Russia’s Foreign Agent Law

The writing was on the wall. When Russia’s oldest human rights organisation was closed in December, few Putin critics batted an eye.

CIA agents in teen drag. Kaliningrad, 2019.

Shuttered following a crackdown on NGOs and media under the country’s ‘foreign agent’ law, the closure signified a growing intolerance of activists. 

In this edition of the Eurasian Climate Brief, we go from the local to the legal, to get the full picture. 

Correspondents Anastasia and Ivan Shteynert report on the law’s impact on environmental activism in Saint Petersburg and beyond.  

Vitaly Servetnik, a campaigner at Russia’s Friends of the Earth and the Russian Social Ecological Union, breaks down the legislation. 

Environmentalists are set to be the Putin regime’s next targets after human rights activists, according to Servetnik.

We close out the show with the latest climate headlines from our region.

This episode is hosted by:

Natalie Sauer, a French-British environmental journalist and MA student in Russian and Post-Soviet Politics at the School of Eastern European and Slavonic Studies, University College London. A former reporter for Climate Home News, Sauer has worked with international media such as Le Monde DiplomatiquePolitico EuropeopenDemocracyEuractiv and the Heinrich Böll Foundation.

Boris Schneider,  a political economy and energy expert at n-ost, a Berlin-based network for cross-border reporting. Schneider heads initiatives to boost climate journalism in Central Asia, the Caucasus and Eastern Europe.

Angelina Davydova, an environmental journalist from Russia. Davydova has been writing about regional climate change for national and international media since 2008. She teaches environmental journalism and climate policy and communications at a number of universities. Davydova organises trainings for journalists from Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Caucasus on environmental and climate reporting.

Anastasia and Ivan Shteynert, radio journalists based in Saint Petersburg.

Photograph courtesy of Friends of the Earth. Published under a Creative Commons license.