More secrecy during natural disasters

Russia's environmental watchdog Rosprirodnadzor wants more control over information to the media.

Russia’s Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resource Usage intents to classify information about natural and ecological catastrophes.


Head of Russia’s Rosprirodnadzor Vladimir Kirillov has ordered to set up a special commission that will keep control over all information that comes out of the agency. The commission will be independent from the agency’s press service and have the right to classify information about natural and ecological catastrophes. 

Rosprirodnadzor officials will also be banned from commenting information about emergency situations, Bellona writes, citing Izvestia

The background for Kirillov’s decision is the recent tragedy in the southern Russian town of Krymsk, where 170 persons were killed in a flooding. Both agency officials and mass media brought a lot of information about what was happening, and not all of it was true, the paper writes.

Pushing journalists do not seem to be a big trouble for the Murmansk regional branch of Rosprirodnadzor. In an interview with Bellona head of the regional branch Vladimir Khrutsky says that local journalists can be too passive: “In our region we have a lot of ecological problems that our journalists fail to paid sufficient attention to”, Bellona’s web site reads.