Socio-ecological Union

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the Socio-Ecological Union
A Center for Coordination
and Information

Moscow, Russia -- Issue 5(27), April, 2002



Activists protesting against nuclear waste imports and journalists beaten by police near Kremiln

  On April 25 young activists from 30 Russian cities gathered in the center of Moscow on the Red Square to protests against nuclear waste shipment to Russia and against nuclear energy development in general. Action was dedicated to 16 anniversary of Chernobyl nuclear disaster.
  Activists dressed in special uniform, marked by "radiation danger" sign crawled across the Red Square up to the Kremlin gates. This symbolized bringing of the nuclear waste right to the Kremlin, where the chief decision-maker sits.
  Journalists from international media outlets came to cover the event. One must say that action on the Red Square was a bold venture, as it is one of the most guarded places in Russia.
  The action lasted for approximately 10 minutes, when police came and without any warnings or requests to leave the place started beating people up. One of the girls was slammed with its head against bars of the metal fence, Vladimir Slivyak, SEU Antinuclear Campaign, was thrown down and stampeded by police boots. More than 20 activists from Moscow, Kaliningrad, Voronezh, Vladimir, Yekaterinburg, Ryazan, Orel, Ozersk (city where Mayak nuclear waste processing plant is situated) got arrested.
  Not only activists suffered from unprecedented police violence. Jounrnalists who came to cover the event were also beaten and arrested, their video and photo cameras were taken away, videotapes and film cassetes were take out of the cameras. One of the cameras was broken.
  Multiple tourists walking around the Red Square observed this battlefield. Police searched the nearest streets for activists and journalists who escaped from the Square.
  Among police victims are journalists from Internews and several newspapers - they got arrested. Videotapes were taken from Reuters crew.
  "After the action the square was covered by the light-stuck films," - says one of the witnesses.
  "We have not seen such violence from police for a long time. It seems that there was a special order to act like this" - says another activists who escaped the arrest and managed to smuggle the film and camera away.

  You can find action photos on

  You can express your opinion by sending e-mail to Russian President Vladimir Putin -

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  This issue was written and complied by Sviatoslav Zabelin - the SEU Council Co-Chair,
  Olga Berlova, Victoria Kolesnikova