chamber of Russia.

            The chamber, which was created three years ago by a Kremlin grant, declared this week that “the environmental movement in [Russia] must be above all patriotically inclined and not interfere with Russian industry and business,” Moscow’s “Kommersant” reports ( and

            According to Vladimir Semenov, the chamber’s head, patriotic Russian environmental groups must “oppose the Western approach to ecology” which he says is based on the false values of “post-modernism, anti-globalism, radical feminism, green anarchism, and anti-clericalism.”

            Vadim Petrov, the chamber’s vice president, adds that he and his colleagues are angry that Western environmental groups are able to continue to operate in Russia given that their goal is “not the economic development of the country but the defense of nature.”

            And Zakhar Prilepin, a writer who views Western ecological groups as a threat, suggests that “the task of a truly patriotic ecological community is not only green but also political.” And he promised to help patriotic environmentalists drive out what he and others describe as the foreign agents operating under ecological disguise.

            At the conclusion of the meeting of the Ecological Chamber, Vladimir Koptyev-Dvornikov, one of the activists, noted that he personally had nothing against Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund when they operate in other countries. But in Russia today, there needs to be “’import substitution’” in this field as well.

            In reality, Greenpeace and WWF in Russia now operate entirely on the basis of domestic contributions and pay a fee to the international bodies in order to use these names.

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