The lonely mission of a Russian climate activist

by birtanpublished on September 26, 2020

Holding a one-man demonstration about climate change in the middle of moscow might sound like a thankless task but arshak makitiyan has taken up the challenge the 26 year old violinist has been defying a ban on protests in the russian capital

With signs reading strike for climate in the hope of building a movement that pressures the kremlin he says he's been inspired by fellow climate activist greta tunberg staging protests every week

This will all have an impact on our future both economically and socially so that's why i've been protesting for 73 weeks in a row and we're trying to get the fridays for future movement going in russia

That is a lonely crusade partly due to russian attitudes on environmentalism russia is the world's fourth largest greenhouse gas emitter but unlike greta who galvanized a global movement of young

Environmentalists mkhitaryan's mission has often seen him as the only activist to turn out russia also has tough protest laws with police arriving within 30 minutes of some of his protests

One passerby even threatened to stab him so far on the political level we only get words and have not seen any action so far so to influence the politicians we need thousands of people on the streets this

Is hard to imagine now but i believe it's possible president vladimir putin has said russia is warming at two and a half times the world average and the permafrost melting in northern

Cities would be a disaster but he's also said it's unclear what is driving climate change as for mckitchien he's vowed to continue his efforts

And promised not to give up

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