Topics

Open Society Foundations

Activist organizations struggling to survive under Russian restrictions

Activist organizations struggling to survive under Russian restrictions

After decades of Soviet-era drilling, unregulated fisheries and haphazard construction, residents of Russia's Sakhalin Island have cheered the ecological protections secured by Sakhalin Environment Watch over the last 20 years.

One of the most effective civil society movements to emerge in the post-communist era, SEW led the ravaged island's campaign for protection of the pristine, 165,000-acre Vostochny Reserve, said to be the most productive salmon ecosystem on the planet.

The group fought successfully in court to have higher standards imposed on the powerful Gazprom monopoly for its fossil fuel exploration. It also took legal action to force an international consortium of...

77°