Cold War Legacies and Long-term Futures

Environmental Security & Sustainability is a new programme name for Green Cross Russia, but the former “Legacies of the Cold War” Programme has been operating in Russia since 1994.

In 2014, the GCR Severodvinsk Public Outreach and Information Offices (POIO) continued to track the dismantling of nuclear submarines at shipyards in the Arkhangelsk Region. The POIO educated the local population about safety issues related to nuclear submarine decommissioning, by connecting with groups including schoolteachers, public officials, and reporters.

Public outreach to the Izhevsk and Udmurt population included seminars, written materials (including a tutorial on how nuclear submarines are disarmed), summer camps for children from Kambarka and Kizner, and bi-monthly reports (in English and Russian).

Thirty local and regional events were organised, with a total attendance of some 2,383 people. Altogether some 7,800 informational packages (brochures, bulletins, internet postings) were distributed.

The local populations in the Arkhangelsk region are particularly interested in improving radiation monitoring, as a number of radiation-hazard facilities are located nearby – mainly at the Zvezdochka and Sevmash shipyards in Severodvinsk.

Meanwhile, the Izhevsk POIO also continued its activities related to chemical weapons destruction. Throughout the year, the POIO hosts informational meetings between local residents, officials and experts on various aspects of chemical weapons destruction.

Local communities now have a more positive outlook than in previous years. The transfer of social infrastructure facilities to the municipalities has contributed to this positive outlook. In Kambarka, however, residents are still concerned as the full decontamination and conversion of the facility near them has not yet been completed. Since completion of the Kizner facility in December 2013, civil organizations there are focusing on oversight of the ongoing operations.