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Monday, March 19, 2018

Mikhail Fedotov: “We saw biting civil society”

The Council for development of civil society and human rights under the President again went to the province: this time the object of attention of activists became Tver oblast. His impressions from visiting the complex and very rich region shared with the “MK” head of the Council Mikhail FEDOTOV.

Photo: Newspaper today Kimry

— The situation with human rights in the Tver region is something different from what you seen elsewhere?

— In the Tver region are particularly acute environmental problems. Tver forests deserve to be treated carefully as possible. And there is illegal logging of valuable species under the guise of sanitary felling! Another part of the problem — the load on the environment by the activities of industrial and agricultural enterprises. In Bezhetsky district, for example, a large pig is going to build the second phase, 2 km from the village, and it causes General indignation of the citizens. Another problem is the seizure of the shoreline of the Volga and the lakes, and she by law must be open to all… Tver oblast and not advanced and not lagging. We, for example, was in cymric area, the city of Kimry, where he saw, on the one hand, local authorities, cut off from society by a palisade of instructions, and is very active, biting civil society — on the other side. Under the rule I have in mind primarily the municipal administration. I advised the mayor (Roman Andreev. — “MK”) to be as open as possible, and not hide behind paragraphs of instructions. Here we talked with the residents of one of the streets, where they decided to build a gas station. It is necessary in this situation to ask the opinion of people? Necessary. A local authority has decided that enough official and expert opinions, and then there was a conflict. Experts say that if a gas station to equipped accordingly, it can be located no closer than 50 metres from the property. The experts said, there is 52 m I would place the mayor the objective of this game took and together with the people he died, because residents of nearby houses died, and they came out not 52 meters, and less… Where no shock — problems that many arise from the fact that the government looks at the life of the bureaucratic gaze.

— In kimri the political situation is difficult in the autumn of 2014, the mayor — Communist city Duma, which is controlled by United Russia, to his stiff opposition

— I am sure that for most people in any locality is all the same, the members of the party sit in the local Council. If they provide good roads, landscaping — will vote for them. In Kimry and I’m blown away by one scene: when we after a long conversation with representatives of the administration and the public out on the street, passing by the car, the window of which leaned out the driver and with the use of profanity, shall we say, “drew the attention of the mayor on the need to repair roads”. It is impossible to organize, as it is impossible to learn all the passers-by with whom we spoke during the trip through the city.

— What, in your opinion, could help in such situations?

— The civil society of the city does not structured and doesn’t have channels of influence on the authorities. Was the city public Council under the old mayor (Maxim Litvinov, is now under investigation on charges of taking bribes. — “MK”) — he did not actually work, as I said, this advice is brought to dissolution under the new mayor and established a new Board. But this does not actually work. A very typical situation for Russia: public councils at the authorities or public chambers in the regions seem to exist, but their activity is often close to zero. Why do they need? We always recommend that you create active combat tips.

— Whether they are governors and mayors?

— I believe that we need. Today I met with the head of one of the suburban areas and told him how important it was to such a Council to establish and taking into account public opinion; he agreed with me. However, agree does not mean to do…

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