Green disaster for Russia

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The Independent Online
About 15 per cent of Russia can be considered an environmental disaster zone, the Environment Minister, Viktor Danilov-Danilyan was quoted as saying yesterday, Reuter reports from Moscow.

The minister told Tass that some 100,000 people lived on land where radiation levels were too high. Half of Russia's 222 million hectares (550 million acres) of arable land was unsuitable for farming and only one fifth of industrial waste was adequately treated, he said.

Secret Soviet-era nuclear tests and accidents polluted hundreds of rivers and vast areas of land with radiation while environmental safety was neglected in favour of rapid industrialisation.