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Friday, March 16, 2018

Crimean paralysis: the local government is destroying scientific institutions on the Peninsula

Science of the Crimea, even during the revolution and the war was not under such a clear threat of destruction, as it is now. Russian Academy of Sciences and Federal Agency of scientific organizations for the first time truly presented a United front.

Nothing brings people together like a common stumbling block. In the role of “stone” is today the regional government of the Republic of Crimea, which, to put it mildly, does not hurry to pay for Federal property management of the seven the Crimean institutions.

Crimean leadership simply ignores at least three resolutions of the Government of the Russian Federation, published in September last year. In particular:

— jeopardy is a collection of the first multi-ton harvest of seeds that breeders wanted to apportion all of the Crimean agricultural planting 2017;

critically rare Enoteca is a collection of 200 years of wines of the all-Russia Institute of viticulture;

— scientists who do not leave the institutions, threatened with criminal cases.

The problem on the spot understood the correspondent of “MK”.

Collection of the Nikitsky Botanical garden is about 20 thousand cultures

Crimea — is not only sea, sun, mountain, “Artek” and delicious strawberries in early may. The Peninsula in the last two centuries has been the cradle of scientific thought. Of course, not build nuclear reactors, both in Novosibirsk, and missiles, as Moscow and Samara. The science here is alive, it exists in close connection with the flora and fauna of the seven local climate zones, the sea and the starry sky.

Here in the XIX century originated the Russian gardening and winemaking. Since 1812, the year of the founding of the first Botanical garden scientists supplied the whole country cultivated seedlings of fruit and ornamental plants, and for the types of essential oil — rose, lavender, coriander, oregano — and their oils came here perfumers and pharmacists from all over the world.

In the Crimea blossomed lavender. Photo: Director of scientific research Institute of agriculture of Crimea

It would be easy to negotiate the Federal government with regional, property in which the local institutions have moved only for a short transition period after the “Crimean spring” of 2014? But two years later the Crimean Council of Ministers took a stand: not give back property, and that’s it.

Already out on that account the decree of the government dated September 7, 2015 — it was established seven Federal institutions at the regional: the Crimean astrophysical Observatory, Russian Academy of Sciences, the Institute of archaeology of RAS Crimea, Karadag scientific station. Vyazemsky nature reserve of RAS, Scientific research Institute of agriculture of Crimea, national research Institute of viticulture and winemaking “Magarach” and ran the Nikitsky Botanical garden — national scientific center, RAS. Changed the name, people periformis, started to work under scientific and methodical guidance of the Russian Academy of Sciences… And two years later, bright hopes turned to bitter disappointment.

— We have everything: the state assignment from FANO, plans of scientific-research works from the Russian Academy of Sciences, grants from the Russian scientific Fund, the money in the accounts, but no buildings, no right to use paper, computers, can not fill the machine to process the experimental site. Why? Yes, because they are legally not ours, — complains one of the leaders of scientific organizations. — We were put in an awkward situation: from whatever side you look — we’re breaking the law. FANO (an organization that performs the financial-economic management of all Russian institutes of RAS. — N.In.) requires us to carry out the job report on the expenditure of funds. But we can even car with petrol to refuel, because it does not have the right to spend Federal funds to refuel the Republican property.

photo: Natalia Vedeneeva

Oregano “Eugene G.”

Officials apparently did not realize that if and further so will go, agriculture will not be able next year to fully supply the country with his bread. Strategic industry will not get thousands of tons of high-yielding wheat. “But they certainly were to stay the same stocks for planting?” — many will object. Alas, few know that according to the law On seed production in the Russian Crimea is impossible to use the Ukrainian seeds (for this we need to have from the national Academy of Sciences of Ukraine license, and it is not). Therefore, plant breeders, agricultural research Institute since 2014 worked cartomancy — replacement of old varieties in the Russian.

— Two years we have collected the best varieties from all over mainland Russia: more than 150 wheat varieties brought from the Rostov region, Krasnodar territory, Moscow region, Stavropol territory. Sowed to understand which one is the best will settle in our land. Then the best 20-30 varieties will give farmers the further development, — says Director of the Institute Vladimir Pastecki.

To harvest seeds, sown in the framework of the state assignment a few days. And breeders still hope that they will have time to allow for experimental plots. Otherwise, far from science people can just collect and sell grain. Then a two-year scientific work of hundreds of employees of the research Institute down the drain, your seeds in the Crimea will not see for a very long time.

Demo polygon of crops

In addition to cereals, the Republic may lose 300-ton harvest of oil-bearing crops. It is only since last year started to sell “to the mainland” lavender, this year for the first time in 26 years, dropped it a million seedlings. For the first time in 20 years went “on the export” in Stavropol coriander.

— The cost of luxury coriander comes in the market to 150 thousand rubles per ton, ” explains Pastecki. — In total, if the crop is lost because of confusion with the property, the institution may lose just for the essential oil to 45 million rubles.

It’s a shame the Crimean scientist, that’s how, on takeoff, cut their wings. After all, only just started to unfold, and achieved good compensation for the purchase of seeds for agricultural enterprises.

— I asked you to intercede about it ex-Vice-Premier of the Crimean government Eugene G. Bavykin, recalls Pastecki. — “Help,” I said to her, “we’ll call your name a new variety of oregano”. This year it bloomed — “Eugene G.” is called…

When the Director says about the good people of new varieties, he seems to forget about problems, about what building his Institute by decision of the Council of Ministers of Crimea has on paper been transferred to the bailiffs, “first”, which I had to call closer to the night, because of nerves health deteriorated sharply, lost a hand…

— And you’re in luck, “continued the Director,” for your arrival we received a patent for a new variety of coriander “Strong man”. — It is superior in quality and yield of all the varieties. My employee of 12 years was to ensure that to create it! And now someone wants him out of here?! Napoleon stood three kilometres from Moscow, when Alexander First gave 10 thousand gold to scientists around the world bought the samples to create a Royal Park in the Crimea, Nikita (Nikitsky Botanical garden at the time and spun off of the Institute of agriculture. — N.In.). As a thought, the Emperor in such a difficult time for the country! How to think and now some politicians!

“If people would be allowed to work in full force…”

What does it mean for Crimea Nikitsky Botanical garden? Yes, this is the basis: the richest collection of floral, ornamental, fruit, industrial crops — only about 20 thousand! Live here yew, which is more than 750 years, and pistachio, which probably remembers the time of Christ’s coming, she’s almost two thousand years. Since 1843 in the garden, keep the oldest variety of rose — “the Countess Vorontsova”, but only in the collection — more than a thousand fragrant samples.

— The main difference between the new varieties of roses from the old in their ability to bloom: if they had fresh buds one, maximum two times a year, but now breeders have “taught” them to do so since March until December for 5-6 times, — does not hide the pride the Director of the Nikitsky Botanical garden Yury Pluhatar. Today breeders are busy breeding most fashionable roses in the season they should be as “Countess Vorontsov”, pale pink, with subtle shades of petals, reminiscent of ball gowns beautiful ladies, but resistance not to give the “iron” women of the XXI century.

If all goes according to plan and people would be allowed to work in full force, in three years there will be worked off grant issued recently by the Russian scientific Foundation for the creation of a new rosary, which has no analogues in the world. In this laboratory under the open sky we plan to place more than two thousand varieties of roses, we will present here the history of breeding science.

Besides plant cultivation in the Botanical garden saved the school a strong learning effect of essential oils. For example, currently there is a coordination issue with the space Agency about the delivery of the Crimean aromas on the ISS. Inhalation of rose and rosemary will help crew members to gather before an important job, and the sage and chamomile will soothe before bedtime.

“Magarach” for your account

The Institute of viticulture and winemaking “Magarach” by order of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Crimea has completely removed the experimental-production base.

– Put new to us, however, the acting Director, who sits in our Institute on the second floor and disposes of all. Tells us: “You have no right to be here”, — says the Director of “Magarach” Anatoly Avidzba. — I was Deputy Minister of agriculture of the Republic, and the Minister, 15 years already head of this Institute, many situations to unravel, and now I’m stuck. What to do, I don’t know. To leave the Institute without light and water or to go to jail for what you pay for electricity, water, reagents, cartridges, breaking the law?

The team at the research Institute of viticulture and winemaking “Magarach” rallied in the face of problems.

People at your own risk still spend money on maintenance of the wine collections, the genetic Bank of the Crimean grape varieties and world collection special yeast cultures for winemaking in good condition, because winemaking is their life.

The Director supported his subordinate, complaining: “the protection of valuable Enoteca (wine collection), among which 40 thousand bottles are stored the three most expensive in Europe — the famous “pink Muscat”, 1836, is listed in the Guinness Book of records as the oldest domestic wine, the Crimean Ministry of agriculture cannot allocate 3-4 thousand rubles a month! Our reminder of the unique copies that survived during the war, the evacuation to Central Asia, we say: so what if you steal a bottle — call the police…”

— You addressed this question in FANO? — I ask scientists.

— Of course! There answer as follows: “It’s not you shut off the water, and at the Institute, subordinate to the Ministry of agriculture of the Crimea”. We remind the Ministry of agriculture that the property is listed on the balance sheet, and there respond: “All utilities are realizing through their own funding. And where we can have income if we have no right to use their assets, not vineyards?

I have the feeling that up there, just do not understand state benefits. It is only in the last 10 years in the “Magarach” was derived more than 40 new varieties of grapes — sweet, with hints of citrus, suitable for long storage fresh. Created around 37 new brands of wine… If the wine-makers simply do not interfere, they would have gone with them to the international market, no wonder they nearly every brand has received at the exhibitions the gold medal.

It has developed a unique extract of polyphenols from grape pomace to strengthen the immune system. The healing qualities of wine are also studying in the framework of the project by the Agreement on granting a subsidy from the Ministry of education and science. Clinical studies effects on the body of products of processing of grapes began in two health resorts of the Crimea. People times a day give 30-40 ml of the healthful drink. Of course, previously each participant of the experiment is taken a written consent to such treatment.

Biological snow

The southern shore of the Crimea, we’re going East, toward Feodosia, Karadag nature reserve, which is headed by the young geographer of the Roman Gorbunov.

I was familiar with the first in the history of the red book of the Crimea, published in 2015.

— The third KKK is made up of employees in our reserve, explained Gorbunov. — 165 in the book of essays about animals and 61 essay on the plants. If in the Red book of Russia are not part of our snakes, the leopard snake KKK and Mediterranean Gecko have finally taken their rightful place.

Came in here and recently opened in jajl (so-called territory of the treeless plateau in the Crimea) butterfly, a new genus, which the author finds entomologist Yuri Yudashkin gave the name of airensis.

A new genus of butterflies, opened in the Crimea, – Airensis. Photo: KARADAG.COM.RU

— This moth, small — yellow-blue, and measures just 12 by 13 mm, — says Budashkin. — I have now sent it to a friend-a Frenchman for genetic testing.

There are on the reserve of the old Dolphinarium, remaining from the Soviet past. Previously, marine mammals prepared here to spermission military. Now you only have artists, bottlenose dolphins Yana and Yasha Navy seal. In the summer they give performances, and in the rest of their learning professionals. In particular, it is here noticed for the first time that acoustic signals in “speech” of dolphins have all 13 features, and that human language. There are no known communication systems of animals — bees, orangutans, birds did not have such colouring.

“Yana, Yana, well, come to me, can I touch it”, because I’m cheerful noisy creature. “I do not expect you,” he said, — they none of the others do not come closer than arm’s length”.

Yulia Smirnova

Then we waited for the “dive under water” in the laboratory of biochemistry and physiology of hydrobionts. Specialist Yulia Smirnova showed us coastal dwellers in the photos.

– In the last 20 years in the Crimea lost cistozira red hairy algae, the basis for the lives of more than 150 species of aquatic animals, — tells Smirnova. — We at first did not understand, why this is happening. And then I figured it out: it’s all about the alien of the far Eastern seas — the predatory mollusc Rapana. He ate at the bottom and the rocks millions of tons of mussels — the only major mollusc-biofilter Black sea.

Red hairy algae Cystoseira

The bottom surface of the rocks and the sea in the absence of filter feeders gradually covered with organic sludge from dead plankton, rapidly growing on the organic matter from human activities. This waste we call biological snow for the similarity in the water column with flakes of ordinary snow, gradually settling down. In the ooze millions of bacteria creates oxygen deficiency and contribute to the formation of a white precipitate mineral. That he ultimately covers red algae like shell. A plant deprived of proper food and air, breaks down at the first storm.

Where on the rocks mussel filters the water, white carapace on Cystoseira missing. Our challenge now is to find alternative methods of growing mussels on artificial reefs with floating media for the fouling, is not available for Rapa whelks. Unfortunately, due to bureaucratic delays the establishment of such reefs experienced stalled, and brine until we “win.”

The process of devouring the mussels Rapana.

A signal to the government: give “air” to the scientists and enthusiasts and environmentalists to give the air cistozira. She will return, will return, and disappeared in recent times the medicinal iodine smell of the sea off the coast. Meanwhile, scientists are not able to even buy reagents for their money are forced to repair old equipment. Once a month for control over the condition of the waters of the professionals should go out to sea and this also hire a private boat, because your, which is now “arrested” the Ministry of forestry of Crimea, to use are not eligible.

Rushing from the East to the West, where the pure sky, in a village of Science. Here is part of the Crimean astrophysical Observatory. Deputy Director Kirill Antoniuk talks about the stars, extragalactic objects, the Sun. Only in the Observatory, which is located at 600 metres above sea level, more than 20 telescopes (including Russia’s second largest with 2.6 meter machine them. academician shajn). We climb to the tower, to the smaller telescope, with a mirror only 1.25 m in diameter. And here I was waiting for the opening…

Cyril, who spent the previous night staring at the sky, tells about the strange behavior of Small stars RZ Leo, which is the second month can not get out of the state of the flash. I don’t know what’s more surprising — whether unusual activity of the star, whether the existing constellation of Small Leo. Honestly, all my life I thought that one lion in the sky, and here, in the Crimea, it turns out that the two of them as she-Bears.

From the press service of the head of Republic of Crimea, to which we asked for comments, came, alas, formal reply. We were told about the created 11 Feb 2016 Interdepartmental Commission, which is only now took the decision to hold as 01.06.2016 inventory of the assets of the institutions to determine the composition of the assets to be transferred in the Federal property, followed by their fixation in institutions FANO of Russia”.

Recall that the transfer of property was supposed to happen in early this year! Already, the General Prosecutor’s office found violations of the Executive order of the Government No. 1743-R public authorities of the Republic of Crimea, which admitted the facts of disposal of the property to be transferred in the Federal property.

What does the leadership of the Crimea, is unclear. The Federal government requires the enforcement of judgements and orders, but seem not to hear her.

One question haunted when I said goodbye to scientific a Peninsula: is neither the Ministers nor the head of the Republic Sergey Aksenov don’t see all this wealth? It is not about valuable acres of land “under the institutions” that would be for someone to a tasty morsel. It is about the richness of human capacity, without which the Crimea has no future.

The Return Of The Crimea. Chronicle of events

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